Tag Archives: coming out

Threatened by Cancer, Cushing’s and Expenses

Moms for Equality Founder and LGBTQ Activist, Linda Stay’s future is being threatened by aggressive Breast Cancer, Cushing’s Disease and the lack of funds needed to have victory over them.  Please contribute what you can today and encourage others to donate also so Linda can have the best lifesaving outcome today as well as the best quality of life in the years to come.

We are only at 29% of our fundraising needs. Please donate at her site today:
http://www.youcaring.com/lindaLindaUSA

2015 Southern Utah Equality Celebration



Because of Linda’s health, she was not able to make the trip to our daughters graduation at the University of Utah the day before the event, so the universe conspired and got a picture of Mylinda, giving her mom the “I Love You” sign, on the front page of the Salt Lake Tribune.
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She was able to pace herself well and be at the 300+ person event she was in charge of Fri & Sat nights. Saturday’s evening event started with a 30 minute downpour, but as soon as Linda arrived and we took this picture, the sun came out, a rainbow appeared, I wiped the moisture off my glasses & we ditched the umbrella.
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It was an inspiring and successful event, that included her favorite spoken word artist, Andrea Gibson, followed by a beautiful Mothers Day on Sunday with 6 of our 9 children in town. 10685539_1613845505494331_1905122218061464523_n 11259207_10206569419896156_9018479227147918716_n10924770_1613845735494308_4408774886880475050_n

Tuesday was her 2nd round of chemo, after doing her 1st IV immune boost on Monday. Thanks to your generosity, she had two more immune boost this week.
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She’s feeling a bit tired and nauseated but is still her optimistic self and we are committed to keeping her out of the hospital this round.

If you feel the pull to assist us financially in giving Linda the best lifesaving outcome today and the best quality of life in the years to come, please visit Linda’s fundraising website at www.YouCaring.com/linda

Thanks again for all the love and light we feel shining our way.

With Love, Steve

A Mother’s Gratitude and Plea ~ Parents, come out

August 4, 2010.  My daughter Amanda’s text said it all:  “What a great day to be alive, to be gay, to be a woman, to be human.  This feeling inside of me is indescribable!  To be equal!  WOW!”

Just hours later I saw my son Tyler, with a tear rolling down his cheek, pictured with his husband Spencer on the cover of The Huffington Post with the title “EL8TED!”.  The picture was taken as they stood outside the federal courthouse, where Judge Walker’s decision had just been handed down ruling that Proposition 8 — California’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage — was unconstitutional.

YES!  That is exactly what I was feeling, on that historic and triumphant day:  elated, ecstatic, jumping for joy!  I was filled with renewed hope for my children, their children, and all those to come.  As a mother and a grandmother, I believed that all of my children are equally deserving of the rights and protections provided by our government.  It was euphoric to have a federal judge, for the first time, validate that, and reach the same conclusion.

My mind reflects back on the emotional ride of the past two years.  From the invigorating high of June 17, 2008, when Tyler married Spencer in the San Francisco city hall rotunda with Harvey Milk’s bust looking over his shoulder, to the utter shock, disbelief, and heartbreak of November 5, 2008, when we watched equality be overruled by voters in California motivated by fear and misinformation.  The grief I felt due to the loss of the dream of marriage equality for all my children was horrific.  In addition, the realization, which quickly came that, my pain was in large part caused by my own Mormon faith, the leaders of which were men I once trusted for all of my guidance and solace, was unbearable.  As documented in the recent documentary 8:  The Mormon Proposition and elsewhere, Mormon members accounted for as much as 71% of the monetary contributions used to fund Prop 8 and 90% of its volunteers.

Yet today, nearly two years later, I am grateful to the Mormon Church leaders for forcing me to examine what I truly believe in and stand for.  Their hurtful acts stirred within me the passion and courage of a mother bear protecting her cubs.  It gave me the courage to “come out” of my hiding place, behind church doors, and declare to the world that my family is most important, our values count, and choosing love over fear, children over dogma, and equality over discrimination is what God would have me do.

As people gathered in my small town of St. George, Utah this past week for a rally celebrating the Prop 8 court decision, I was sadly reminded that not many parents stand as firmly by their children.  In fact, my husband Steve and I were the only parents in the group of almost 100 people!  Thinking back on this, I cannot help asking:  “Why?  Where are you, parents?”  As long as you stay hidden, you leave your children standing alone.  If you believe, as I do, that all our children deserve fairness and equal rights, then I beg you to have the courage of your children and show yourselves, your love, and your support.

Full equality will come when we normalize “gay” — normalize gay families, gay marriages, and gay children.  Parents who refuse to embrace this part of their child, or choose to ignore it, miss a beautiful world of amazing people full of goodness and love.  I know it is not easy.  As I have stepped into the rainbow light these past two years, many have rejected me — including family members, business associates, and friends.  However, the many new people that have come into my life and encircled me with their love have filled that gap one hundred fold!

The journey for full equality took an exciting step forward with Judge Walker’s ruling to overturn Proposition 8.  I believe he arrived at many of his conclusions by witnessing the personal and real life nature of the damage done to families by society’s refusal to afford equal treatment to our gay and lesbian children.

Therefore, I take this opportunity to put out this plea:  parents, join this march for equality.  I ask you to put a human face on this movement.  Share who your children are with your friends, your co-workers, your siblings, with everyone.  When you hear derogatory comments about gay or lesbian people, or the rampant propaganda and misinformation that are out there regarding them, all you need to say is, “I have a gay son or a lesbian daughter.  If you knew them, you would love them.”  It is that simple.

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Linda is a former fifth generation Mormon, who with her husband Steve, started MomsForEquality.com or DadsForEquality.com to encourage parents to “come out” and be vocal on behalf their children’s rights.  She refers to herself as an “accidental activist” and is featured with her family in the recent documentary film 8: The Mormon Proposition, which premiered at the 2010 Sundance film festival.

15 Minutes of Fame on FoxNews.com

We are amazed at how powerful FoxNews.com makes Linda sound, a mom standing up for her kids, in this article.

Be sure to check out the venomous comments about Linda by Fox News readers.  We keep looking for one by Glen Beck.  Add one of your own!

We love who you are,

Steve & Linda

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New Documentary Exposes Mormon Church’s Alleged Secret Involvement in Passage of Proposition 8

By Hollie McKay

Published July 16, 2010

| FoxNews.com

Linda Stay joined forces with filmmaker Reed Cowan to detail the prominent role the Mormons played in the reinstatement of Prop 8 in the new documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition.”

Following a lengthy investigation, California’s Fair Political Practices Commission ordered The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints last month to pay a $5,539 fine for failing to accurately report $37,000 in contributions to the victorious effort to pass Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages in California in 2008.

One of the key figures behind exposing the Church was Linda Stay, whose ancestor was a founding member. But Stay parted ways with the Church in 2008, and later joined forces with filmmaker Reed Cowan to detail the prominent role the Mormons played in the reinstatement of Prop 8 in the new documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition”, which is narrated by Oscar-winning “Milk” writer, Lance Dustin Black.

“The documents we exposed really started a lot of activity; I believe that certainly the film did play a part in bringing to light what the Church did. Audiences have been shocked – members of the Church knew it was involved in so many ways, but they had no idea about the extent of the involvement,” Stay, who has a gay son and lesbian daughter as well as seven other children, told Pop Tarts. “I hope this sends a message loud and clear.”

A spokesperson for the Mormon Church said they had not seen the film.

“We have not seen ‘8: The Mormon Proposition.’ However, judging from the trailer and background material online, it appears that accuracy and truth are rare commodities in this film,” Kim Farah, a representative for the LDS Church told us. “Clearly, anyone looking for balance and thoughtful discussion of a serious topic will need to look elsewhere.”

In their defense, the LDS Church stated that the violations were unintentional and that the Church mistakenly overlooked the daily reporting requirement and instead reported those contributions together in a later filing.

Cowan initially intended to make a documentary on the issue of gay homelessness and suicide in Utah, but soon realized that, in his opinion, the homophobia that propels otherwise loving parents to kick their teens out of home is deeply entrenched in Mormon ideology.  He and Stay have also sought to illuminate what they believe to be hypocrisy embedded in the Church’s act of funneling money in the campaign to fight the legalization of same sex marriage.

“As a Mormon, I knew the Church’s stand on homosexuality,” Stay said.  “We weren’t expecting them to change that, but for them to aggressively promote and create ads preaching that religions would lose their freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, that they would have to marry gays in their temples, swayed the whole proposition.”

After a limited theatrical release, “8” was released on DVD this week, and Stay is now urging Mormons to stand up to the Church and its strong stance against marriage equality for gays and lesbians.

But, not surprisingly, a number of members are less-than-impressed with the documentary.

“The director has certainly received some hate mail,” Stay said.  We’ve received some derogatory statements from people. And that’s to be expected.”

But negative feedback is no deterrent for Stay, who has set up her own website MomsForEquality.com and is in the process of writing a book in the quest for “spiritual equality” across the entire nation.

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2010/07/16/new-documentary-follows-mormon-churchs-involvement-passage-proposition/

I Love You, It’s OK. I Love You.

It’s been reported by the America Psychological Association that up to 1 in every 10 people identify as being gay? What should a parent do if their child is that one?

This is my experience of discovering my oldest son Tyler’s secret, and how it impacted my life.

10 years ago, for some unusual reason I awoke at 2 am, picked up the phone, and heard two male voices, one of which was my sons, obviously talking to someone he had met online. I was horrified, devastated, and angry!  My ‘knee-jerk’ reaction was to storm down the stairs to scream and shake some sense into him.

Here I was in the midst of a horrific divorce, having recently fled our small town in Idaho, literally taking my children from their beds at 4 am to escape a volatile situation, while at the same time fighting a life threatening brain tumor.  How could Tyler do this to me?

