‘I discovered I was gay while married to my husband’

Ash shares her experiences of coming to terms with her sexuality after leaving the Mormon church.

She realised she was a lesbian when she turned 21, as she left the Mormon church. When she ended her relationship with that community, something was screaming inside her, telling her that she wasn’t straight.

“I just knew it; it was deep in my gut. I’d been repressing it for a while and it was really difficult to come to terms with,” Ash explains.

At the time, Ash was married to a man.

“It was hard and I questioned myself a lot,” she adds, noting that it wasn’t the “ideal” situation to find herself in.

“We were together for another year and I questioned myself a lot.”

Being a Mormon for the first 21 years of her life was difficult for Ash. She wasn’t able to uncover her own sexuality, as she describes that being a lesbian is “not what you do” in the Mormon church.

“It just hit this point where … I was so depressed and I finally had to just stop,” she says. Initially, she told herself she just needed a one-week break from the church, and that she was “never going to leave it” but she needed space.

During this period, she reflected on the fact that her Mormon leaders told her “not to look at anti-Mormon literature”. She was intrigued, and so she went on a Reddit thread called ex-Mormon – where she found a piece of literature that went through all the “inaccuracies”.

“At the very end, I was just like nope, it’s not true,” she says, noting that after that she knew she was a lesbian.

“I personally do not think the Mormon church is supportive of gays,” she concludes. “If they knew that I was in a serious lesbian relationship, living together, I’d probably be ex-communicated.”

“I feel extremely proud of my sexual identity and I feel so much more guided and directed now.”

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