Queer Mormon Women*: Family and Love and Family and Love

Guest post by Charmaine

This is a post that is a part of the Queer Mormon Women* series.  Click HERE to see all the posts to date.  Please be sure to read Charmaine’s previous post here

Hi! I’m Charmaine and I’m a queer Mormon woman.

 

exAs a bisexual woman in a heteronormative relationship, it’s easy for me to hide my queerness. I don’t do so intentionally, it just doesn’t come up that often. When I’m directly asked, I usually tell people I’m bisexual or I’m in the middle range on the Kinsey scale. I think my family members know, but we don’t talk about it very much – maybe only once or twice ever. My partner knows and I think all my closest friends know. My ex-husband knows. I don’t know if my kids know, they’re 9 and 6 and while I don’t hide it from them, I think the most I’ve ever said about my sexuality is that I like everyone.

 

I come from a very staunch Mormon family. Growing up, we never left meetings before the closing prayer was said, none of us dated before we were 16, all the men in the family have served missions, and all of my parent’s kids have gotten married in the temple and worked hard to multiply and replenish the earth. So, I’m kind of the black sheep in the family. Truth be told, even when I was a “good”girl, I was still difficult. But now I joke with them that I’m the rainbow-tie-dyed sheep of the family. And we all still love each other and see each other as often as possible. In fact, 3 of my parent’s 5 kids (including me) still live in the same city we grew up in. We get together several times a month for Sunday dinners, birthdays, or just because we genuinely like each other. But I know – I think we all know – there are certain subjects we don’t discuss as a big group – like politics and religion. We all used to agree and believe alike. And now I don’t. I’m the odd one out. So we don’t discuss religion and anything pertaining to it. I know my leaving the faith is hard for all of them though, and I feel like I’ve put them through enough, so we definitely don’t talk about my queerness. That’s why deciding to participate in this has been a hard decision, but being an openly bisexual woman isn’t easy.

 

I openly support equal rights and especially the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals, couples, and families. But supporting as an ally isn’t entirely authentic. I’m the B in that equation and it’s not always easy. It was hard for my ex husband to consider that he had to compete with women for me – he was lacking in certain areas and couldn’t offer me what a woman could. In my relationship now, those same situations come up from time to time. I won’t pretend to understand what my partners are feeling or thinking though. I only think the time has come for me to state openly and unequivocally, I am a queer woman.

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9 Responses

  1. Jaime says:

    Charmaine,

    We met only once at church, and I knew and I didn’t care. Still don’t. I still believe you are an amazing and strong, beautiful woman. That, believe it or not, is adored by your family.

    My son’s father is gay, and happily married to his partner. It was hard for me to understand, at first, but we are literly best friends still to this day. There is one thing, I KNOW for sure, God loves you and it will all be clear and just fine in the end. We don’t understand the big picture. But if what we are taught is true, we are gonna be all in heaven. 😉

    The only thing I have an opinion about, is I hate when people tie the word Queer to our LGBT community. Why? Because you are not weird, odd, bizarre or eccentric because you happen to love who you love. God gave us the gift and ability to love, so you keep on keeping on. I admire you being true to yourself.

    Hugs lady!! Thanks for sharing

    • I have no problem with “queer” and many people own that word and identify with it. I personally would prefer to to be queer – it’s like peculiar and I know another group of people who enjoy the use of that label. Thank you so much for your words Jaime. I appreciate your love and support!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Well I still love you xoxo and just so you know I always liked you better than your ex husband hehehe….

  3. Liz says:

    I love this – I love how you’re open and proud about who you are! Thank you for both of your posts!

  4. Emily U says:

    “I’m Charmaine and I’m a queer Mormon woman.”
    I’m so glad you chose to say that here at The Exponent, among other places. I relate to needing to shelve certain topics to maintain family relationships, and to the fact of not getting everything we need or want from our chosen spouse or partner, I think those things are part of life for everyone to some extent. And that’s OK.

  5. EmilyCC says:

    Charmaine, beautiful words once again. I appreciate that you point out the privilege of a bisexual while also acknowledging how it can be difficult in relationships. I learned so much. Thank you.

  6. I am happy for you because you have found ways to maintain close relationships with your siblings in spite of differences. I have lots of differences with my siblings, too, and there are some things that just don’t work well to discuss with them, but I am very grateful that we remain close anyway.

  1. February 19, 2015

    […] Guest post by Charmaine Please be sure to read Charmaine’s previous post here. Hi! I’m Charmaine and I’m a …read more       […]

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