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(Jim McAuley | The Salt Lake Tribune) Panel experts Rachel Heller, left, and Alex Florence, right, hug participants after the Transgender 101 workshop at the 22nd Circling the Wagons conference.
LGBT Mormons share their struggles

in UNITED STATES, 28/02/2014

As president of Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families and Friends, Randall Thacker has met many members of the LGBT community who have faced pain, frustration and confusion when reconciling their sexuality with their Mormon faith.

There was the gay man and aspiring opera singer who had to endure hurtful comments from his mother, on how "gross it would be to be gay." Another young gay man lived "a double life for over a decade when he was serving in priesthood callings."

"What did I tell him?" Thacker remembered. "Be patient and gentle with yourself. Allow yourself time to process things."

Thacker gave one of three keynote speeches at the annual Circling the Wagons conference Saturday at Wasatch Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City. The two-day conference featured talks and panel discussions for LGBT Mormons, family members and friends.

He and the others shared stories about the struggles endured by many active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when measuring those religious beliefs and upbringing against their same-sex attraction.

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