Hi, I'm Jude, but not if you ask the LDS Church.
I'm queer, I'm trans, I'm a husband, I love debating theological and education philosophies, I'm a math nerd and I love sci-fi. I was a mormon.
TW: Suicide, abuse, rape
I was "born in the covenant" (although my parents are both converts). I grew up in the Church, went to church every Sunday, was Beehive class president, Mia Maid Secretary, and Laurel President. I babysat for free whenever the parents of the kids being babysat were doing "church business." I covered my knees and my collarbones at all times lest my male peers sin because of me. I know how to cook, clean, bake, crochet, quilt, sew, tailor clothes, run food drives, stockpile food for the apocalypse, and organize giant functions. I'm a great public speaker because I've been doing so since birth basically. Oh, and I'm queer, trans, and liberal af, so of course I dealt with crippling depression, shame, guilt, and chronic suicidal tendencies for most of my life. I even literally killed myself in 2015, when my family was trying to stop me from divorcing my now-ex-husband who was raping, stalking, and abusing me for the last six months. But of course all of that was unimportant, and I had to get sealed in the temple ASAP! (Thank goodness I did NOT!)
On the Mormon Spectrum
I grew up stalwart and ignorant. I went to church on Sundays, I went to all the many, MANY extracurricular programs. I did everything I was required to do. But by the time I went to college I had yet to read the BoM, and I knew basically nothing below the surface of *insert spongebob rainbow gif* Mormonism. So when I went to BYUI for my sophomore year of college, I got CALLED OUT by my accounting professor who spent like 80% of our accounting class preaching. How dare I not know the answers to every question he asked about Mormon theology!!! So I took every religion class offered by BYUI to those who had yet to go through the temple.
Annnnnnd the more classes I took, the more absolutely batshit I saw the Church to be. Beyond that, I'm queer af, and I was decidedly in favor of dying over continuing to be queer af. But in 2014, I made one last-ditch effort to be a good, female, straight, Morman woman. I married a man I had known for 30 days flat, I moved back to Rexburg, and I made plans to go through the temple. In the next six months, I was trapped in my apartment and held hostage, became destitute, was raped at will by my husband, kept confined in my own bathroom at times, and gathered $25,000 in debt because my husband neither went to work nor let me go to work but somehow thought we could still live luxuriously.
On Halloween, I called the police, who escorted me out of my apartment and away from my husband, who I then put on a plane back to his mother's house. A month later I also ended up back in our hometown, where my parents took over the role of controlling my every move, who I talked to, who I saw, where I went, etc. In May 2015, I killed myself amid the stalking and controlling behavior of my husband and parents. After three months of inpatient to outpatient intensive to outpatient group to outpatient general, with my parents still developing and pushing their six month plan to reuniting with and being sealed to my abusive husband. At the point at which they said I should get my endowments, I finally told them that it wasn't happening, and I wasn't going to be Mormon anymore, at which point they forbade me from telling my sister lest I lead her astray (eye roll).
A friend of mine needed a live in nanny, and had she not, I'd likely be in my parents' basement, still trying to kill myself every week, being told who to talk to and when to eat, sleep, shit, and take my pills. Instead, I am happily married, in a PhD program (I was told I'd never graduate college, live on my own, or be independent), happy, mostly healthy for a multi-disabled dude, and able to live as the queer trans man I am.
The Church thrives on controlling, manipulative, abusive behavior, and the longer I'm away from it, the creepier things seem that used to seem completely and totally normal to me, like being an 8 year old girl getting asked behind a closed door by a middle-aged man if I had any sins to confess, like what?????
I'm happier than I ever thought was even possible. I was a Mormon.