We couldn’t be more excited to celebrate our 1000th episode by traveling to California to revisit world-renowned professional dancer, choreographer, and actor Benji Schwimmer. Benji first made waves on our podcast when we released his “coming out” story on May 30, 2012 as he publicly came out as gay, and as leaving the Mormon Church. This episode is jam-packed with good stuff, including:
- Benji’s professional life since winning Season 2 of So You Think You Can Dance, which includes appearing on Dancing with the Stars, dancing with Paula Abdul and Christina Aguilera, choreographing Olympic figure skaters, and appearing in the upcoming Quentin Tarantino movie entitled “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” starring Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, and Al Pacino.
- Benji’s journey to find love, health, and happiness including very candid discussions about navigating sexuality, “masculinity,” and his struggles with heterosexism/body image issues as a gay ex-Mormon man.
- A deeply moving story about Benji’s return to the site of his LDS mission in Oaxaca, Mexico.
- Benji’s sharp criticism of how the Mormon church has handled LGBTQ issues since his previous Mormon Stories interview, as they continue to advocate for celibacy and mixed-orientation marriages for LGBTQ members. He also discusses the hypocrisy, deceit, and damage he has witnessed in the LDS NorthStar community, and with the spokespeople the Mormon church uses on the mormonandgay website.
- We conclude with Benji’s current philosophy for living a healthy, happy life, including his thoughts/feelings about facing the mortality of his beloved father.
Part 1 – Benji shares how his life changed since his Mormon Stories interview:
Part 2 – Benji reflects on his spiritual journey since leaving Mormonism: