Sunday Spotlight is a series where we profile individuals in the Young Mormon Feminists community to hear their stories and get to know them a little better through Q&A or their personal narratives. This week we talked with Grace Miller.
Who are you and what are you up to?
I’m a twenty year old college student and freelance writer. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and left in 2011 to study political science at BYU, where I started writing for BlenderBottle and Young Mormon Feminists. I’ve since returned to Washington and spend most of my time staring aimlessly through Starbucks windows.
What makes you a Mormon?
In high school, Mormonism was my lifeline. The men and women at church talked about the “less active” as if apostasy were the worst thing that could happen to a person, so I clung to it.
I told my classmates that I knew God existed because I had prayed about it. When my closest friend came out to me as bisexual, I told her that bisexuality wasn’t real. I assumed that my peers were less happy than I was because they didn’t have the gospel. I was dismissive and judgmental.
When I left to attend BYU, it became harder and harder to keep the faith. I didn’t see anything wrong with the things the church me were wrong. I wanted the priesthood. I stopped believing in the Atonement. I lost my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
At the end of my second year of school, I married my abuser in the temple. I annulled my marriage and left the church a year later.
For better or worse, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will always be my culture. It’s made me who I am.
What makes you a feminist?
I am tired of being patronized, pedestalized, and objectified because of my sex. I want liberation. More than anything, I want to live in a world where people are free to choose whatever makes them happiest.
What makes you a Mormon feminist?
Of all the places I’ve felt marginalized, church was the worst. It was at church that I learned to be ashamed of my body, my sexuality, and my desire. It was at church I learned that I couldn’t be a worthy mother unless I was also a stay-at-home parent. And it was in the temple I learned that I came second before God.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Married and living in a city on the coast. Possibly rich and famous.
Any parting words for us?
Don’t apologize for doing the things that make you happy.