not in Primary anymore

mormon ally bingo

Following the church’s press conference regarding “religious freedom” and Dallin Oaks’ statement in an interview that “the history of the church is not to seek apologies or to give them,” a number of Mormon blogs issued copies of the same apology addressed to the queer Mormon community. Find the original text here, cross-posted on the Ordain Women and Rational Faiths websites.

On this sainted Day of Apology, when allies gather to assuage their guilt apologize to queer Mormons for the countless ways they’ve been wronged without proposing any cogent changes or reconsidering their participation in the institution itself, I’ve prepared a bingo card to aid queer Mormon people everywhere as they navigate conversations with shitty Mormon allies:

19 Responses to “mormon ally bingo”

  1. norroway

    You forgot “I’m going to pretend that I’m talking about the topic, but I’m really going to make it all about me!” Happens all. the. time. in Mormon progressive circles re: race, LGBT issues, etc.

  2. Caity

    This is a really arrogant and unhelpful response to people who are trying to make progress in an incredibly slow-moving, conservative organization. I understand frustration with these kinds of rote, meaningless responses but if you’re really interested in providing a more welcoming atmosphere in the Mormon church you don’t push over people who are trying to take their first steps. You engage with them in meaningful dialogue to help them grow and become the right kinds of allies–not respond with self-serving snark.


    • meganhowarth

      To be perfectly honest, this post isn’t about you, and it’s not about supporting your feeling. It’s about supporting the feelings of the LGBTQIA+ community who were put through the wringer yesterday by people who are supposedly their allies. And anyone who is put off by a post like this, first steps or not, doesn’t deserve the title of ally.

  3. a random queer mormon

    Thank you so much for this. The straight lady tears all over fmh yesterday were pretty triggering for me, and this helps.

  4. J

    And THIS is why my constant frustration with well meaning liberal Mormons, normally on a constant very low simmer, totally bubbled over in the last week…

    “I am so so sorry that the institution that I actively support and participate in actively oppresses you.” This is what I want to say to every single person nodding eagerly along with these apologies.

  5. confused

    Really, though, is there no way to talk to/teach potential and willing allies without shaming?

    It’s narrow to assume that because somebody apologizes (potentially in earnest empathy) that that’s the extent of their effort.

    Obviously a straight/cis-gendered ally can’t begin to understand the difficulties faced by the LGBT community. And because very few humans are psychic, this seems to be all the more reason to enlighten potential allies with real suggestions and guidance.

    I’m not asking for a hug or for my feelings to be considered. I’m asking for actual feedback (instead of shaming) to show me how to be a better ally. I can’t and won’t presume to even come close to understanding LGBT discrimination. But if allies can’t really understand on their own, and this is the type of feedback we’re being given, I don’t anticipate much progress in the near future.

    • gracerebeccamiller

      I’m not assuming that the public apology is the extent of their efforts. It’s just utterly useless in terms of tangible, institutional change. It’s also rather meaningless to the extent that the people apologizing still ascribe to the organization that’s responsible for oppressing us in the first place. I want change, not lip service and a pat on the head.

      It is not the responsibility of queer people to hold your hand through allyship. I, personally, have neither the time nor the energy to educate every well-meaning ally who asks me for help.

      There are so many resources available about allyship to oppressed communities that you CAN understand on your own if you’re willing to invest some effort in finding the answers.

      It comes down to this: Listen when queer people are talking. Give their lived experience priority over your personal assumptions. Use your privilege to elevate their voices in public discourse. Do not ask them to guide you through allyship.

      And above all, remember: Queer people do not need allies. We can make the necessary changes on our own. We are powerful with or without you.

      If I wrote something like this every time an ally asked for instruction, that’s all I would ever do.

      • confused

        I’m also not asking you to hold my hand and show me how to be an ally. I’ve read posts and I listen to those LGBT people that I know.

        That is largely why I posted the apology in the first place–because it meant a lot to some LGBT family members. Because I saw it as listening and publicly elevating the idea that oppression and discrimination does exist and it does real harm.

        So I’m not asking you to teach me how to be any ally from the ground up. I’m saying that a lot of people apologized because they were being an ally as they understand it. And if they did something that offended you, specifically explaining the failing would go a lot further than mockery.

        And for personal clarification, are you saying that being a real ally would mean just leaving the church? Or is there another way to still be Mormon (because this is Young Mormon Feminists) and not support the oppression?

    • Steve

      To me, the fact that this is all that liberal Mormons can offer shows just how futile the effort is.

  6. Lorian

    I deeply appreciate every attempt that my LDS friends and allies make to reach out to LGBTQ people and try to bridge the gap created by harmful and painful statements like those made by Elder Oaks this past week. I have a great deal of residual pain from the Prop 8 campaign here in CA, and Mormon participation in it, and it means a lot to me to know that there are so many LDS people who *don’t* agree with the church’s discriminatory teachings and stances, and didn’t participate in Prop 8, as well as many more who did participate and have since come to realize how wrong that was, and who are determined not to make the same mistake again.

    When an ally approaches me and says that they regret past hurts they may have caused, and tells me of ideas they have for doing better in the future, and helping to raise awareness among other LDS people, I am glad to hear what they offer, to reach my hand back to them and meet them partway. I’m happy to give them my perspectives on their plans and ideas. I’m happy to offer gentle suggestions where I might view their plans as less than optimal, or see a better way to accomplish the goal.

    What I try never to do, as someone who wants allies, and who *wants* the church to get better and the people in it to learn to care for and love and support and value their LGBTQ members, is to shame or embarrass those who appear to me to be sincerely trying to help and support me, and who are expressing remorse for past hurts and a desire to learn to do better.

    Blessings, Grace.

    • Lorian

      One important footnote, I believe, is in response to suggestions I’ve heard, that those who stay in the church are not doing all that they can and should to help LGBTQ justice. I try to remember that I was born into a conservative religious family in a Pentecostal fundamentalist sect, and that, like me, other young LGBTQ people will continue to be born into religious families, both LDS and others. If all the allies who support LGBTQ equality and inclusion leave the church, who will be there to support these kids?

      Allies leaving the church does nothing to prevent conservative heterosexual religious people from giving birth to more LGBTQ children, and continuing to raise them in a hurtful, homo/trans-phobic environment.

    • gracerebeccamiller

      I appreciate your comment, Lorian.

      I am tired of being tokenized by well meaning straight, cis people. I am tired of being a pawn in their personal growth. I want to see the church’s oppression completely dismantled, and I am so tired of being talked down to and apologized to.

      I know people are sorry. That does nothing, for me, to heal the hurt. I appreciate that the apologies have been helpful to other people. I personally find it disingenuous to apologize for the church’s treatment of queer people while sustaining queer-antagonistic church leaders.

  7. Anonymous

    So what would you prefer people say? I never have witnessed this in my life, you are taking things in a way that they aren’t meant


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