Assuming some of you went to this, how was the LGBTQ & SSA Forum for BYU students, faculty, and staff?
Sorry, it’s totally my fault that this is so far over hours. A little while ago I sent an email to the editors to tell them off for letting a question about LGBT issues get posted without a SINGLE LGBT PERSPECTIVE, so they asked me to ask people about this one and I kind of dropped the ball.
I couldn’t personally attend the panel, but the two big takeaways I heard from the LGBT community that did go were:
- The panel was amazing progress from where BYU culture was even a few years ago.
- The panel didn’t create a lot of room to disrupt the “either you stay celibate or you leave” binary the LGB community often feels. To an extent, this is to be expected; it’s hard to ask a Church-affiliated venue to affirm paths that don’t conform perfectly to what the Church has taught. But the fact of the matter is, the Church-approved path is incredibly hard. Realizing that other paths can lead to genuine happiness and not just fake happiness is something a lot of LGBT Mormons cite as a turning point in their mental health; regardless of what they actually chose, having multiple healthy decisions modeled for them took a lot of the pressure and fear of failure off.
In general I would compare it to the Church’s recent joint conference with the NAACP: a significant first given past history, which should rightly be celebrated both for the fact that it happened and the amount of work people put into making it happen, but with a kind of milquetoast conclusion that didn’t address some important facets of the issue.