Katherine Moennig partner

[Table] IAmA lesbian teen who was kicked out at sixteen by her parents and excommunicated by the LDS church. AMA

2012.03.27 01:09 tabledresser [Table] IAmA lesbian teen who was kicked out at sixteen by her parents and excommunicated by the LDS church. AMA

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Date: 2012-03-26
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How old are you now? Did you leave all your family? Friends? How did you start over? I'm twenty now. I haven't spoken to my parents sense they kicked me out. I stayed with friends until my grandparents(who aren't mormon) took me in. It was rough, for a long time. I had trouble trusting my grandparents but eventually I realized they actually did love and accept me for who I was. They are paying for my college, and I was able to move in with some people I met through school.
Which grandparents, your mom's or your dad's? How has their relationship with your parents changed? Did your parents take it as a big "fuck you" from your grandparents when they took you in? It was my dads patents and once I told my grandparents what had happened they called my parents and I guess really lit onto them. So yeah I think my parents did take it as a kind of "fuck you" but it was my grandparents who found me I didnt call them. I had a hard time trusting them at first I didnt tell them what happened, I was afraid they would react the same way my parents did.
I hope your grandparents disowned their kids (your mom)... dose of their own medicine and all... I guess you could say they did.
Was one of your parents converted into Mormonism through marriage? What religion do your grandparents practice if any? My parents both converted at the same time. My mom read the BoM and decided it was true and my dad fallowed her lead. My grandparents aren't really religious but they do attend a local Christian church somewhat regularly.
How do your grandparents feel about the way your parents treated you? They were not happy about it. My grandparents called my parents after I finally told them what happened and really gave them an earful. I'll always remember what my grandfather told me after I told him everything, he said that I hadn't failed my parents my parents had failed me. I'm going to remember that conversation for the rest of my life.
Please, tell us more about the actual "kicking out" moment. Was it stormy? Did they first suggest you to go to camps to 'cure' (or wtf they call it) your homosexuality? What happened? My mom didn't kick me out right away. The next day she told the bishop about what she discovered. I had considered formal reparative therapy earlier in my life, but didn't go. At this point I had had a relationship with another girl so I had acted on the (as they call it)'same-sex attraction' I was feeling. That the sin part of it. I could have repented and gone to reparative therapy and the repentance process but I told the bishop that I didn't do anything wrong, and that's when they excommunicated me. When I got home that night my mom started yelling at me. My dad didn't say much. My mom told me that I was 'lost' in the world, that I had lost sight of what really mattered. She told me I wasn't the daughter she had raised and told me to get my things and get out.
Have you parents tried to reconcile with you? Would you ever accept an apology? I've tried to contact them several times but no luck. I left messages on their phones, but they never call me back. I gave up eventually, But they know have my number and they know I'm still close to the rest of my family. Sometimes it's really hard to say if I would accept an apology at this point, it's been four years, and a lot of pain. But if they actually called or showed up at my door, yes, I probably would accept their apology.
You're ten times more Christian than they will ever be. I'm actually an atheist.
you're. Your* You're = you are, your = your. WHY DO YOU NOT KNOW THIS?!?!?! RRRAAAAGEEE!!!! Yes I do know that. Made a mistake. Calm down. Everything will be okay.
So, probably not voting for Romney? No, pretty much no way in hell. That has nothing to do with his faith though.
How do magnets work? Mother fucking miracles.
Isn't it illegal for parents to kick out a child before they're eighteen? Yes it is. But that doesn't stop a lot of parents. A lot of these situations where lgbt kids get kicked out of their home they have no place to go and end up going to shelters. I had friends I stayed with until my grandparents took me in.
Yeah, but think about all the other lgbt kids whose parents are thinking about putting them on the streets. If those parents see other parents being kicked in the ass financially years later, then they might think twice. I'm still holding out a little bit of hope(and maybe I shouldn't be) that my parents will see the error of their ways and decide they want me back in their lives. I'm not going to be the one to burn that bridge.
