Queer Mormon Women*: Family and Love and Family and Love
Guest post by Charmaine
Hi! I’m Charmaine and I’m a queer Mormon woman.
As 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.