I think I was born a perfectionist. I’ve spent my life trying to do things right. So when it came to parenting, I was all in and ready to give 110%. I read all the books and took all the advice. I was determined to be a great parent.
And from a certain point of view, I suppose I was.
As a straight, Christian mom, the primary goal of my parenting was to help my children develop their own personal faith — a faith they wouldn’t abandon when they left home. This involved guiding my children’s thinking and opinions, taking them to church twice a week, doing Bible devotionals at home — although admittedly I wasn’t great at this one, and making sure they were well-behaved.
My biggest fear was messing up as a mom. I wanted to do everything perfectly. I was taught that my entire life’s purpose was to raise Christian children. And if I messed it up, I was putting not only my own salvation at risk, but my kids’ salvation as well. Mix that...
I recently met Elena through a coaching program we are both in and I immediately knew I wanted to ask her to come on the show. She has an incredible story that she shares so generously. And her message is of the utmost importance.
- Sara Dean
Pride and Joy Foundation founder, Elena Joy Thurston recently had a chat with Sara Dean on The Shameless Mom Academy podcast. In the episode entitled, 'Living Out Loud After Enduring Life-Threatening Conversion Therapy', Elena Joy shared her about coming out and ultimately owning her sexuality.
Listen in to hear Elena Joy talk to Sara Dean about:
Her journey through marriage in the Mormon church, to growing a family of 4 children, to realizing she had built a life that was not true to who she was
Her experience of coming out as a lesbian as a Mormon mom of 4
How Mormonism encouraged Elena to disconnect from her body
How she was able to give up control over her body and actually step into her...
Growing up I had no idea that you could go from being perceived as a girl to a boy. When I finally realized it, I didn’t think it was an option for me. At the time, there was one other kid at my school who was trans, and they weren’t in the best place mentally. I tried to turn to the internet, but what I found was mostly hate.
The trans community in movies was portrayed as prostitutes, dead, or hated. One movie that stood out to me was “Boys Don’t cry.” It was a movie based on a true story where Brandon was raped, and his girlfriend was forced to look at his genitals and then they were both killed. In reality, they also had a friend staying there that was also killed.
Another was "Pet Detective". In the movie main character realized that he’d made romantic contact with puking, forcing himself to puke, plunging his face. Later he literally and forcefully strips Ventura to reveal her as a “man” and the entire police department...
I grew up in a small town just west of Indianapolis, Indiana that didn't tolerate differences. I was taught through abuse at school and scripture at church that I was irreparably broken, and that how I was born was inherently "bad" or "wrong." They made my sexuality out to be a thing I was afflicted with instead of a natural aspect of existence, and that disembodied a part of my identity and turned it into something they said could be removed. I wasn’t a gay man, I was sick with homosexuality and Jesus was the cure.
In secret, I tried to pray away my sexuality. I cried myself to sleep regularly, begging God to heal me or at least explain why he was unmoved. I was told that God didn’t answer prayers when someone lacked faith, implicating that I was a bad Christian. I needed to try harder. I also heard that God’s silence could sometimes be the result of living in sin. If that was the case, how could I get Him to answer me when my entire existence was sin...