For almost two months, I’ve had people sending me emails, calling, and coming up to me at church. I usually know by their tone of voice, the sadness in their eyes, or the hesitant way they often start the conversation what they want to talk about. They are heartbroken, angry, or confused about the policy change regarding families headed by gay couples. These women don’t know want to do next. Maybe they are gay and have strong testimonies and are facing an impossible set of choices. Or they are worried about their LGBTQ family member. They feel betrayed by a church they love. They are furious and want their voices heard somehow. Some are grieving as they make the choice to leave.
I wish I could do more for these women besides listen, give them a hug, and offer to go on a walk so we can talk some more. I am carting around my own sadness and I lack wisdom to share, but I’ve given a lot of hugs and gone on a lot of walks. One ward member asked me What can I do? There seems to be no way for me to share my pain and anger with church leadership. Available communication feels extremely limited and inadequate for the emotional burden many women are carrying.
Exponent II is inviting you to go on a walk and talk about this. Here is a space for you to say what you want and need to say. Our spring 2016 issue will discuss the policy change and what it means for a variety of people: queer women, women with LGBTQ parents or kids, devout women who worry about the ramifications for their relationships, wise women who can give us some guidance. Tell us how this is affecting your life and what has changed for you. Essays should be 800-2800 words. The deadline is January 24. If you’re new to writing, we have very talented editors who will work with you to develop your story, so don’t be intimidated.
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich famously said that receiving Exponent II in the mail is like getting “a letter from an old friend.” Our great hope with this issue is that we can vicariously give you a hug and that our community will continue to stand as an inclusive, loving space for Mormon women to share their voices.