Now there is a part of me that doesn't want that. But that part of me wants my parents to stay far the fuck away from me. That part of me wants nothing to do with my parents at all.
Also, parents who only allow their kid to stay in their house because it's the law and they don't want to be sued later are most likely terribly abusive(if not physically than defiantly emotionally).
How do you view religion in general? I'm an atheist myself. I do have a lot of anger directed toward the mormon church after the things they put me through and I see the same things happening in other religions. But I recognize that there are churches' out there helping people and churches that accept lgbt individuals. So my views of religion in general aren't great, because I see more damage being caused by religion than good. But I don't deny there are a few churches doing good work out there.
Why would you harbor bad feelings against a church who is simply enforcing what they view to be the truth? You may not agree with them, or you may not like the way it makes you feel, but you can't fault the LDS church for expecting it's MEMBERS to live by the tenets of the faith. The church made me feel like I was wrong. It doesnt matter if they think its truth or not but they really messed me up. The way they made me feel about myself, well, no one should be made to feel so bad they think the only way out is suicide. Thats where I was, and yes I'm angry. I may not be forever but I dont think my feelings are unjustfied and even if they are I shouldn't have to justify them. There my feelings and their just as valid as anyones.
What are your grandparent's relationship like towards your parents? Do you have big family gatherings? And what's your relationship like with your brother? We still have family gatherings however my parents don't come. From my understanding my grandparents gave my parents and earful when they found out what happened and my grandparents where angry because the felt the where justified in what they did. I still talk to my brother, we email and I visit him and my nephews. He still has a good relationship with my parents and he tells me how they are doing.
What are you studying now? Whereabouts are you located? Future plans? :P. I'm living in Colorado and studying psychology. I'm currently in a relationship and we're living together with a few roommates. I'm thinking about becoming a teacher and hopefully going on to grad school. I'd like to be a sex therapist.
Out of curiosity what does a sex therapist do? Sex therapists can help people in who have some kind of sexual dysfunction(premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, low libido, painful sex, or a lack of sexual confidence) They also help people recovering from sexual abuse. They can also help people embrace their sexual fetishes(as long as their moral) although some sex therapist who are sex-negitive will try and cure people fetishes(even if their totally normal).
Interesting! So would you also help people like my grandparents- hip replacement figure out how to safely have sex without hurting themselves? Why see a sex therapist for sex abuse? Just wondering, how this would be more helpful than a regular counselor. How much biology/anatomy & physiology do you need? I know things like diabetes, thyroid disorders, and other such diseases can cause ED, and then there are things like cervical cancer- would a sex therapist be able to get them tested for these disease or just have to refer them to a gp? I'm not exactly sure about all the detail on what I need for my degree, I don't even have my BA done. Sorry. Sex therapist help people who where abuse by helping them relate to sex positively. It's normally very hard for someone who is raped(for example) to get back to a normal place where they can have sex with their partners. That's really where they help the most.
Well even the vagueness is cool. I've always been interested in sex therapy it just sounds so out there. Yes, it depends on the therapist. There are a lot of sex negative therapist out there, So when some people seek it out they have trouble finding one. I'm hoping to add to the short list of sex positive therapists out there.
Did you attend the "Court of Love" for your excommunication, or did you just find out later you were excommunicated? I attend a court of love. Basically a bunch of guys twice my age asking me thing they had no right to know about. Very violating experience.
That took courage to stand up when there was no one there to support you emotionally and factually. Merely saying congratulations for surviving a trauma like this is weak but it is all I can offer. I have to say at the time I didn't feel very strong. But I got though it, not by myself of course, no one gets through this life alone. I survived because of some amazing people who really stepped up for me, gave me support, some of which where total strangers. The mormon church taught me that the world was a cold dark evil place and the only refuge was the church but that's not true at all. I found more love and support outside the church than inside the church. I ramble sorry, but I wanted to thank you for your kind words. They actually do mean a lot.
