Don’t Forget About Us
Dear Mormon feminists,
I’m glad to see so many women happy about the latest changes to the temple endowment. I’m genuinely moved by how things have improved for cisgender, heterosexual, monogamous women. I mean that sincerely. You deserve to celebrate.
However, please keep in mind these changes do very little for your queer sisters and siblings. While you are celebrating, don’t forget your queer siblings are denied full-fellowship, temple recommends, sealings, baptisms for our children, and are still often excommunicated for our gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Please remember when you say these improvements are “gender improvements,” what has really improved is gender binary practices for cisgender, heterosexual women. “Gender improvements” should include queer, trans, non-binary and intersex folks. These changes do not address our marginalization. Improvements for cisgender, heterosexual women are not the same as “gender improvements.” Please use the word “gender” sensitively because it includes, or should include, more than cisgender, heterosexual women. Gender should include all of us. Feminism should include all of us.
I want to repeat, I’m happy for you if you are celebrating. I really am. I’m hoping these improvements trickle down to queer folks in time, but we need your help.
When you’re in the temple, don’t forget about those of us still waiting outside. When you are at church, don’t forget to speak up about queer inclusion. When you go to a baptism, remember how many of our children are denied the waters of baptism. When you do temple sealings with your spouse, remember we cannot do that with our spouse(s). Let these changes be a catalyst for further gender improvements for all of us. Don’t just speak up on the internet. Speak up at church, during ministering, in our homes, with your friends after a temple session, or with your bishop, so that more of us can worship with you.
Be happy. Celebrate. I honor that. Just don’t forget to honor the sisters that made this happen, and the queer folks who are still left behind.
Sincerely, a queer Mormon sister
Blaire Ostler is a philosopher and leading voice at the intersection of queer, Mormon, and transhumanist thought. She is a board member and former CEO of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, the world’s largest advocacy network for the ethical use of technology and religion to expand human abilities. She presents and writes on many forums and speaks at conferences promoting authentic Mormonism. Blaire holds a degree in design from the International Academy of Design and Technology-Seattle. She is currently pursuing a second degree in philosophy with an emphasis in gender studies.