Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
LEAP OF FAITH

Brigham Young University’s Gay-Mormon Panel Draws Crowds, Questions

Tuesday night, an over-capacity crowd spilled out of a second-floor auditorium in Brigham Young University’s Martin Building, where four students were discussing their attraction to members of the same sex and the conflict that created with their Mormon faith.

It’s rare for the subject matter to even be broached at BYU. And as Trevor Rantley reports, the audience’s response was largely positive.

One student who attended told me:

“These four students [in the panel] have some of the strongest testimonies and wonderful relationships with Christ. I hope that those who are struggling with same-gender attraction may see these four strong individuals and realize that they don’t have to choose between being honest about themselves and who they are and in being a member of the Church.”

While the fact that homosexuality is being discussed in the very heart of Mormon indoctrination is encouraging, we can’t help but be wary: The four students (three of whom are gay, one of whom identifies as bisexual) have all committed to following LDS standards and adhering to BYU’s honor code—which translates to lifelong celibacy for gays and lesbians.

Also, that phrase “struggling with same-gender attraction” kept cropping up in Rantley’s report of the event—it’s basically fundamentalist code for “trying to pray the gay away.” Are BYU administrators and students trying to be tolerant or are they simply pitying students they see as afflicted?

Most disturbingly, one of the speakers, Brandon Bastian, is married to a woman and has a young daughter. The secret to his “success” over homosexuality? “A genuine love… not based on physical intimacy,” he told the crowd.

That’s not a healthy marriage—that’s a perversity.  Is it any wonder, as Bastian casually mentioned, that his blushing bride is on medications that suppresses her libido?

Thankfully, at least two of the panelists seem to have accepted their sexuality as an intrinsic part of their personalities. During the question-and-answer period, speakers Adam White and Bridey Jensen both said they see themselves, down the road, in relationships with members of the same gender. Sadly, White clarified that if he did settle down with a guy and start a family, they’d all attend the Mormon Church together.

And so the cycle continues.

Photo via Christopher C. Smith, Boneau/Bryan-Brown, Joan Marcus

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Apr 5, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 27 Comments
    • Edgar
      Edgar

      “Sadly, White clarified that if he did settle down with a guy and start a family, they’d all attend the Mormon Church together.”

      I don’t think that’s necessarily sad at all.

      Apr 5, 2012 at 5:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      Great article. Not surprised that the crowd overflowed the auditorium. Hopefully, this will encourage other gay Mormon’s at BYU to come out. I dated a gay Mormon guy. He was amazing as a boyfriend. Wish them luck in finding a partner and being both gay and Mormon!

      Apr 5, 2012 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bale Hipo
      Bale Hipo

      I was in the nose-bleed section of that lecture hall last night. It was worth standing for two hours to see all the seated audience give a standing ovation at the end. All four panelists described their orientations as intrinsic to their identities. There were also a few members of a virulent anti-gay, Mormon group called “Standard of Liberty” in attendance.

      Apr 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J Stratford
      J Stratford

      Well, all these gay mormons should just “struggle” together with other gay mormons. Maybe that will give them a chance to find and fall in love with other gays while in the closet. And as long as they are not campaigning against gay rights, they are converting people to our side by their mere visibility/existence.

      Apr 5, 2012 at 9:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James [Different person #1 using similar name]

      There are many parts of this that are not correct. What Brandon actually said was that his wife is on medications for her health that as a side effect kills her sex drive. And his marriage is one based off of love, why is that so disturbing? I also don’t understand the comment of “success over homosexuality.” He never mentioned his “success over homosexuality.” He does not think that being gay is wrong and he even said that he was still gay, he just married a woman.

      Apr 5, 2012 at 11:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon
      Brandon

      This is like a terrible game of telephone with my life as the message. Trevor wasn’t there, and based his report on a liveblog, which left out 70% of what was said. I will correct one thing, because it’s heinously wrong: my wife is on meds that incidentally kill her libido. We joke that the shoe is on the other foot because she is the one not attracted to me now, but it is purely in jest.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 3:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnathan
      Johnathan

      An article based on a liveblog? Really? That poor girl can only type so fast. And how is Bridey and Adam’s life choice any ‘better’ than Brandon’s? As a non-mormon BYU student who was actually there, one thing is clear: the four panelists accept their sexuality, love themselves, and love others.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 4:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ramon
      Ramon

      This article has it wayyy wrong. First of all it happened on a wednesday -_-

      Apr 6, 2012 at 4:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      Thx for those corrections. Any flack from faculty and is there a GSA in the works?

