Y me dolió (And it hurt me)

By Anya Tinajero Vega
Co-founder of Mormonas Feministas. Convert of 19 years. Inquisitor, eternal student and daughter and granddaughter of exceptional women. To question is to live.  (English translation included below the Spanish text.)

Por Anya Tinajero Vega
Co-fundadora del Grupo Mormonas Feministas. Conversa a los 19 años. Preguntona, eterna estudiante e hija y nieta de mujeres excepcionales. Cuestionar es vivir.

¿Alguna vez se han preguntado cuántas veces ejercieron violencia (de todos tipos) hacia otra mujer (sin importar la edad) en la iglesia? ¿Cuántas veces vimos mal a una hermana por no llevar falda los domingos o por no querer aprender a cocinar/coser/bordar?

Esta vez quiero hablar de mí, de cómo es que después de años me encuentro escribiendo esto, de cómo desperté. Hablo de un “despertar” o de un “hasta que duele”. Me explico, yo hasta hace unos meses no me definía como feminista, tenía esa visión que predomina: que eran unas locas exageradas, odia hombres (seguramente lesbianas), amargadas, etc. Entonces un día me tocó y me dolió.

Por cosas del trabajo conocí a una organización que promueve los derechos sexuales y reproductivos de las mujeres, me hice su amiga y empecé a aprender sobre el tema. Pasaron algunos meses, hasta que la mamá de una amiga de la iglesia fue brutalmente golpeada. Entonces me enfrenté cara a cara con la violencia hacia la mujer. Lo más triste fue que cuando pedimos ayuda en la iglesia existieron muchos comentarios, pero el que más recuerdo fue: “pues es que ella estaba haciendo cosas no muy correctas, es su consecuencia”. Eso, lo dijo una mujer. No pude más que bajar la cabeza, sentir tristeza y coraje.

Read More

Birth/Rebirth: Becoming a LGBT Ally

salsaJanuary to April of 2012 was rough.

My co-editor, Aimee, and I were compiling Exponent II’s LGBTQ-themed Spring issue. It was heart-breaking. These stories, more than we could publish, kept me up at night. As I witnessed pain, loneliness, and helplessness in so many narratives, I also felt alone.

I tried to tell friends, including a current Young Women’s president.

“You know,” I said, “as I put this issue together, three of my former Young Women have told me they are gay. I didn’t have a clue that any of my Young Women were lesbians when I taught them and I wonder how I could have been more supportive had I known.”

My friend stared at me blankly and said, “Oh, that’s not a problem in our ward, though.”

Read More

Answers to Prayer, Sometimes

by Jessawhy

Often, I want to write about my latest doctrinal question, or the most disturbing affront to feminism I witnessed in my ward last week. But today I want to talk about occasional answers to prayers.
I don’t pray as much or as long as I used to. Prayer is harder for me because so many of my questions go unanswered.
However, sometimes I get answers to prayers and that’s a much bigger deal to me now than it ever has been.

And because I imagine some of you feel like I do, I want to make this thread a place where you can share if you have had an answer to prayer despite significant questions or angst.
For those of us who get small or big answers, frequently or infrequently, it’s nice to have someone who really understands what that means. EmilyCC called me the other day to tell me about a small but special spiritual experience she had during a rough day. I was so grateful for her story that reminded me how important it is to have someone who can recognize the blessings within the struggles. Also, my choosing to notice these answers as blessings and tell them to others is an indication that I do want to improve my relationship with God.

So here are a few. Some of these are obviously silly, insignificant things, but sometimes those are good to notice.

1. Lost I
One Sunday I was wearing a dress that has a ribbon around the waist, I ran around all morning looking for the *!%*# ribbon. The dress does NOT look good without the accent ribbon, and I didn’t have time to change. “Please, God, help me find the ribbon.”
Ta Da! There it is. And I told my Primary children God answered my prayer that morning.

2. Lost II
Another lost item, a library DVD. We looked for 2 straight days and eventually found it. (not immediately after the prayer, but I am so grateful I don’t owe the library $15, I will attribute it to God, or perhaps a heavenly media power)

On a more serious note. . .
3. Damming the Pain
My close friend’s baby died a month ago and it has been really rough on me. I find myself crying at random times during the day and thinking about it at night.
One night while praying with my husband and asking God to bless her and her family with peace, I felt the familiar wave of grief coming on (usually accompanied by tears). But this time, right before the melt-down, I felt something different. It was like a dam stopped the wave. It wasn’t there, the pain and tears didn’t come.
It was really amazing. And I have a hope that God is helping her by damming the pain occasionally as well.

4. Health and Well-Being
My two oldest sons have severe hemophilia, and we’ve always prayed for their health, and they’ve always been healthy. Thanks to advanced treatment, and God, neither of our boys has had a bleed in years. It’s really miraculous that they lead such normal, healthy lives.

My struggle with understanding God, the gospel, the church, and my place in it is still very difficult for me. But, I can only feel frustration and angst for so many hours of the day. Looking for the blessings and answers to prayers is a way that I try to make peace with my struggle.
It also shows God that I’m doing my part and maybe in the future, I’ll receive more answers to some of my deeper questions.

Read More