Through my 18-year abusive marriage, Tyler was my right hand, my rock.  He was kind and tender to the younger children, bright, talented, an over achiever who excelled in everything he did.  He had sacrificed so much when we drove away that night, leaving his senior year leadership position, the starring role in the play, the jazz choir and his Latin ballroom partner and coach with whom he held a world ranking.  He was a model child, what every mother would hope for in a son….  I knew he was different.  He had an amazing spirit and I was sure God sent him to me as my angel.  I believed he would someday be the prophet of my church.

What do I do?  As an extremely devout, proud, 5th generation Mormon, I could not recall ever being taught how to deal with this situation. So in my moment of terror, I fell to my knees.  “God, help me find the words.  Please don’t let me screw this up.  Do not let me say the wrong thing…  You had better intervene here because I just want to tear into him!”  I was reeling; my body was shaking as I made my way down the stairs.  The instant I opened the family room door, he turned, his face full of fear as he abruptly hung up the phone.

I motioned for him to come to the couch.  As we sat down a peaceful feeling took over.  I felt loving arms embrace us both and I heard someone else’s words   saying, “I love you. It’s okay.  I love you.”  We sat together, with what every fiber of my being knew was God, enfolded in His arms.  We cried.  Engulfed in the purest love I had ever experienced, that moment lasted for hours… with the only words spoken, “I love you, it’s okay, I love you.”

I wish I had I completely transformed in those moments, with total acceptance of my son’s homosexuality.  No, Tyler endured days, weeks, and months of my probing, bombarding him with,Are you sure it’s not a phase? What about your girlfriend? Is this because of your dad?  Did I rely on you too much?  On and on I tried to make some sense of it… to make it fit, but there was no place in my religious reality for it to go.  Yet I kept remembering Gods words, I love you, it is okay.  He knew my son … all of him… and now, so did I.

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Linda Williams Stay is currently working on a new book, that will share her emotional journey as a former devout Mormon mother of two gay children who becomes an avid accidental activist for their rights.  Her family is featured in the documentary “8: The Mormon Proposition” which has put on the heat to get the book done.  Subscribe to her blog www.MomsForEquality.com, to stay posted on her progress, receive new content and updates about the documentary.  Please share this post in its entirety.

I want to meet this woman!

Thank you Heidi for sharing your story with me and allowing me to share it here.  It is beautiful, as are YOU.

Heidi and Serene Gibson

Heidi and Serene Gibson

“When I was 13 years old in the 7th grade I came home from basketball practice and told my parents I wanted to quit. Mind you I was 6′2 when I was 13 and still am at 32. With that height advantage and the love that I have for sports my parents couldn’t understand why I would want to quit. I was sitting with my mom at the kitchen table. I kept telling her “I just don’t like it..” and she put her hand on mine and said “There’s more to it than that Heidi – just tell me how you feel.” At that moment I began to cry – sob actually.

At that moment I told my mom I didn’t feel right. I was uncomfortable and scared because I wasn’t like the other girls. I didn’t like the same things they did, I didn’t want the same things they did and I didn’t even act the way they did.

I’ve never since gotten a hug as big as the one my mom gave me at that moment. She put my hands in her face and said these words,

“It’s ok baby. You just put a smile on your beautiful face, walk tall and proud. I understand more than you think I do, I understand more than you do. But what I want you to know is that I love you and there is no reason to tell others how you feel. There is no reason for you to talk to kids at school about this. Don’t stereotype yourself.  Just smile and love who you are as I do..”

I had no idea that I was gay, but she did. She loves and loved me regardless. It was tough back then, much different than it is now. When I went to college I wanted to fit in, I dated boys and hated it. I decided I would try and be who society wants me to be. I married my best friend – who just happened to be born a man. My mom cried on my wedding day – not because she was happy for her baby getting married – but because she knew I was doing it to try to be something I wasn’t. It didn’t last. In fact it took longer to plan the wedding than it did to get rid of it. I was depressed and couldn’t take any more.

I was again married June 4th 2009 in Mills County, Iowa to my amazing bride and best friend. We had a reception at home in Salt Lake City for our friends and family this past August. It was amazing to see tears in my moms eyes – this time they were real, this time she was happy and proud and this time she knew her baby was being a mother and showing her own little girl what it’s like to live life the way my life was meant to be lived. It was a beautiful day.

Not all are as lucky to have the amazing mother that I have. But I would like to end this by saying it doesn’t matter who loves you or supports you. The most love and admiration comes from within. And no matter what, there are people like myself who love you for ‘who you are’, not ‘what you are’, because you truly are amazing, loved and beautiful.

I concur with Heidi… find that self-love that is deep inside. It is magical where it will take you, as it did Heidi. I would love each of you to reply to this post with your story… good, bad or indifferent.  It is the conversations that create the change.

I hope we can have those courageous conversations with our family members at the dinner table this Thrusday.