      Apr 6, 2012 at 6:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • djames
      djames

      This may be seen as a step forward for BYU, but it’s 2 steps back for all of us. These panelists are nothing but pawns in a Religious plan to retain membership and $$$$$ by claiming “progression”, we’ll take your money, npreach tolerance, and even let you speak at BYU…. as long as you don’t “act” on your unhealthy desires, and in the meantime we will fund anti-gay campaigns with YOUR money. The ultimate form of hypocricy. In ten years these panelist will look back and wonder “WTF” was I thinking? There is a huge difference between Tolerance and Acceptance. You do not accept yourself, when you allow others to discriminate against you because of yet another “book”, created by a man, who denounced all other chuches as “Corrupt”. You want to be rich…Start a new religion. You want to be real…Follow your heart.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 8:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Saul
      Saul

      This event was actually a pretty big deal in furthering the dialogue about this taboo topic in the BYU community. A generation of Mormons is slowly warming up to us. It’s a shame that Queerty decided rehash some irrelevancies from a second hand source (Trevor Antley, not Rantley), and do so with such glaring factual incorrectness (starting with the very first word). If Mr. Avery wants to be wary of people who choose celibacy and assume they are “trying to pray the gay away” when they are not, that’s his decision to make. But why does Queerty keep posting such drivel?

      Apr 6, 2012 at 9:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      If anyone happens to be a gay member of the LDS church I’d highly recommend the Affirmation organization (www.affirmation.org).

      Apr 6, 2012 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Maybe they should have discussed how the original text of the Bible never condemned homosexuality. Corinthians? It was condemning masturbation instead less than a hundred years ago (ie, Paul never said ‘sex between men’). Leviticus? It’s part of the Holiness Code with the term translated to ‘as with’ meaning ‘bed’ every other time it’s used in Leviticus, not to mention when Paul was specifically referring this passage while writing Corinthians he stated “male bed”. Genesis? Attempted gang rape. Romans? Ever wonder why they always insist giving us the “For this reason” without stating the reason? It’s because it’s has everything to do with idolatry worship and nothing to do with orientation.

      In today’s Information Age it’s pathetic when people don’t deal with easily accessible and verifiable facts.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 10:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ryan
      Ryan

      “That’s not a healthy marriage—that’s a perversity.”

      “Sadly, White clarified that if he did settle down with a guy and start a family, they’d all attend the Mormon Church together.”

      Yeah! Anyone who lives a lifestyle I don’t agree with is totally perverse! What a hypocrite…

      Apr 6, 2012 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      So I guess the message is that it’s okay to be gay (maybe), but only so long as you never ever actually act out on it. Forget about having sex of any sort that would be satisfying, forget about having a boyfriend, forget about getting married to the one person you love, and totally forget about having a family.

      This wasn’t a meeting — it was an insane asylum.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 11:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codswallop
      Codswallop

      Ah, religion! How wonderful that an auditorium of brainwashed college-students gets to talk about how they “justify” their in-born sexuality with the writings a convicted con-man pulled straight out of his @$$ 150 years ago!

      Apr 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      Let’s review: The LDS says that masturbation is prohibited. It also says that you cannot have sex outside of marriage, and that gays cannot get married. In any case, gay sex of any sort is prohibited.

      That means if you are gay and Mormon, you must NEVER HAVE AN ORGASM IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE!

      That is fucked — never to have the pleasure of a very simple biological act that harms no one and was provided by God (if you will) as a pleasure to all human beings. There is nothing more natural than an orgasm, being present in all mammals and human beings.

      Yet we have here a group of gay guys saying that they agree with this position. And they think that by denying themselves this one pleasure, it will somehow make God very happy and put them in the highest rings of heaven.

      This is a prescription for insanity. To look forward to an entire life of denying oneself a basic pleasure that everyone else takes for granted has got to be the most depressing thing I can think of. Worse, you must never ever have a loving relationship, even celebate, with another person of the same sex. You are doomed to be lonely.

      Unless, of course, you are willing to ask a person of the opposite sex to deny their own sexuality as well and share your misery.

      All this, just to please your parents and your church. It’s sheer madness. And by the time you wake up and realize that you have been denying yourself for people who really don’t care about YOU, the damage will have been done.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chuck
      Chuck

      Just to inform everyone, Queerty is not a reliable source for factual, peer-reviewed, wholesome news. It’s more of a rumor and opinion blog, more akin to STAR magazine than TIME.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      @Randy

      Basically what you are saying is the LDS is preventing you from becoming an adult. It would seem that is your choice, regardless of outside opinion by non professional sexual abusers who haven’t had a complete course in sexual education, ever.

