The Far Between project is an effort to document the stories of people whose lives are in some way connected to sexual and gender minorities and Mormonism. Their self-described intent is as follows:
“to provide…a space for people to share their story, holding equal space for people of all stripes to share their lived experience, no matter the differences, without judgement. We hope to show that, no matter how they may choose to react to their experience, the people featured on this site have conscientiously engaged in their own journey of moral reasoning and are worthy of love and understanding.”
For the past three years, filmmaker and former BYU adjunct professor Kendall Wilcox and his team have worked to create that space. Individual interviews are available on their website, and the team is compiling a documentary which will take these critical stories to a wider audience. Learn more about the project here.
In honor of transuary, we’d like to share Far Between interviews which tell the stories of two trans people: Sara Jade and Candice. Please click their names to watch their interviews on the Far Between website.
Sara Jade wears a lot of different hats. She is a transgender woman, a mother, a daughter, an active Latter-day Saint and an activist. She often feels frustrated by the ideas perpetuated about her, both in Mormonism and among those she associates with as an activist–those who know her from her activism are surprised to hear that she is Mormon, while those who know she is Mormon are surprised to know that she is active in her local congregation. For Sara Jade, being Mormon means believing in basic tenets such as loving her neighbor loving God, believing in modern-day revelation and believing that the scriptures are true. She recognizes that there is much that we don’t know and much that we can’t know yet, but she sees these things as minimally important in comparison with loving God, loving others and loving oneself. Despite the frustrations she often feels being caught in between two worlds, Sara Jade ultimately finds fulfillment in her life as she is surrounded by her loving support group, including her daughter, bishop, sisters and mother.
Candice joined the LDS church with her family when she was 8 years old. In her early teens, she began to understand that her female gender identity didn’t fit her male physical body. The following years were hard for her, and after several suicide attempts, she realized she needed to change the course of her life. So she turned to the wilderness and adventure sports and was able to find a courage that she never thought she had. Then, knowing that it would risk her employment and family relationships, she began the transition to a female identity and let go of what she calls the expectation for a male identity. Eventually she did lose her job and ended up living on the street while trying to get an education. But through the help of a community that understood her worth, she got off the streets, earned several degrees, and is now working on her PhD. She also serves on three boards and is working to make a safe place for all of God’s children, especially those who don’t fit the norm.
Erin is originally from Simi Valley, California and studies international affairs and Arabic at the University of Utah. She loves any combination of writing, movies, politics, friends, and food.