We have an anniversary to celebrate. We’ve been bringing you Out in Zion for over a year now. And we’re so glad and thankful you’ve come along with us. We’ve learned a lot about what you like…and about what we like. And we like stories. Lots of them. Complex and beautiful and entertaining and moving stories that show us new ways of seeing the intersection of sexuality, gender identity and the church. So we think it’s time to double down on that with a stream of ambitious new episodes full of stories mixed with expert insights. So here’s a sneak-peek…We’ll have moments of discovery… Moments of lives changed… Moments of shocking coincidence… And as always, we’ll give you ways to rethink the challenges we all face, no matter who we are…. And as you may or may not know – so far, this podcast has been produced by a team of volunteers – and financially supported by a single donor – covering the very basic costs – we’re talking web hosting costs and some recording equipment. And we’re grateful for that. But in order to produce this new kind of story-rich podcast, we have to change things up a bit by making this a listener-supported podcast. You know, like most other podcasts. And for that, we need you. At the top of this page you’ll see a donate button. Go ahead and click it and share whatever you can, to help make this podcast a reality. Even two dollars, once a month, like the costs of a drink at a gas station, will make a world of difference. So, thank you. And be sure to join us for the upcoming season of Out in Zion.

When changes to the Church’s Handbook of Instructions regarding same sex married couples and their children made headlines last November, it shocked a lot of people. Many – maybe even most – orthodox members have worked through it by following the Church’s official clarifications. But many faithful LGBT members and their loved ones are still in pain. Critics say it’s led to increased youth suicides, broken families, and mass resignations. Podcast regulars Erika Munson and Kendall Wilcox sort through the mix of emotions as they listen to eight intimate interviews with current and former members who span the range of reactions – from full acceptance to full outrage.


Music by Micah Dahl Anderson

How do we question the policies and leaders of the LDS Church in good faith? On January 10, 2016 President Nelson addressed young adults of the church in a worldwide broadcast. He discussed the process by which the Nov 5 Church Handbook of Instructions policy changes concerning same sex married members and their children came into existence. In his talk he explained that, “Revelation from the Lord to His servants is a sacred process. And so is your privilege of receiving personal revelation.” In this episode we attempt to delve deeper into how prayer and revelation work in the Church by sharing further details about how the policy changes came to be. Based on interviews with a number of people who were close to the circumstances, the picture that emerges – in our view – may be helpful to those seeking to better understand the process of continuing revelation.  Our discussion is not an attempt to challenge claims of divine authority, it is an attempt to faithfully question by expanding the details of the story that has been shared thus far.


Contributor Bios:  Berta, Kendall, Roni Jo, Erika 

Music by Micah Dahl Anderson

On October 25, 2016 the LDS Church launched a new website MORMONANDGAY.LDS.ORG or maybe more precisely revamped the previous “Mormons and Gays” site. This new site doesn’t alter church doctrine, which forbids same-sex relationships. But it offers a more welcoming message from Church leaders, highlighting the stories of gay and lesbian Mormons who have struggled to reconcile their sexual attractions with their faith, and directing Mormons to love gay, lesbian, and bisexual family and fellow church members. Neca Allgood leads a discussion with podcast regulars Laura Dulin, Kendall Wilcox, Berta Marquez and Jonathan Manwaring in an analysis of the new site and its potential impact on the lives of LGB Mormons and their loved ones.


Theme music by Micah Dahl Anderson

“You don’t have to have this figured out today or this year. This is really big for many of us. It involves so many pieces of ourselves and others. It takes time.” On this episode, podcast regular Lisa Hansen engages Jay Jacobsen in an intimate conversation about his essay, “Caught In the SSA/LGBT/Mormon Crossfire.” Lisa probes into Jay’s history, personal journey, and process of how he has come to make the conclusions he suggests in his essay on how to best navigate the treacherous waters of being LGBT and Mormon.


Theme music by Micah Dahl Anderson

At the 2016 Affirmation Leadership Retreat in Independence, Missouri, podcast regular Tom Christofferson sat down for a conversation with Darius Gray and Rod Olson. Recorded live in front of the retreat audience, Tom engaged Darius and Rod in a conversation about how to constructively participate in their Mormon congregations. They also share how they approach and endure the inevitable conflicts that come with being a minority in the LDS community. Darius is a founding member of The Genesis Group which represents black members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rod is an openly gay member of the LDS church.


Theme music by Micah Dahl Anderson

How are the religious and political debates about laws regulating the use of public restrooms impacting members of the transgender community? How does a transgender person process all the negative and misleading messages surrounding this very heated public issue?  And how does all of this impact transgender members’ ability to feel safe and welcome while attending their LDS wards each Sunday? Podcast regulars Ann Pack, Kyle Merkley, and Neca Allgood join Laura Dulin for a conversation and analysis of all these questions and more.


Theme music by Micah Dahl Anderson

Podcast regulars Berta Marquez and Kendall Wilcox take the conversation on the road to include local members of their community in Provo, UT. First they check-in with David and Christian, young gay Mormon intellectuals who have thought deeply about the counsel to identify themselves solely as “children of God” and how it impacts their ability to function as full, healthy individuals. Next Berta and Kendall stop by Susan’s home to hear from a Mormon artist, wife, and mother who struggles to hold her space in her LDS community while also reaching out with love and acceptance to her LGBT friends and loved ones. Finally, Berta and Kendall sit down with Celeste and Keisha, a newly married couple attempting to form a sense of community in their Provo neighborhood.


Theme music by Micah Dahl Anderson

Additional music: Zoe Keating, Solomon Grey, and Sylvan Esso

Common themes found in the narratives of lesbian and gay Mormons’ lives tend to be suffering, conflict, and the struggle to survive. But in part 2 of a 2-part series, podcast regular Roni Jo Draper is joined by Laura DulinTom Christofferson, Jay Jacobsen, and Kendall Wilcox to explore how gay and lesbian Mormons might also find ways to thrive. Not only do they explore the simple possibility of thriving but they also describe concrete things LGBT Mormons and their loved ones might do to cultivate a life of thriving.


Theme music by Micah Dahl Anderson

Often in the LDS community the common narrative we hear about LGBT Mormons is that of extreme hardship, suffering, and pain where the person struggles to find ways to survive. While that story is all too familiar to many, if not most LGBT Mormons at one time of their life or another, there is also the possibility of finding ways to thrive as an LGBT Mormon. In part 1 of a 2-part series, podcast regular Roni Jo Draper is joined by Laura Dulin and Tom Christofferson to begin to understand what it looks like for each of them to thrive in both of their unique life paths.


Theme music by Micah Dahl Anderson