Wendy Montgomery

wendymontgomery2WENDY MONTGOMERY was born and raised in Southern California. She has always been a member of the LDS Church and is currently the Sunday School teacher to the 16-18 year-olds in her ward. She and her husband Tom Montgomery were married in the Los Angeles Temple in 1995. They had 5 children in 7 years – not recommended. They found out in January of 2012 that their oldest son (13 years old at the time) was gay. It has at times been unbearably painful. But it has also been an enlightening, spiritual and joyful journey. Wendy has many new heroes, many of which are writers on this blog. She and her husband and children live in Central California. Wendy is a voracious reader and is currently working on her fictional degree in Gay Mormon Studies.

27 comments for “Wendy Montgomery

  1. Steph
    January 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Wendy, you are one of my new heroes :) So happy to call you friend.

    • dan perry
      October 18, 2013 at 10:30 am

      Wendy, I just listened to an interview you did and aired on NPR. You are a blessing to OUR church. Your tone is one that most of us would only strive to acquire. Thanks for your sacrifices. Brother Perry, Austin

  2. Dana
    June 21, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Wendy, I read the article on your son and your faith. I would just like to say that God does have a purpose for those of us in the LGBT community. His purpose is just this. We are here to help people learn the meaning of love and compassion, understanding and acceptance. I don’t understand how people of religion can assume to say they know the will of God. He makes us to be who we are. We don’t choose to be different. So I ask would it be a sin for us to deny what God has given us? I hope that someday people will understand that God is love. He wants for his children as any other father would and loves us unconditionally.

    • Arman
      December 16, 2013 at 8:10 am

      Dana, I liked what you said, I thought almost same thing that we gays are here so that God knows how people is treating us, but from church view being gay is a trial and we can overcome through atonement of Jesus Christ I don’t know despite that I felt something that I could discuss or share with other but anyway!!! it was good!!!

  3. Karen
    June 21, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. My daughter told me a couple of years ago she was gay and I have been trying to accept her decision and stay strong in my religion. While I support my daughter in everything, I am still struggling to understand her. She is a good-hearted, kind and loving person and I am so afraid of the general public would think of or do to her. She suffers with depression and has thoughts of killing herself. I just tell her that God doesn’t make mistakes. He knew her before she was born and He has a plan for her life. She just needs to be patient and live by the commandments. It helps but she still falls into that black hole sometimes and we go over all over again. She is happiest with our family who already love and accept her the way she is.

    Thank you for your research and your strive to help our young people.

    • Mell
      August 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Dear Kaaren, you are a HERO!!!!

    • Terry
      October 9, 2013 at 10:09 am

      Karen,

      The first step in moving forward, is to realize that your daughter has not made a “decision”. Once you realize that, your walk along the path to “acceptance” will be far easier.

  4. hal parent
    June 21, 2013 at 8:14 am

    dear wendy……
    just saw the article about your son & family………i wanted you to know how very proud i feel to see how you were able to show your love to your son. i’m sure it was not easy but your son will be just fine in life especially now knowing he has the love from his family!!!! thank you for being great parents………….you are a hero!!!!!!

  5. Joan Atkinson
    June 21, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Wendy & Tom, good for you for coming out of the closet. We also have a lesbian daughter and a son who died of aids. We have 7 children. It was a very hard struggle being out and openly accepting and loving all our children.
    We found Family Fellowship early in our struggles and they were a life gift for us. We were active in Affirmation and PFLAG. I would love to talk with you. I am currently R.S. President. It is such a joy to me to speak openly about all my children. My daughter has such a wonderful partner, we love her and they have an adopted daughter who is now a teenager. I loved your article.
    Please e-mail me.
    Joan Atkinson