Jesus was supposed to have been pretty big on the whole loving and accepting everyone, let those without sin cast the first stone type thing. How did your parents justify with their religion that throwing you out and ignoring you was okay? I don't know how they justified it. You'd have to ask them. How do you justify throwing your sixteen year old daughter out on the streets regardless of religion? Truth is, you don't have to be religious to be a bigot. People just use religion to justify their bigotry. My parents chose their bigotry over me.
Do you ever think you can forgive your parents? Or have you already? Anyways, sending my strength to you. I cannot imagine what that must have been like...I know internet love/little text on a screen doesn't do much, but I mean it. You are strong and amazing. I haven't talked to them sense this happened, but I have tried calling. I've left messages but they never call back or answer. I think I would be able to, but the balls in their court. If I get a call from them and they say "we're sorry" I think I might eventually be able to truly forgive them. But I would need a lot of time if that happened, because to be honest part of me has already accepted as a fact that I'm never going to talk to them again and they made their choice. They decided that their bigotry was more valuable than their daughter. And that really really really hurts.
Do you think/hope that in 20 some years time, maybe people won't be so conservative and idiotic and being homosexual won't be thought of as such a "taboo" thing by the majority of the world? Yes. It's been getting better everywhere for lgbt individuals, but the problems lie in those small, conservative, religious towns. There are so many kids struggling there and not knowing how to tell their parents and who's parents would react the same way mine did if they come out. Now that I'm away from that small town, I realize that most people don't care that I'm gay and that I can have a normal life.(I'm not saying I don't run across a knuckle-dragging-biggot every so often) but these people are pretty much in the minority. Gay marriage is polling at more than 50%. We're winning, but there are all those small towns, even with all the progress thats being made, lgbt kids feel so alone and just scared shitless. It's those small towns I worry about, because I'm not so sure even in twenty years after we've all gotten over the fact that lgbt people exist those small towns will get any better.
Have you ever had suicidal thoughts or tendencies? Yes. I was convinced that I was better off dead than gay. I thought about suicide a lot and had even attempted to kill myself at one point. That was all before my parents kicked me out. I still had suicidal thoughts after that, when I was living at a friends house, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do. If you've ever heard of the trevor project they pretty much helped me through that time. I had also been cutting myself to help cope with everything I was going through.
You say your parents and brother are the only members of your family to be mormon. how did they become mormon? I'm an atheist-leaning agnostic, and i generally consider religion a neutral force, though not benign. it can do great good for people, but it can also cause great harm. depends on how you use it. mormons though, to me, seem particularly cultish (and by default quite closed-minded), and imo likely effect more negativity in the world that they do positive action. would you call mormonism a cult? My mom read The Book of Mormon and decided she believed it and my parents converted I converted shortly afterward. I was 11. My brother, who had already moved out then converted and got married to a girl he met at church. Before we joined the church my family was still pretty devout Christians. I'm not sure if I would consider the mormon church a cult, just because I'm too PC. If I wasn't so PC I might just because it's very hard to get out of, and it's very easy to get sucked into. Being mormon is like living in a bubble. You stop interacting with people who aren't mormon because the church warns against that and soon you realize your entire support network is totally dependent on the church. It makes it hard to leave, and if they decide to kick you out you loose all(or at least) most of your support.
How do you live,eat,sleep now?Do you still go to school? I'm twenty now. I'm in college and I live with my partner and a few roommates. When I was first kicked out I lived with a friend and then my grandparents took me in.
So your friends is cool with you?And how did your grandparents respond? I had one friend at the time who I had confided in. She was cool with it but all the 'friends' I had from church weren't. I had a lot of trouble trusting my grandparents after the whole thing went down with my parents. I was depressed and didn't talk to them(or anyone) at all. My grandparents didn't know exactly what happened to me and they didn't push too hard to make me talk. My grandfather got through to me though. Basically he told me that there was nothing I could have done that was so terrible that he would stop loving me. That's when I told him what had happened and told him that I was gay. He told me I had nothing to be ashamed of and that I wasn't the one who failed my parents but my parents had failed me. It was actually really good to hear that, I felt like it validated the anger(and there was, and still kind of is, a lot of it)
How does your grandfathegrandmother (whichever one is the biological parent of either your mother or father) feel about the situation? Personally, I'd be sick to my stomach if my kid turned out the way your parents did. These grandparents are my dad's parents. They where angry with my parents, still are I think. My brother told me that my grandparents had called our parents and gave them an earful. My parents felt like I went behind their back. But my grandparents got to see the pain first hand. When I first moved in with them I didn't talk to them at all. I had a hard time trusting them, but they came through for me.
