Savannah is a 12-year old young woman who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After several months of convincing her parents that she wanted the opportunity to bear her testimony in church about how she identifies as gay, she went ahead and spoke to her congregation at the beginning of May of this year. About two thirds of the way through, the microphone was turned off by the presiding leader and she was asked to sit down. In this interview, Natasha Helfer Parker offers Savannah the Mormon Mental Health Podcast microphone so that she can share her testimony without interruption. Savannah is delightful as she talks about her thoughts and feelings about this experience, as well as her concern for other teens and pre-teens who are in her position. Her story has been picked up by international media.
Because this interview involves a minor, the audience should be aware that several precautions and safeguards have been put in place to offer protection and boundaries for Savannah’s sake. Some of these precautions are mentioned here.
Comments will be highly moderated and only those of support for Savannah’s journey will be allowed. If there are any concerns that commenters want to share with the host, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This interview will only be available in the future according to Savannah’s and her family’s discretion. At any point in her life, she will have the right to ask for it to be removed from the podcast archive.
Both Savannah and her mother have reviewed and approved this podcast before its publication.
Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She writes at The Mormon Therapist for Patheos: Hosting the Conversation of Faith, runs Mormon Sex Info and is the current president for the Mormon Mental Health Association.