Where All the Stories Are LOVE Stories

One of My Heroes. From one of the greatest stories of LOVE.

One of My Heroes. From one of the greatest stories of LOVE.

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~Lao Tzu




As a storyteller, I’ve long understood the power of connecting ourselves with our heroes. Growing up I was able to put myself in the shoes of Anne of Green Gables, Laura Ingalls, Nephi, Indiana Jones, then, eventually Bridget Jones and even Walter Mitty. It’s the power of a story. No matter where we live or who we are, we have the imaginations that stretch us, pull us, and encourage us to aim higher, achieve more, relate, and envision a happy ending–even if we’re at the scary, unknown exposition.

Stories are universal. And a culture is made up of stories passed from one generation to the next. The foundation of the way we define our lives is expressed through stories told in movies, social media, news media, and books written at a given time in history. Over the last year, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is the right time in history to make a change in the stories we’ve passed on about the LGBT community.

The trend in our culture has been to portray our LGBT neighbors as misfits, always on the outskirts of normal society, often so eccentric that we are unable to relate. Rarely do you see a movie featuring gay couples sharing a simple kiss, holding hands, or looking at each other with expressions of everyday love– these simple actions are the foundation of everyone’s love story. They make art art and love love– your love and my love. My story, as a filmmaker, is to change this. To make a documentary film about these everyday, extraordinary stories that make us all the same.

I believe in people. I believe in the power of love. And I believe that the thing that connects us to each other, regardless of our differences, is our personal story. Our stories are our lives. They are fleeting. They are precious. They are worthy of being documented. And each one should be told and heard.

I’m reminded often, during this filmmaking process, of  the words of my hero from one of my favorite stories. Atticus Finch understood something during his time that many people did not,  “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Maybe that seems simplistic on a topic that has caused much heated discussion and debate, but for me, it’s truly come down to simple love, kindness, and acceptance of those who may at first appear different that I am.

If you feel so inclined, please, take a look at our kickstarter project, donate if you can, and share the link. Thank you.

First Gay Marriages in Utah

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The Book of Mormon Girl–the First 2 Chapters

I was lucky enough to get to spend some time with Joanna Brooks last Thursday. I photographed her with her book, and she kindly gave me a signed copy that was completely unexpected and sincerely sweet of her. She is just a good person. She is a smart person. She is a person that knows what to say and how to make people feel understood.
Since I have not actively participated in the Mormon church for the last little while (besides haphazard blogging with the Exponent), I had sort of forgotten that the world sees Mormons as a peculiar people. Most of those “peculiar” behaviors are no longer part of my life, but some of them are and always will be. However, with the past election, I was reminded of all the ways that “outsiders” look at my family and see their “peculiar” behavior. I vacillate between agreeing with the world (it’s just green tea people!), and wanting to explain some things more clearly when the world gets it wrong (no, there is no practice of polygamy in the church today).
I snuggled down this week to start reading the memoir. In the past year, I’ve only read one other book dealing with Mormonism and that was Elna Baker’s The New York Regional Singles Mormon Halloween Dance. After reading that, I had to call my good friend and have a long, frustrated, sad cry. I identified with the Elna’s story so exactly that it caused me to feel such loss and such remorse over distancing myself from my Mormon-ness and also extreme frustration that I was still awkward and unknowingly unsure about how to participate in the regular world outside of Mormon identification. I felt, quite honestly, that it would have either been easier to stay (which it most certainly would have been). I questioned why I put myself and my family and my friends through my disassociation and extreme doubt and rabid vocalization of my dissatisfaction. But that’s the thing with dissatisfaction, it’s hard to keep it quiet.
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Why I Am Not Married.

“I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.
― Gloria Steinem

People ask me a lot why I am not married. I try not to roll my eyes or get defensive. As a woman in this world, I think we internalize that question negatively. It seems to say “Why has no one ever offered to marry you so you wouldn’t be a spinster? What’s wrong with you.” Most women equate: “Why aren’t you married?” to really saying: “Why does no MAN want you?”  It’s a stupid question people, and we should really just stop asking it. Emily Post would agree with me.Other questions I get are: When will you get married? Or what do you have against marriage? Or why are you so cynical about love? Or why are you so picky? Or why aren’t you dating online? Or did you really leave your religion because of the pressure to get married?
What I usually say is, “It’s none of your business” or “I hate babies” (I know that’s not even a question they asked, and I really love babies a lot), but it throws them off track.  Truthfully, I feel that people do not want to hear my real answer. My real answer doesn’t even compute in the mind of my mother.
But here it is: My real answer is that I just can’t get married until the definition of what “marriage” means changes a little more in my favor.
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Jell-O Salad–Part I

My mind is open.

No, really, I’m open-minded. I’m a liberal, I recycle, I take reusable bags to the grocery store, I have long conversations in coffee shops about politics and never leave hating the person I had the conversation with….I am the one that is unfriended on Facebook when the discussions gets heated because others can’t handle my point of view, but I can certainly handle theirs!! (yes, I am patting myself on the back as I type this—which is not as easy as it might sound).  What could all of that mean if it does not mean being open-minded?

And then, by God, I realized that while these might be qualities I associate with being open-minded, I didn’t really have a clear definition of “Open-Mindedness”.

Logically, I turned to Webster: open-mindedness was clearly stated in five words–“Receptive to arguments or ideas.” Voila!  That very definition shouted my name! YOU ARE OPEN-MINDED! Applause! But, like a suspenseful episode of Fringe, I knew that the search could not end there. Who had these arguments or ideas that I was supposed to be receptive to?

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Pink & Blue

Pink & Blue

‘Pink & Blue’ needs you!

What is ‘Pink & Blue’?

It’s a coffee-shop conversation…that became a scribble on a napkin, that became a PSA-style short film project, using whimsy to promote gender equality at playtime. The miniature universe of kids’ toys is the setting we’re choosing to power a simple idea: It’s healthy for girls and boys to share EQUAL access to imagination during their developmental years – and beyond.

Although strides are being made in our culture, girls and boys often receive unequal messages from the adults around them, regarding expectations for their attitudes about themselves. These subtle messages can be as simple as the toys we give as gifts. ‘Pink & Blue’ allows the toys themselves, in a light-hearted way, to show the effects of gender segregation – and the joy of integration.
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