So, how are you holding up now? What are you studying? Do you have a job? How are friends? Also, when did you realize that you were a lesbian? Did your parents ever get angry that you moved in with your grandparents? I'm doing fine now. I'm studying psychology. I do have a job, I've had a few over the years, but I currently work at a sex store. I guess I've always kind of knew I was different but I really didn't know what that meant for a long time. I started to understand that I was attracted to girls when I was around thirteen, I had a crush on this girl in my church. It's kind of hard to explain really. But that's the best I can do. I don't know how my parents felt about me moving in with my grandparents. Most of the rest of my family is very loving and accepting. My parents and my brother(and his family) are the only mormons in my family. They(my parents) don't really have too much to do with each other(the rest of the family) anymore.
Shaved, trimmed, or Dave Mustaine? Yes.
How commited were you to your faith when you lived with you parents? Very. I really believed that the church was true. So when I stated to realize the reason I felt different was because I was gay, I really wanted to change it. I was really frustrated because I couldn't. Eventually I just gave up. I thought about coming out to my parents but I didn't know how. Eventually I just decided that I would try and hide it as best I could until I figured out how to tell them. Then I was outed.
How did you meet your girlfriend? I want to hear your love story! I actually met her at a church camp. She was the first girl I was ever with and the reason why I was excommunicated because its acting on the homosexual feelings is the sin. We lost contact for a little while but we ended up running into each other. And now we're togeather.
Oh she's your current partner? Awww that's actually really sweet, this detail got buried too much, it's kind of sort of a happy ending-ish to the whole thing! Even if it's still tragic how your parents reacted. This would make a really good it gets better story, I guess. Life has gotten a lot better for me. And I do have some great friends and family(parents excluded) who treat me with the love and respects I, and everyone else, deserves.
Are you from Utah? Do you have any siblings? If so do you have contact with them? No I'm not from Utah. I have one brother. And I'm still in contact with him. He has had a hard time accepting me and doesn't want to have to cut ties with our parents, so he doesn't talk to them about me, but he will let me know how their doing every so often. He and I exchange emails and phone calls and I still visit him and his family. They have two kids that I am very close to. They are still very active in the church.
Had to google Katherine Moennig. Wery nice. Do you personally have a thing for women that can look slightly androgynous, or is this a lesbian thing? Fairuza Balk (She's getting a little older, but eh) Brittany Murphy. Daryl Hannah (in Blade Runner) A tie: Karen O. (lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Anne Heche. Three way tie: Amanda Peet / Erin Foley / Juana Molina. Expressiveness is a HUUUUGE turn on for me. Like, immediate crushing urgh so hard it hurts hard on. What do you think is the, uh, quality, you look for that makes you salivate over women? I do like that androgynous look. That combination of slightly masculine and feminine features. And I love that kind of rock star swag look, just spins my crank. I'm going to replace Katty Perry with Joan Jet.
Cheers to homo ex-mos. I was in the same place, and I hope you've found some amazing support networks. If you're looking into schools, I recommend looking at the Point Foundation for an amazing scholarship opportunity. That said, are you from the mothership (UT)? No, colorado, my grandparents paying for my college(they've been amazing really) My parents promised to pay for it but then of course I had the audacity to turn out gay. I'm going to a community college at the moment(just get all those basic creddits out of the way), I'm transferring next semester.
