This podcast episode is timed to coincide with recent activism among many faithful straight, gay, and allied Latter-day Saints who marched and will march in recent and upcoming PRIDE parades and who are becoming increasingly visible in raising awareness of the hurts and suffering among the LGBT population and the importance for Mormons–leaders as well as all of us in our own wards and stakes–to engage in even more earnest efforts to educate about LGBT issues and to support families and communities in ways that will allow every person to know of God’s (and our) love for them and to feel supported in coming closer to Christ. It is also timed just a few weeks after the release of an important new resource for LDS families with LGBT children, a booklet titled Supportive Families, Healthy Children by Drs. Caitlyn Ryan and Robert A. Rees.
In this episode, Mitch Mayne, an openly gay Latter-day Saint man who is serving as executive secretary in his San Francisco area ward, and Dr. Caitlin Ryan, co-director of the Family Acceptance Project (affiliated with San Francisco State University) and co-author of the above-mentioned booklet, share key insights from their work with the Latter-day Saint community and the Family Acceptance Project’s research into the ways that family support or rejection affects the health and flourishing of LGBT persons. They discuss Mormonism’s good foundations for family support and talk about ways LDS families can always show their love for their LGBT family members even as they may still be hesitant to embrace the idea that homosexuality is part of that person’s true identity. As Dr. Ryan discusses several times in the podcast, even just eliminating “rejecting” behaviors (as opposed to also exhibiting “accepting” ones) can go a long way toward helping avoid the devastating consequences that befall so many homosexual persons (suicide and suicide attempts, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, increased risk of HIV infection, etc.).
This is an important discussion that not only educates (there is SO much more to sexual orientation than who it is someone is sexually attracted to) but also inspires. It is deliberately framed to be a resource to be shared with others as even an early introduction to these issues as they play out in LDS contexts, as well as to direct people to good resources for Mormon families and friends and allies of LGBT persons, as well as alerting all to the broad work and stunning findings made available through the Family Acceptance Project.
Please listen and share your comments below!
Family Acceptance Project, San Francisco State University.
Besides all the wonderful research you can access and learn from, from this site in the publications section you can also download or order copies of the booklet, Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Latter-day Saint Families with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Children. And when there, please support the project with a donation!
Family Fellowship–An association of Latter-day Saints striving to help strengthen families with homosexual members.