388: Carol Lynn Pearson and “the Hero’s Journey of the Gay and Lesbian Mormon”

December 11, 2012
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As part of a new podcast initiative called “Gay Mormon Stories” (in cooperation with Mormon Stories Book Club) we interview the beloved poet, playwright, LGBT activist and Mormon author Carol Lynn Pearson about her new book entitled, “The Hero’s Journey of the Gay and Lesbian Mormon” (click here for the Kindle version, and here for the print version).

From Carol Lynn:

I am so happy to introduce the fourth (and probably final) of my works that focuses on the needs of our gay brothers and sisters. We live in a wonderful day. Science has shown that a homosexual orientation is not a choice. Most people are aware that one or more of their loved ones is gay. Society and religion are moving in the direction of understanding and inclusion.  But for many of our gay family members and friends, the path is still difficult and sometimes life-threatening. I am thrilled to offer what I believe to be a beautiful “gift book” that might serve as a traveling companion providing a new and brighter vision of this journey.  What if, after all, being gay is not a defect, not a lesser life, but a different calling?– an invitation to travel the road of heroes mapped out by mythologist Joseph Campbell and find the life-giving substance that cures all ills.

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12 Responses to 388: Carol Lynn Pearson and “the Hero’s Journey of the Gay and Lesbian Mormon”

  1. JeremiahA
    December 11, 2012 at 8:32 am

    People do choose to pursue or nurture a particular proclivity or tendency.

    A married man may be attracted to a woman at work, and he has a choice. He can pursue her or focus on his marriage vows. He can pursue his attraction or let it lie.

    We all have a choice whether to nurture our sexual attractions and develop them or we can ignore them and try to develop another sense of sexual identity. There is some sense in which we nurture our own sexual identity. Our sexual identity is not a benign issue. It influences everything, and we can choose to live with sexual ethics and principled self-restraint or do what comes naturally as do beasts.

    • Claus
      December 12, 2012 at 6:46 am

      So what’s your opinion? Is homosexual activity ok? I think between the lines you’d probably say no, but your text was so PC that I can’t really tell.

      • Claus
        December 12, 2012 at 6:50 am

        Oh and by PC (politically correct) I mean that you didn’t actually state your opinion on whether homosexual activity is acceptable or not.

    • elbert
      December 12, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      So, Jeremiah, do you advocate sex change then? Because the body one’s given does not fit the inner self–not that god makes mistakes. You suggest otherwise that gays/lesbian live a monastic life, till death brings a welcome respite to the unfulfilled love. The problem you don’t see is that sexual identity and the equipment god provided do not match!

    • Dan
      February 1, 2013 at 8:52 am

      As a gay ex-mormon, I must say I am quite tired of hearing or reading this sort of comment. It ignores a very important aspect of homosexuality: who you fall in love with.

      Living in the United States (and many, though not all, countries are similar in this regard) a heterosexual person is free to marry the love of their life. Mutually falling in love, and satisfying sexual urges by sharing physical intimacy with one’s spouse, is perfectly acceptable. Arranged or political marriages are a thing of the past.

      But homosexual individuals are denied this liberty. We are told that the people we naturally fall in love with are the wrong gender. We are not allowed to pursue romantic loving relationships, are not allowed the legal sanctions of marriage, and are not allowed to consummate love with physical intimacy. For heterosexuals, there is an avenue. There is a possibility. There is hope. For homosexuals, there is nothing.

      So please don’t the situation of homosexuals to that of a married straight person. We no longer live in the era of arranged marriages. Heterosexuals are provided the choice and opportunity to pursue their natural romantic love and satisfy their natural sexual desire (“as do beasts!”). Homosexuals are not.

      Coming from the celibate clergy of the Catholic church, I would be much more inclined to listen. But coming from a leadership of straight, married men, I feel alienated and condescended upon. Where are the homosexual celibate general authorities that I can look to as an example? There are none. Where are those happily celibate gay individuals in the church that have found peace and satisfaction in the gospel? They are invisible. mormonsandgays.com is a huge step forward, but there is still a long ways to go.

  2. Joe
    December 12, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    John, was something going on with the audio on this one? Your voice keeps cutting way down in volume, almost like you’re talking right into the mic and then walk across the room. Odd.

  3. James Worthy
    December 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm

    Jeremiah, As a straight man are you saying that I can pursue and ultimately enjoy the love of another man’s rectum simply if I wanted to? I find that as a bit of a stretch. Are you speaking from experience on this claim?

  4. Donald Emerson
    December 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Question for Carol,

    (Science has shown that a homosexuals orientation is not a choice.)

    I’m not aware of any peer reviewed evidence that basically makes your statement above(although I have read articles that indeed show that this may indeed be the case.) Was your statement above an opinion or a fact? I’d like to ready the peer reviewed evidence if available.

  5. Leslie
    December 17, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I appreciated the podcast. Carol Lynn, the book sounds beautiful!

    I have to say, it saddens me that we cannot seem to discuss this topic without comments like what is above. Why can’t we focus on the pain of our brothers and sisters in the church who struggle with this issue? Why do we have to veer off into judgements and blame?

    Why can’t we act in a more Christlike manner?

    The thing I love about the new church website mormonsandgays.org and Josh Weed’s story (joshweed.com). Is that they are about loving one another. That should be our focus. To me the best part of Josh’s story is not that he is happily married to a woman, but that he received unconditional love from his parents and his best friend, Lolly, when he “came out” to them. That is the lesson for the rest of us. Love. Why is that so hard?

  6. Joy
    December 18, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Carol Lynn, as to your comment that women aren’t killing themselves over feminist issues like gays are over gay issues–there are many ways one can kill oneself besides putting a gun to one’s head. Many women do not reach their potential, many are silent to the injustices they receive, many silence the voices that tell them something is not quite right, many medicate their depression. I think the loss of potential of millions of women is just as tragic. Let’s work for both because, as Daniel said, the two issues are connected.

    • Allison
      January 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      Well said!

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