Coming Out: A Gay Mormon Navigates Family, Faith And Sexuality | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Coming Out: A Gay Mormon Navigates Family, Faith And Sexuality

Play associated audio

Jamison Manwaring says he wants marriage and kids — but that will be difficult for him because he's a gay Mormon.

Manwaring grew up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, the youngest of eight children in a devout Mormon family. According to the Mormon church, same-sex attraction is itself not a sin but yielding to it is.

After coming home from a two-year mission at 21, Manwaring was determined to find a wife and get married. He dated women "vigorously," but his attraction to men would not go away.

Three years ago, Manwaring told his immediate family that he was gay, and a couple of weeks ago, he came out to other relatives and friends in an online video. His older brother, Josh, says it was hard to comprehend at first, but that Jamison has done everything to educate his family. The two of them spoke with Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin about the journey.


Interview Highlights

On realizing he was attracted to men

"I knew at 14 or 15 that those feelings were very real. I just thought it was going to be a phase, and that was informed by some of the things that I read, is that you just continue to do normal things and interact with your friends, and over time those things would change. And then, you know, as far as the gospel goes, as long as you do everything you're supposed to correctly, then, you know, God takes care of the rest. And that's how I approached it — until I was 21, when I came home from my mission. Then I was very disappointed when those feelings were not gone."

On coming out to his family

"We decided to just tell everybody — all my siblings, in-laws — and ended up having just an awesome experience because they didn't say those things that I had kind of believed about myself. That it was evil, or that I was evil, or that it was a perversion. They just listened, and they said 'We're so glad that we know, and we wish we would've known a long time ago.' "

On being a gay Mormon and wanting a family

"Not only do I want a family, but there's nothing else to do besides have a family because all my friends are married now. It leaves you with nothing in your life. And in this context you couldn't have a family — you know, as far as the LDS church goes — unless you feel like you could marry a woman."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For Wintry Weather, An Especially Cold And Snowy Tale

This week we celebrated not only Christmas, but also the solstice — the shortest day of the year. In honor of this wintry weather, author Edward Carey recommends his favorite winter fairy tale.
NPR

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

Nutmeg is a feel-good holiday spice. But it once caused serious bloodshed and may have even been a reason the Dutch were willing to part with Manhattan in the 1600s.
WAMU 88.5

Special Prosecutors Should Handle Civilian Shootings By Police, Holmes Norton Says

Norton says mayors and governors could stem anger over civilian shootings by police by appointing special prosecutors to handle them.
NPR

2014 Hashtags: #MuslimApologies Grew Out Of Both Anger And Whimsy

Maha Hilal helped launch #MuslimApologies partly as a rebuttal to the more earnest hashtag, #NotInOurName. She tells Audie Cornish how it reflects a divisive conversation in the Muslim community.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.