Mormonland is packed with podcasts. Here’s a random sampling of my (too limited) listens over the last fortnight.
Cole & Kent make the cutest, wisest couple ever
Latter Gay Stories (1:21)
Gay men who come out well into adulthood (and often after marriage to a woman) often talk about going through a “2nd adolescence.” Well, no one’s done that more deliberately than these thirty-something newlyweds, Cole and Kent.
They went through some years being deliberately ‘just friends’ until some other friends bailed and left them attending a New Year’s Eve party as a duo. Then the hosts had too little food. And, well, they found long-awaited sustenance.
Overall, their families were kind, though sometimes oddly squeamish to acknowledge the couple as a couple to children, and Kent thinks the Family Proclamation is just “one page of an expansive book on eternity,” citing the abundance of types of family. “Why would we be so fixed as a faith to limit our definition of family?” he asks.
They interviewed many couples on why they chose marriage before taking the plunge: “I am entering a relationship with no intention to exit,” Kent explains.
BTW: apparently in 1879 George Q. Cannon implied that polygamy was necessary to keep men from pursuing homosexuality. If marriage to one woman won’t ‘cure’ you, marriage to two, might?
Breaking out of checkboxes
On Human Stories, Jill interviews Shemania Maeve about adopting “they/them” pronouns and embracing a poly identity. It’s an enthusiastic account of dropping imposed expectations and finding self.
I love that Maeve wrote a poem in conversation with a post by Matt Gong, the eloquent gay son of a Mormon apostle. He compares waiting for the Church to be more inclusive to standing on a glacier, hoping it would melt before he froze. They worry that “some green part of me will freeze dead before it has the chance to grow” and “cutting off my limbs to check someone else’s boxes.”
Jill reflects “sometimes we are part of an organization and we start playing roles & we don’t really step back and say ‘does this fit me?'”
“I didn’t really understand how heavily I was carrying all that [imposed expectation] around until I was free of it,” Maeve says. They describes their current exploratory state as a “constant coming home, constant envisioning of self, constant meeting of self.”
The November Exclusion Policy is from the Adversary
Beyond the Block 1:05
Six years ago, the Church announced what’s now called the November exclusion policy: members who enter into same-sex marriages were declared auto-apostates, and their children kept from baptism until they reached 18 and denounced their parents’ sinful lifestyle.
In the Beyond the Block podcast, co-host Derek Knox, an active gay Saint, posits that the policy from six years ago came from The Evil One and was reversed through the Atonement in 2018. He explains that he joined the Church in December 2015, knowing he would outlast the policy. Some of Knox’s thinking has warmed my heart (Hear this for his takes on ‘scriptural malpractice’ and why wearing a mask is a sacred duty). This latest, though, has me scratching my head. I agree that the exclusion policy IS evil (our planet is missing some people because of it), but if the Church’s prophets, seers and revelators are the ones proclaiming it, who do they follow?
I’ll need to wait a bit for an answer, since Derek has pledged not to talk about any living General Authority for a year. “I am just so fed up with how the general authorities end up wagging the whole system.” He wants to focus on Christ, and analysis of GA comments (Hello, Brothers Holland and Callister) distracts from that.
(And that’s just the first 18 minutes – in the next bit James and Derek dissect D&C passages, including how to distinguish evil spirits, good spirits, and resurrected beings.) The episode is called messy text for a reason.
Straight talk on Soaking ExMo Lex 0:13
Finally, for those with enough distance from purity culture to be amused instead of ashamed, there is an amusing bizarro. Soaking is a rationalization for the horny. It goes like this: if there’s insertion, but no thrusting, it doesn’t count as sex.
Yes, soaking happens, explains ExMo Lex, she knows because she (and now-husband) did it.
The number of strokes it takes to make a sin depends on the couple.
*I listen to sped-up podcasts on the elliptical or making dinner. So take my summaries (and quotes) as presumptive, not definitive