Transcending Mormonism: Transgender Experiences in the LDS Church


Dialogue 56.1 (Spring 2023): 27–55
Enjoy an interview about this piece here.

Desiring to better understand how people are navigating these complex identity negotiations, I interviewed seven trans and/or gender nonconforming Mormons between eighteen and forty-four years old living in various regions of the United States as part of my graduate studies at Sarah Lawrence College in New York

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Sodom and Gomorrah

Listen to the interview about this piece here. Listen to the audio version of this piece here. A man stands naked on the rubber of a checkout counter’s clnveyer belt, face smeared with something red.…

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Personal Voices

How a Mormon Ended Up at Union Theological Seminary: A Step Toward Racial Justice and a Better Church

Dialogue 56.1 (Spring 2023): 7–50
In the decade since I made that decision, a lot has happened that ultimately reoriented me back to the academy and to theological studies in particular. First, the job I took after graduating from Brigham Young University took me to Boston, Massachusetts. I immediately noticed a refreshing difference between the congregations I attended in Utah and congregations in Boston. These were the most educated people I had ever worshiped with in my adult life, and it was the safest I had ever felt being my authentic self at church.

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On Tradition and a Nonbinary Revolution

Dialogue 56.1 (Spring 2023): 83–89

A couple months earlier, I had written to a friend back in Utah. It was June and she was celebrating Pride. I asked her to send me something. I’d been feeling terribly lonely in the missionary culture and wanted a physical reminder that there were others like me out in the world. She mentioned pronoun pins, and in a moment of rash decision I asked for “they/them” as well as “she/her.” Why not? I guess I thought, what harm could it do?

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Judging Israel

Listen to an interview about this piece here. We sat around a long rectangular table in the local church building. It was tapered at one end, almost trapezoidal. Five men lined each of the long…

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O Magnum Mysterium

I’ve heard many women say that the day their child was born was the best day of their life, but it was the worst day of mine. After laboring for nearly forty hours, my body…

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The Garden I Know

Listen the Out Loud version of this poem here. In his artistic agony,diamond drops of bloodcovered Christ’s chiseled body,sacred sweat shimmeredin the light of the Passover moon.The Son of God, an altarpiece,in serene pain and…

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Portrait of Agnes

Listen the Out Loud version of this poem here. Stern little lady,ancestor in an oval frame,I like the way your shoulders slopeand your fingers dangleover the book and the carpetbag skirt.I like the way your…

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Cemetery Walk

Listen the Out Loud version of this poem here. It was somewhere around here, I think.Where they buried that baby,yeah, the one I told you about.No, not by the pioneer obelisksa wife for each sidefresh…

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anamnesis: confronting God in the flesh

Listen the Out Loud version of this poem here. 1. a patient’s accountof medical history,a reiteration of conditionscontracted by mortality,a form of proud flesh’sgranulation over a wound,a raised tissue massdelineating impact to sayhere is pain,…

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Osmond Ward Chapel, Now Demolished

Sometimes from the thresholdof these doorswe are greeted by another self,another worldwe wish to worship, incarnationthe tithe we offerfor such a crossing: we, seeking the divine,the divine leaning toward us,fading coal of memory igniting into…

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My Body in the Temple

Listen the Out Loud version of this poem here. Halfway through the session, I become awareof a full bladder and nothing else.All that is holy is eclipsedby flesh. I pant in claustrophobiabetween the lady who…

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Rethinking Revelation

When I was about twelve, yet another retelling of the Cinderella story was released into theatres in a magic-free but nonetheless magical version called Ever After. One of my favorite scenes in this film involves…

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