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Gay Mormons March in Taipei Pride

By Sam Noble

In the Taiwanese city Douliu, I experienced the only real regret of my mission.

My companion and I were visiting an inactive church member, baptized many years before. Around the third or fourth time we sat down in his shop to meet with him, he came out to us.

I will never forget sitting there, listening as he told us of his first physical experience with another man. I didn’t know how to react. Aside from my fears about my own sexuality, I honestly had no clue how to help him. Should I call him to repent of his sinful life? Returning to church activity would certainly make his life happier, right?

My companion and I sat there in silence, realizing we had no answers. We shortly left, deciding that there was point in our returning. The church had no place for gay people.

A decade later, I’m back in Taiwan, and last weekend a little group of LGBTQ Mormon supporters gathered at Taipei’s LGBT Pride parade, marching in solidarity to represent change happening here in Taiwan.

We marched as “MoErMenTongMengHui” (摩爾門同盟會) – “Mormon Gay Ally Group.” Admittedly, I worried about participation – most I invited to come weren’t able to attend. In the end, one young man, Dico, and I were the two actual gay LDS, along with three of our classmates who marched to support us. I am so proud of and grateful for them all.

Taipei Pride

The experience was edifying. It changed minds and hearts. Within the first few minutes, one college student ran up to us. He was raised in the church and not out to anyone in his family or congregation. He was so excited to see us and learn about what we’re doing.

Along the parade route, I had a conversation with one man from Utah who grew up LDS and is marrying his Taiwanese partner in Utah soon. He’s since helped put me in touch with another gay Mormon here in Taipei.

I saw literally hundreds taking photos of our signs as we passed, including many who asked for pictures with us. We heard many we passed discussing about the Mormons there in support of LGBT Pride.

I love GAY Mormons
“I love GAY Mormons”
-Gays are children of God-
“Gays are children of God”
-Jesus said love one another-
“Jesus said love one another”
-All are alike in the eyes of God -2Ne 26.33-
“All are alike in the eyes of God -2 Nephi 26:33”

Still, the situation in the church here can often be discouraging.

“Most Mormons in Taiwan aren’t very nice to gays, some even want them to try and become straight, despite all of the evidence against that,” said Dico.

Yet, despite the long road ahead, he understands the importance of what we did.

“Marching in the parade, I felt, was an important first step towards the church here being able to value gay people.”

I know of many Taiwanese Latter-day Saints who love and support their LGBTQ brothers and sisters. Just as the New York Times recently called Taiwan a “beacon” for gays in Asia, I am hopeful the church here will become the same thing for Latter-day Saints in other Asian areas.

The night of the parade, I was forwarded a message from a non-LDS classmate: “A friend I was watching the parade with used to be Mormon but hasn’t been in a long time. When he saw your church members in the parade, he all-of-the-sudden had a very excited, warm feeling. He said he wants to go back to church and wanted to thank you guys for giving him that desire.”

I don’t know if the man from Douliu was watching that day. I hope he was. I hope I get the chance to tell him I’m sorry for not knowing how to love him ten years ago. But now I have a much better idea.

5 thoughts on “Gay Mormons March in Taipei Pride

  1. Hi Sam – thanks for your report on the Taipei Gay Pride Day. We have something else in common – I also served a mission in Taiwan a “few” years before you (1977-78) – only in southern Taiwan. I went back in 1996 and worked there for about seven months. There are gay Chinese Mormons who struggle just as we all do only their culture layers are different from our own here in the USA. Thank you for serving a mission to Taiwan and serving with Affirmation. Sending all the best regards. Robert D. Bell, Carmel, Indiana.

  2. I’m just curious. No hate here. I’m a straight Mormon but I’m a sinner because I like to fornicate with girls. I go to church still but I don’t take sacrament and I don’t participate in priesthood ordinances because I know I’m not worthy to. I’m unclean and I accept that and know that. I don’t try to change God’s laws and tell the church to make my sins ok. So with gay people they are fornication also. Even when legally married, God does not recognize that marriage so it’s still fornication, but God loves sinners and only wants us to repent and try to forsake the sin. We are all still welcome to come to church but just can’t participate in priesthood ordinances because we’re not worthy. Active Immorality is a serious sin unworthy of the priesthood. I don’t go around saying fornication pride and holding up signs trying to show support for other fornicators so why do gay Mormons think it’s ok to do that? What are you trying to accomplish? God can’t change his laws. Immorality is immorality So why are you proud to be immoral? I’m not proud to be immoral. I’m not trying to put the church down just because I’m a sinner, so why do gay people think they should? Being a sinner is never something to be proud of.

    1. Amen.
      What you have said is true even though the world would try to make good seem evil and evil good. It goes to show how the media in America, controlled by a few wealthy families have changed the world..for evil.

      I am a Mormon man, married to woman whom I love for 33 years, but I am also gay. It is hard because no support from world and no direct support from church. We are alone in our struggle and persecuted by the world. But at least right with God.

    2. I can understand what Cory and Mike are saying. I think what makes Affirmation unique is that we’re not prescriptive in how people should live their lives and navigate the difficulties faced in being at the crossroads of being LGBTQ+ and Mormon.

      I do think there’s a big difference between being able to marry, and having your marriage recognized by the church, someone you love and are sexually attracted to. For straight members, the difference between their relations being sinful and not is a marriage license. For gay and bisexual members, their relations as same-sex couples are always considered sinful, even if they legally marry.

      Affirmation welcomes and supports all, including those who choose to be in a mixed-orientation marriage and believe that’s the right path for them.

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