Sometimes, out here on the Great Midwestern Prairie, I get lonely for the companionship of unabashedly gay-friendly Mormons. I can find a fair number of Mormons here. (There's about 30,000 of us here in Minnesota -- 5 stakes organized in the Twin Cities Metro Area.) And I can find plenty of gay-friendly folks here. (Minneapolis has made it onto the Advocate's list of "gayest cities in America" at least once.) But finding a sizable group of people at that intersection of gay-friendly and Mormon here in Minnesota, while getting steadily easier all the time, is still difficult.
That's why my husband and I are packing our bags tonight and heading out west to that fair city on the bay, to gather with other Latter-day Saints who are "circling the wagons" around their LGBT loved ones.
This letter and this response to it have helped remind me why we need conferences of Mormons who think it's important to circle wagons in this way.
But even if all were well in Zion, I'd still want to gather with folks who, over the years, through blogging, and Facebook, and through Sunstone and Affirmation, have become good friends.
Carol Lynn Pearson will be there. So will Bob Rees and Don Fletcher and Caitlyn Ryan and Kim Mack. I'm looking forward to finally meeting Mitch Mayne in person. I'll be speaking in the community voices segment, and look forward to co-facilitating a workshop on "What helps (and hurts) in resolving sexual, religious and social conflicts" with Hollie Hancock, a wonderful straight LDS ally I met for the first time in Utah a couple of weeks ago. The full program can be found here.
I hope to see some of you there!
The worst thing, I think, will be having to come back on Monday!!