Happy Utah Pride Week everyone! To celebrate Utah Pride week, I am sharing one of the most important interviews in the history of Mormon Stories Podcast. It is the story of Kyle Ashworth – a dear, brilliant, talented friend, and the host of Latter Gay Stories podcast.
This interview is important for at least 3 reasons:
- Kyle is a truly brilliant, caring human. That should be enough.
- It conveys super powerfully the myriad of ways in which the Mormon Church harms its LGBTQ members AND its straight members – including a deep dive into the serious problems of mixed-orientation marriages within Mormonism, along with the deep ineffectiveness and deceptiveness of organizations like North Star International.
- Finally, It is ultimately a story of “love winning out” as Kyle, his ex-wife, and her family fulfill their mantra, “One Family, Two homes.”
Please watch and enjoy, and please spread the word!!!
Part 1 Timecodes:
00:00:00 – John’s Introduction
00:05:43 – Kyle’s Grandparents and Mormon family origins
00:09:53 Father’s upbringing in the church
00:13:44 – Presence of Cancer in Kyle’s family line
00:15:03 – Home teachers reactivate Kyle’s parents; Kyle reactivated
00:16:58 – Kyle’s childhood in Payson, UT
00:25:57 – The influence of Mormonism in Kyle’s upbringing
00:30:00 – Scouting, National Jamboree, and the beginnings of Kyle’s Mormon awakening.
38:04 – Parents move to Nephi, Utah in 1997; joined the Nephi 2nd ward & become very active; Kyle’s father diagnosed with Cancer.
00:42:15 – Seminary president at Juab High School & interest in family genealogy
00:48:50 – Reflections on his adolescent sexuality & Struggling to understand his sexuality as a Mormon boy in Utah
01:00:27 – Mormon church’s approach to “Homosexuality,” Boyd K Packer’s “Letter to a friend,” & suppressing his same-sex attraction.
01:11:34 – Fighting demons as a teen
01:24:38 – Reading “The Giver” by Louis Lowrey & relating to the main character, Jonah
01:27:24 – Authenticity vs. Facades
01:32:42 – Graduating high school & earning scholarship to Snow College
01:35:57 – Kyle’s friend asks him if he was gay; Kyle lies and says no
01:48:38 – Mission interviews & MTC experience
01:51:50 – Living as a Mormon after being asked if you are gay
01:54:33 – Serving mission in Lansing, MI
01:57:20 – 1st half of mission & excommunication of the “West Branch” branch
02:11:55 – 2nd half of mission & close relationship to mission president
2:17:14 – “Serving the gay away?” Does “the gay” go away after the mission? After returning home, Kyle feels disappointed knowing that he still feels gay.
2:26:48 – Facing fears of dating & meeting future wife, Jamie.
02:35:08 – “Psyching” himself into marrying a woman when he has no native desire to do so.
02:38:37 – Getting engaged to a woman as a Gay Mormon man.
02:44:40 – Courting/Engagement with a straight woman as a gay Mormon man; Informed consent; Law of Chastity
02:52:57 – Getting married (2006). Vernal. The dangers of the law of chastity and NOT having
02:58:30 – Early years of marriage, starting a family, and feelings of inauthenticity
03:06:03 – What was missing & why things begins to unravel
03:22:08 – Discovers NorthStar, Ty Mansfield & Voice of hope.
03:33:25 – The NorthStar promise is unfulfilled & “Non-Conversion Conversion Therapy.” “Cuddling parties,” “Gay whore,” “Healthy touch.”
03:51:06 The 2019 NorthStar conference – Massive failure/attrition rates.
3:57:38 – The false hope & NorthStar as a continuation of the worthiness hamster wheel
04:08:03 – On the record document
04:10:53 – Kyle’s discovery. False hope.
4:13:45 – Exercise with Stake Presidency for 5th Sunday fireside – Pulling romantic part out of mixed-orientation marriage discussion.
Part 2 Timecodes:
0:00 – John’s introduction to Part 2
04:02 – Kyle begins the process of getting off the gay Mormon “hamster wheel”
06:11 – Lacking emotional, spiritual, sexual intimacy with his wife Jamie
13:50 – Jamie sees Kyle’s NorthStar chats on his phone and is forced to come out
19:09 – How Mormon LGBTQ suicidality happens
21:41 – Kyle’s response to his wife and contingency plan to run away
28:20 – The plight of the straight spouse in a mixed-orientation marriage
39:02 – Jamie asks Kyle if he wants to be in a gay relationship, seeking therapy
43:25 – Heading for divorce and the realization they both deserve love
56:04 – Stepping off the hamster wheel and the shifts in Kyle’s patterns of thought
1:01:12 – Amicable divorce with Jamie. Their “2 homes, one family” mentality
1:09:29 – Jamie’s realization kissing a straight guy after a decade of marriage to Kyle
1:15:13 – Kyle’s multi faceted parallel faith journey
1:21:38 – November 2015 exclusion policy’s impact on Kyle’s family
1:29:48 – The issues that caused Kyle to leave the church and his ward’s reaction
1:46:53 – Kyle’s core message to the church and LGBTQ members and allies
1:56:20 – Kyle’s life now, first experience kissing a man
2:03:30 – Latter-Gay Stories Podcast, Kyle’s passion in advocacy for LGBTQ community
2:10:00 – Kyle’s wish for more personal connections with Mormons and LGBTQ people to learn and love