      If you are ever going to grow up, you must tell your abusers to go to hell. If you need help find others who are willing to do the same and creat some synergy. Then you go have the life YOU want, cuz in this world, YOU come first, not another persons version of you. Drop the guilt trip and go get a life you deserve as a gay male perfect being. Get off the poison koolaide delivered by religious judgment freaks and LIVE.
      Cuz right now you sound dead as a doornail. And that is not who you really are.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Johnathan
      Johnathan

      A lot of the people who were on the panel are also in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekoVGgn5sT0&context=C457f568ADvjVQa1PpcFNSouOpdpahAqxG-5itHb1VgTPPtmmTMpM%3D
      A video which is made independently from the church, to help struggling LGBT mormons.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Neal
      Neal

      I can’t believe what I am seeing here. BYU is tolerating students who profess to be gay? Isn’t the Mormon church the biggest funding entity behind the battle of gay marriage in California? And how can they justify their needs and desires being put in permanent limbo just to appease the church? I think these kids need some lessons in reality. First, entering into a marriage with a woman was a HUGE mistake. Neither of you can EVER be happy. Neither can either of the families. And the boy will forever be labeled as the cause of their daughters unhappiness. So, where can this lead? I see an old Mormon pulling out his rifle and doing away with the problem that forces their daughter to take drugs to “suppress” her libido. I see murders taking place in some dark wooded area late at night by guys that know these kids. And I see this becoming a national tragedy because nobody is guiding these kids in the way they need to go to navigate the stormy seas of sexuality. Denial and submission NEVER EVER solve the problem these kids are having in their heads. They’ve known of their attraction to guys since infancy, yet they somehow justify “pretending” to either not be gay, or to choose some alternate path to happiness.

      I think it’s great that they have spoken out. I think it’s great that they have the balls to confront the society they chosen to be a part of. But I don’t think they realize just how much latent HATE and VIOLENCE is in the hearts of men (and women!) This sets up some serious debate. And I sincerely hope every one survives. I can imagine how republicans are going to respond: their usual way of dealing with things is shoot now, ask questions later!

      Gayness is inborn and bred into a child from infancy. I don’t care what any body says, you will never convince me otherwise. Why? Because I am gay. I was gay at the age of 3. My father hated me and showed a huge amount of jealousy throughout my entire young life. He did everything to circumvent and chance I had of success. I left home at age 17, and immediately found a way to live amongst my own kind. It was the healthiest thing I could have done. I was able to accept and understand the diversity of the gay community, even though some aspects of it frightened the hell out of me. I had never seen a drag queen, never known a transgendered person, and didn’t understand the drug culture. But learning all of this, along with understanding and practicing tolerance of those who are different than myself. helped me create a global view of the world that makes me more aware on a heightened level that has been a super strength of mine every since. RELIGION is the problem. RELIGION has NEVER been able to solve anything, nor has it ever been able to answer the real questions such as “is the world flat? Why do we have an inquisition? Why do we need a Holy Roman Emperor? Why do we kill witches?” The answer to these questions is quite simple, really. Just kill them all. Torture them, if it makes you get excited. Watch them die a long, painful death that nobody should ever have to deal with. This, my friends, is exactly the way the Mormons are going to handle this most recent problem. The church won’t do it themselves. Oh no. They hire professionals to do it for them. Quietly, Unnoticed. Or else they haunt them 24/7 until they have no choice in the matter but to kill themselves. Sadly, Mormonism isn’t the only religion that handles things this way. Just ask Rick Santorum what he would do with a gaggle of homosexuals. His answer? Hang em by the balls from the highest rafters in the nation, and force out people to see them hanging, so that all will know the wrath of the church!

      The problem is NOT that these kids are homosexual. The problem is that their church is a hypocritical mass of hysteria that always, always gets out of control.

      Apr 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      @iDavid: I”m not a mormon — I was talking about what the LDS commands of its adherents.

      Don’t worry about me — I masturbate regularly and have sex with guys. Worry about those mormons who believe that crap.

      Apr 7, 2012 at 12:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ny
      ny

      Super Bowl XLVI sends N.J. residents scrambling to grab Giants’ jerseys, merchandise logoA lot of fans
      If you’re looking for many of your favorite Giants player’s jerseys before the big game — fugetaboutit! And if it’s Patriots game garb you want, good luck. It’s wicked-hard to find! Reebok’s 10-year contract to be the sole provider of the licensed apparel ends in in April. That means it has been cutting back on inventory so it won’t be stuck with items it can’t sell. Retailers are also cutting back on their Reebok inventories.While quarterbacks Eli Manning’s and Tom Brady’s jerseys still abound, other players’ jerseys, such as like Victor Cruz and Rob Gronkowski are in short supply after their breakout seasons.Crackdown on counterfeit Super Bowl gear”Reebok is intentionally running out of product,” said Matt Powell, analyst for SportsOneSource Group, which tracks sales of licensed sporting goods apparel. “If .an Francisco Giants Jerseythis were a normal year, Reebok would be pounding it out, running the factory 247.”Powell said that Reebok paid the league about $250 million for its 10-year deal, and that it was selling about $500 million a year before falling to about $350 million this past year.He estimates Nike will probably sell more than $500 million next year as at least some fans go out to buy new jerseys in order to have the Nike logo.”A lot of fans want to be as close as they possibly can to what the players wear,” said Powell.Fans of 30 of the league’s 32 teams are likely sitting on their wallets and not buying much at this point in the year, Powell said. But the excitement of fans of the teams heading for the championship game makes up for the drop-off i.Will Clark Jerseyn sales from all the other teams.Powell said the good news for fans is that if they can find the jersey they want, it’s probably already on sale despite the shortages.Super Bowl ad sneak peakA spokesman for Reebok, a unit of German apparel and shoemaker adidas (ADDDF), did not return calls seeking comment. But NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that the league understood there would be a bit of shortage this year due to the transition.He said the league isn’t that concerned becau
      hange rather than simply maintaining control over a smooth running machine.Tom Brady wedded a supermodel, featured on the cover of GQ, and makes cameo appearances in Entourage. Eli Manning married his high school sweetheart, is not dreamy enough to .Brian Wilson Jerseybe featured in non-sports magazines, and makes cameo appearances at his local bar in Hoboken. Nothing is wrong with either style – but one identifies far more with an America at halftime. Our country is seeking a comeback, and a confident reliance on our identity, guided by effective leadership, always comes through in the end. Hey, it worked for the Giants. Paying his Super Bowl wager debt in style, Somerville, Mass. Mayor Joseph Curtatone donned a Giants jersey last night, Feb. 9, at a public meeting of the Board of Aldermen — the Massachusetts equivalent of Borough Council.Curtatone and Somerville, N.J. Mayor Brian Gallagher agreed to wear the jersey of the opposing team at public meetings should their own team lose.A.Buster Posey Jerseyccording to Gallagher, a neighbor of his made the suggestion and he initiated the call to Curtatone. “I laid down the gauntlet,” Gallagher said.At the Borough Council meeting that followed the Super Bowl, Gallagher read a proclamation about the bet, “having a little bit of fun.”“It was a bet issued in good fun and he fulfilled his promise in good fun,” Gallagher said. “He was displaying the proud blue.”Apparently Curtatone explained the jersey at the Aldermen meeting, which was taped. Gallagher said he expects to receive a copy and that it will be aired on ‘Ville TV.“Given the serious nature of all the daily business of government,” Gallagher said, “it was a breath of fresh air.”Residents thought promoting a little good natured civic pride was a great thing, too, he said. “It went viral on Facebook,” he said. “I couldn’t go anywhere without someone calling out ‘Go Giants.’”Somerville Borough Administrator Kevin Sluka observed that Curtatone had chosen Number 88, the jersey of Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. “I guess that was a little easier than wear

      Apr 7, 2012 at 4:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Randy

      Gotchya, the guilt free sex life of an all American gay male/natural human. Xlent.

      It’s unfortunate that some parents don’t take responsibility for having gay children, as it is in fact THEIR DNA. All kids should choose their own religion also, or opt out as they see fit, instead of being force fed born into it for life. Spirituality and religion are a very personal thing, not a cattle call as it would seem.

      I am holding out hope that Mormons come around sooner than later.

      Apr 7, 2012 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Myles.
      Myles.

      @Chuck: If you don’t approve of the way Queerty reports the news,why do you waste your time on this site?What do you consider a proper provider of news content?Perhaps the Washington Times or One News Now would be more to your liking?
      Fool!
      Myles.

      Apr 7, 2012 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bale Hipo
      Bale Hipo

      @djames: You’re right that the LDS Church is a corporation intent on making profits through prophets but this Gay/Bi BYU panel was decidedly a good thing. Gay Mormons kill themselves in record numbers. Having self-affirming gay Mormons speak openly in a Church sanctioned context is literally life-saving.

      Apr 8, 2012 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • walterpc
      walterpc

      The author of this article said:

      “Sadly, White clarified that if he did settle down with a guy and start a family, they’d all attend the Mormon Church together.”

      “Sadly”? Why is that sad? What better example to the Mormon community could there be that LGBTQ peope CAN be faithful members of their church, and that they CAN lead healthy, happy, fulfilled, moral and stable family lives? This is exactly the kind of witness all conservative Christian churches need. What better example of genuine “family values” could you ask for?

      Apr 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • QUEERTY DAILY

     


    POPULAR ON QUEERTY


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.