Shortly after asking my parents to read the book, they were on speakerphone together with me (as they do). My dad was joking/not-joking about being uncomfortable reading about lesbians and my mom asked "Why did you write this book?" Not in mean, discouraging way, but a bit baffled why a young lesbian identity and faith crisis was a topic that I cared enough about to spend a good chunk of my spare time writing. My answer, in short:
I read this report a few years ago about the number of teen suicides in Utah pretty much directly linked to them being gay and LDS. I'd heard plenty of criticism of the Church about homosexuality with Prop 8 and the fight for marriage equality across the country, but it had never occurred to me how the experience of gay Mormons is so so so challenging. I felt devastated at the report and couldn't stop thinking about it. What if I were gay? What if I had to figure out how I could know the Church was true but the Church was telling me something fundamental about me was off? Not just off, bad. There's a story there, about the people who face this challenge and I felt prompted to tell it.
Here's the report analysis, it's got all sorts of graphs and charts and statistical analyses.
ReligionNews did a digestible breakdown (one of several that came out about this time). Here are several key points:
I'll just repeat and bold that last part:
"...the research “is not intended to condemn. Rather, it is presented to contribute to the conversation on this important topic that literally has life-and-death implications."
This is why.