Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Lorena Tobon, who grew up as a faithful and extremely dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Colombia. From an early age she found herself falling in love with other women in her life – something that caused her great consternation as she tried to live the Mormon life she loved. Serving a mission for the church, marrying her husband Elmer (who joins the discussion for part of the interview) and having two children were all part the choices she made desperately trying to deny her sexual orientation. Lorena and Elmer discuss how they have come to a point in their marriage where they realize it is no longer sustainable and the pain involved in the decisions they are currently making to keep their family system intact as they begin a co-parenting relationship. Lorena also shares the difficulties of coming to terms with her love for the gospel while not feeling like her experience fits in the current church culture and policies.
Part 3 covers how Lorena and Elmer have attempted to handle their situation: making sense of their mixed-orientation marriage and how they chose to start resolving these types of issues for themselves. They also discuss their hope that by telling their story they can be part of the process of helping others in similar situations and contributing to the new types of dialogue currently happening in our Mormon culture – including the address of discrimination, limitations and harmful implications we currently face within Mormonism regarding homosexuality.
Many thanks to The Lower Lights for the beautiful bumper music and to John Bukenas for audio production of this podcast.