How did your grandparents react when you told them that you were lesbian? When I first moved in with them I didn't talk to them(pretty much at all) because I was just hurting so badly. I was afraid to tell them because of the way my parents reacted and I was just having trouble trusting them. My grandfather finally came to me and told me there was nothing so terrible I could have done that would make him stop loving me. So I told him everything that had happened. He told me that I wasn't the one who failed my parents but my parents had failed me. I assume he told my grandmother because the next time I saw her she hugged me and told me that she loved me and she wished I just would have told her how much pain I was in before this all happened.
What was the last thing your parents said to you? My dad didn't say much at all. My mom told me that I wasn't the daughter she raised and told me get my things and get out.
You aren't the daughter I raised. Get your things and get out. And I'm a Mormon. (I'm an ExMo in Colorado too...I admire how you handled getting kicked out.) Been hearing from a lot of you exmos lately(it's good to hear from you guys). It's a hell of a thing leaving the church. I'll admit, I read that line in my mom's voice including the "and I'm a mormon" part. Not sure if I should laugh or cry.
Hey, another ex mormon here :) Growing up as a woman in the lds church is hard enough, I can't even imagine what you've gone through. I was a tomboy and constantly felt singled out for not wanting to be a housewife or a mother, and for being bad at baking and arts and crafts... And for not being able to cry because of the spirit... And for having an awkward phase... I have a lot of femininity issues because of the lds church. I know you've said you have lingering resentment to your parents, but how do you feel about the lds church in general and the people you used to know? Do you still keep in touch with any of the people you used to know? Did you have any friends that left with you? Also, you said in another answer you were 'outed'. Who outed you, or how did this happen? I lost contact with everyone from that church. I don't know if any of them have left since. Sometimes I just think it's easier this way. Yes, I was outed. I had confided in a friend(my only non-member friend) that I was gay. My mom had found them on my computer.
I'm not sure. I just know that whenever we have discussions and I bring up that the church encourages family members to throw people out, either directly or indirectly, they ask for specifics. And when I can't provide, they say "it doesn't really happen, it's just someone posting on the internet, and you can't trust that". And I really can't go forward. Is there a website for help or recovery for a teens? Do you have statistics from shelters that your friends/yourself were in? Uh, google. I never stayed in a shelter, I had a friend I stayed with and then my grandparents. I've volunteered in shelters, that's how I know a bit about how they work. Here's some stats on homeless youth(good article) Link to www.americanprogress.org And I'll tell you right now, you may not be able to convince them not matter how much evidence you have. I knew someone who though hate crimes against lgbt individuals didn't happen and that lgbt people where, in fact, hurting themselves and blaming it on straight people to make it seem like they where being oppressed. So, yeah be aware of that.
Do you sometimes feel as if it was better that you got kicked out because of your parents' hostility to you and your life? Sometimes yes. I do think maybe it was better in the long run. However I do have issues that stem from that one thing. I struggle with depression and I have a hard time really trusting people or sharing how I feel now. I have a councilor who's help me though. But yes, I think perhaps I'm better off now, but maybe if I had come out later on my own terms we both would have taken it better.
That is a shame that your mother read your emails. My mother actually thinks I'm lesbian, but I don't think I am. She always makes comments, but I haven't even dated so I don't know until I try, you know? (I'm 18...) All I know is that I love guys, so I don't see myself as lesbian even though I am not the most feminine girl around. I don't get why people ask if someone is gay. What satisfaction do you get from it? It doesn't change who they are. Sexuality is very tied into your personality. While its really no ones business what your sexuality some people are just curious to know. Even if it doesnt matter to them.
When did you find out about your gay thing and how did you take it considering you had an education based on prejudice? I always knew I was different, I just didn't understand what that meant. I had a very hard time accepting myself. At one point I tried to 'de-gay' myself, but of course that didn't work. Eventually I just realized that I was stuck with being gay.
Looking back, do you think getting kicked out by your homophobe mother (and acquiescing father) was a better alternative to getting mindfucked by the LDS "conversion" therapy? That is, if you hadn't taken a stand in your "Court of Love" and instead went along with the shaming and demonizing, you'd be living with some heavy mental baggage today. Instead, you got yourself a few traumatizing and scary weeks of rejection, eviction and couch surfing. Would you say one is better than the other? Yes I would say the option I took was far less damaging than the other option. Dont get me wrong, I still have a lot of mental baggage to deal with, but this mental baggage isn't quite as heavy. As painful as it was to do it this way it was the best option given the circumstances.
