Thank you for being a part of Affirmation

Hi. I’m Joel McDonald, director of operations for Affirmation.

With tomorrow being Thanksgiving here in the United States, it’s the start of the holiday season for many around the world.

In the spirit of the season and of Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment today to thank you for being a part of the Affirmation community.

Affirmation creates worldwide communities of safety, love, and hope, touching tens of thousands within the LGBTQIA Latter-day Saint community every year, with nearly 100,000 visitors to our website, over 20,000 connections on social media, and more than 10,000 members in our online groups.

Around the world, we’ve established regions and chapters to provide connections and support tailored to the needs of those communities.

You’re an important part of Affirmation. Whether you’ve become a member of Affirmation, serve as a volunteer leader, given a donation, presented at a conference or event, provide encouragement and support to those in need online, or subscribe to the Affirmation e-newsletter, you make the communities Affirmation creates and sustains possible.

You ensure that LGBTQIA Latter-say Saints have a place to land, heal, share, and be authentic as they explore their individual spirituality and relationship with the Church.

It’s been a unique and challenging year, but also one of growth for Affirmation as an organization and community. From revitalizing our mission and vision to creating a new strategic plan to guide our work for the next few years, to supporting our chapters in regions in staying connected online, to hosting our International Conference virtually, Affirmation has continued to focus on serving and supporting the LGBTQIA Latter-day Saint community and has done so in ways that have allowed individuals from around the world to connect and participate in Affirmation for the first time.

I believe we will be a stronger and more effective community of support for the lessons we’ve learned this year.

Even as I take this moment to be thankful for what Affirmation has accomplished this year and all those, like yourself, who made those accomplishments possible, I’m also all too aware that this has been a year of trial, illness, and mourning for so many within our community and beyond.

My heart aches for those who have suffered personal and family losses this year.

My continued thoughts and prayers are with you, as well as my hope that, with time, our hearts will find a measure of healing, and that, together, we’ll transition from this time of darkness back into light.

I hope that Affirmation has been a refuge for you, not only in navigating the challenges as an LGBTQIA current or former Latter-day Saint, family member, or friend, but also during this challenging year. We know that community is so important in times like these.

Thank you for making Affirmation possible as a part of our community. I wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.

Gracias, obrigado, and thank you.