In this third Dialogue podcast, Morris Thurston, Dialogue’s board president-elect, interviews Dr. Robert Rees, former Dialogue Editor, and Dr. Caitlin Ryan. Professor Rees teaches Mormon Studies at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Dr. Ryan, a pioneer in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (“LGBT”) health studies and clinical work, is Director of the Family Acceptance Project at SF State University, a world-renown community research, intervention, education and policy initiative. Together Drs. Ryan and Rees have authored an important training brochure titled “Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Latter-day Saint Families with LGBT Children.” Read about it here.
Thurston discusses both Rees’s and Ryan’s backgrounds in researching LGBT issues and their personal experiences ministering to the LGBT community and their families. As Morris Thurston explains “Through the years, and particularly in the wake of Proposition 8, there has been much misunderstanding of issues pertaining our gay and lesbian brothers, sisters and children. All of us know such individuals, many of whom have been stalwart Church members in their younger years, some of whom still are. The sad truth, however, is that many of our young people feel rejected and marginalized by the anti-gay rhetoric that tends to come to the fore in hotly contested political campaigns. The result has been, in some instances, alienation of youth from their families and Church friends, drug addiction, homelessness and, in some instances, suicide.”
This podcast seeks to further continuing dialogue between LDS families and Church leaders on issues relating to sexual orientation and same-gender identity and attraction.