Photo of John Gustav-Wrathall, Affirmation Executive Director

More About John Gustav-Wrathall

John Gustav-Wrathall is Executive Director of Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends. Though excommunicated from the LDS Church, John has a testimony, and has been active in his south Minneapolis ward since 2005.

John became an activist for greater understanding of LGBT people at the University of Minnesota in the late 1980s, and was instrumental in the establishment of one of the first university-based LGBT programs offices in the U.S. For three years he was a member of the Board of Lutherans Concerned Twin Cities (now Reconciling Works), coordinating their “Reconciled in Christ” project for the state of Minnesota, helping to build a movement of LGBT-friendly Lutheran congregations. He pioneered the establishment of an inter-faith LGBT ministry at the University of Minnesota. Over the years he has spoken in churches and community forums, on university campuses and in religious assemblies and conferences (including at the Sunstone Symposium and at Affirmation conferences) about the issues affecting LGBT people in communities of faith. He is the author of Take the Young Stranger by the Hand: Same-Sex Dynamics and the Young Men's Christian Association (University of Chicago Press, 1998). He has also published numerous articles in Sunstone and Dialogue on being gay and Mormon, and is the author of the Young Stranger blog. He was actively involved as a volunteer, trainer, and faith community leader in the campaign that successfully defeated Minnesota's Amendment 1, which would have constitutionally banned same-sex marriage in his home state. He organized Minnesota Mormons United for All Families, and the “Mormon Allies” contingent of the Twin Cities Pride parade in 2012 and 2013.

John served as the Minnesota contact for Affirmation starting in the fall of 2005, spoke at Affirmation conferences in 2006 and 2011, and was part of the conference planning committee for the 2012 Affirmation conference in Seattle. He served as Senior Vice President of Affirmation, 2013-2014, served on the Affirmation Board in 2015, and then served as President of Affirmation in 2016 and the first half of 2017, during the tumultuous months following the promulgation of the November 2015 LDS policy on gay families. In June of that year, he resigned as president in order to apply for the position of Executive Director, and has been working in that role since August 2017.

He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his husband of over twenty-five years, to whom he was legally married in Riverside, California in July 2008.

John Gustav-Wrathall

Executive Director

John has been an activist for the greater understanding of LGBT people since the last 1980s, specifically focusing on LGBT communities of faith. John served as the Minnesota contact for Affirmation starting in 2005, and has spoken at Affirmation conferences, served as Senior Vice President, served on the Affirmation Board, and then served as President of Affirmation prior to being hired as Executive Director in August 2017.

Joel McDonald

English Online Content Manager

Joel brings to Affirmation an impressive background in web design, web, and social media management, and with significant community organizing and fundraising experience under his belt. Joel is a longtime board member of LGBT Democrats of Virginia, an elected member and vice chair of the School Board of the City of Virginia Beach, and continues to operate a small web services firm.

David Mans

Spanish Online Content Manager

David has an entrepreneurial background, running many small businesses, studying business management, and working as a freelancer providing programming and web development services. He found that working from behind a computer was helpful as he transitioned.

Luiz Correa

Portuguese Online Content Manager

Luiz became a member of Affirmation in 2015 following the release of the November 2015 Policy. He is currently the Vice President of Affirmation Brazil. He has been a member of the church for 32 years, served a Brazil Brasilia mission, was married in the São Paulo temple, and has two daughters.