Do you find that your experience has affected your opinion of religious people? what is you opinion on monotheistic religion in its broadest sense? Yes, a bit. I won't lie. But I know of a lot of gay-friendly churches where I live that I actually like. There's one in particular that I attend occasionally(they know I'm an atheist) because I really like the pastor. However when someone tells me their religious I can't help but think "I better be careful here" Because I have no idea if their going to be total homophobes, or if their going to try and convert me or preach to me about hell, or do none of those thing and be totally cool.
How about any friends that you had before they kicked you out. Any still keep in touch? I have one friend who wasn't a member that I stayed with when after I told her, but that's it.
Other than your relationship with mormons, how does being excommunicated affect your life? I think that I'd really like to be excommunicated. I'd show off my excommunicated letter every chance I got, I think I'd be proud of it. Also, I'm sorry your parents weren't good parents. Actually it hasn't too much. Most of the people I grew up with or went to church with are no longer in my life. However I often run into missionaries or active members IRL and sometimes its fun to tell them I was excommunicated just to see the shocked look on their face.
How did the "you need to leave our house" chat go? I'm picturing something like "you're a dirty heathen and get out now!" than a door slamming. Pretty much. She told me I wasn't the person she raised and that I needed to get my things and leave.
Why didn't you write lesbian in all caps? Didn't feel the inclination to do so.
Wow... after reading through most of the comments, I'm really just glad you made it out of all this okay. At what point in your life did you realize you like girls? I'm not really sure if there was a point where it hit me. I always knew I was different but I just didn't know what that really meant. When I was around thirteen when I started to understand what it meant. I had pretty much only guy friends and girls where sort of this mystery to me, and when I heard my guy friends talk about girls I started noticing that the way I though about girls what pretty much the same way they where and that I just wasn't interested in boys the way the other girls where. I used to try and 'correct' myself. I'd be in class and I'd see a girl and think "wow, she's really cute" and I would catch myself and look away or try to think about something else. I used to try and force myself to think about guys that way. But I couldn't.
Do you still hold any resentment whatsoever toward your parents? Yes I do. I'm working on it but I cant help but resent them a little. My parents basically decided that their bigotry was more important to them than their own child. That hurts a lot and still hurts to this day. But if they came to me and apologized and wanted to be part of my life, it would be hard but I think eventually I could forgive them.
I don't think I'd ever be able to. You're a better person then I am. I said maybe XD. But seriously, I always thought there would be no way in hell I'd forgive them, but eventually I thought you know what, I'm not going to be as bad as my parents. I'm going to be the adult they should have been and I'm not going to shut the door on them like the did to me. It would be hard to forgive them, I'm not saying if they just called I'd just suddenly say, "Oh, it's okay mom and dad, you can totally just walk back into my life like nothing ever happened" It's not going to be like that. Maybe a phone call here or there. I first time we meet would be with my therapist in her office. But maybe I could have a relationship with them.
Just don't be afraid to cut them out if they do want to be back in your life but prove to still be a damaging influence. They lost the privilege of being in your life the moment they threw you out of theirs. I know, I know. You're not taking out of your ass, your totally right. I need to make sure they are going to actually be the supportive loving parents I need not the parents who chose their bigotry over me.
I have a lovefriend/something who's Mormon, and possibly a lesbian. As someone who was in a relationship with her, is it best if I try to be there for her or leave her to figure this out herself? I've told her that whatever she decides, I'll be her friend. I just don't want to wind up being an out for her to cling to if she decides she is gay but doesn't want to admit it to herself or her parents. As someone who was in a strangely similar situation, what would you say is best for her? I'm not really sure what advice to give you. Are you male or female? has she come out to you?
Last updated: 2012-03-30 18:01 UTC
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