  6. martina martin
    June 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I was baptized mormon I now have left the church because my son is gay. My brother is gay and tried to commit suicide he was molested in the church in scouts. He said he knew he was always gay but the chuch did hide this and we had a few other boys that were molested by the same person. He confessed to my parents because he did want to get married in the temple. This man is still gay and molests and lives another life because the church tells him you cant be gay, My brother in law came out after getting married and having 5 children. He said he always knew he was gay he fulfilled his mission. His oldest son disowns him now because he came out and my nephew his youngest son committed suicide because I feel in my heart he was gay but afraid to come out. I know in my heart I prayed to my Heavenly Father this is NOT a choice. We are born this way. Watch the movie prayers for Bobby. Maybe it will open peoples eyes. Please love your son life is hard enough without living with this secret. My son is with a companion now I love them both so much. The church needs to understand that there are many gays in the church who live lies. They have family but are too afraid to come out. The go to the bath houses with other men with there garments. Is this what we want in our church. I cannot go back because they will not accept him But I do love my Heavenly Father I pray to him everyday. My family are all active but I can’t unless they can accept my son. I have always been upset that they let this man who messed up several of the boys in there life they got divorced and not right because of the situation. It upsets me they let that happen but the man will pay in the end. It made me cry to read your story, please know I support gay people. I love my son always I know you love yours also. Thank you so much for sharing your story I did post on my facebook. Your son is beautiful and he is what he is. There are many parents who have gay children and many are so afraid to come out because they feel there parents won’t love them. My hair dresser’s son is 17 and he came out. She had to put him in another school because he did come out and they were making fun of him. Now that is love. Good luck <3 hugs to you and you and your family. God Bless you all, My email is toby153@aol.com if you ever need to talk..love, Martina

  7. Natalie Chambers
    June 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Wendy:

    I just read your story and felt the want and need to commend you for loving your son for who he is and for being brave enough to share your story with the world.

    I am not Mormon, I am Catholic and have a 16 year old son who is gay. I just wanted to tell you that because of strong, loving people like you, hopefully this world will change for the better so our children can live happy lives, free of worrying what someone might do to harm them just because of their sexual orientation. It touched my heart when I read that you told your son that he is perfect in your eyes and that you will figure it out. Precisely what I told my son approximately 1 year ago.

    Thank you again for your story… God bless you and your sweet Jordan.

    Sincerely,
    Natalie – Texas

  8. Gay Ex-mormon
    June 21, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Wendy, So glad you are coming to terms wtih your son. I knew I was gay at 12 and came out to family in my early 20′s after trying suicide. I’m now 53. Although I didn’t loose my family, I was thrown out of BYU, excommunicated from the church and couldn’t get a job anywhere in Provo. I would love to talk with you about my struggles and the struggles my parents had.

  9. Traci
    June 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Wendy,
    My daughter came out to us a couple of years ago. I struggle with the Church, and the fact that they say its okay unless you act on it. Do we ask our children to never have a loving, intimate relationship? Where to now? Excommunication? Like you, I know this is not experimental, trendy or a “phase” but how this sweet child was born feeling and being. I would love another LDS moms perspective. Thanks, Traci

  10. Robert Johnson
    June 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Wendy, I don’t know if you will see this letter, I hope that you will. I was very touched reading the article about your family and how you have dealt with your son being gay. I want you to know that there is happiness in gay relationships and your son does have the capacity for a happy life. I was raised LDS and was very active. I contemplated a mission and actuallly became an elder before I left the church. I left because at the time, the church view of homosexuality is not what it is today, but I would also leave today because I wouldn’t choose to be celibate. Today, I am happily married to another man whom I have called my huband for 21 years. We were legally married before prop 8 took effect. I want you to know that your dreams of your son being a father do not have to end. My and my partner adopted two beautiful brothers 2 years ago (ages 5 and 6). When we got them, neither of them could read and were in special education. One had problems with bedwetting due to emotional issues. 2 years later, they are receiving academic awards in school and are emotionally secure. My life is so blessed and full now that they are in my life. I used to contemplate suicide before I came out. I hated myself and would have done anything I could not to be gay. Today, I wouldn’t change anything about my life. I have a loving husband and two beautiful children. I commend you for your support of your son and hope that your son can find the kind of happiness that I never could imagine when I was in his position. Peace and Love – Robert

  11. Austin Lawrence
    June 21, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    What an awesome mom, as a gay 26 year old man who lost all vibrating with his family(Christians) for the last 9 years its so awesome to know that the worlds changing for the better for all of us! I just had to comment and let Tom and Wendy know how thankful I am that that they are Jordan’s parents. It really gives me hope for my own family one day.

  12. Linda Denovan
    June 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Just a note to say how proud I am of you!

  13. Leigh Jones
    October 8, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    My heart goes out to any family that has a precious member that is gay. You never stop loving them and you do alot of praying. I still believe that, in God’s eyes because of His teachings about it in the Bible, it is a sin according to Him and I cannot argue with God’s direction and scripture. However, I had to leave it to Him because there was nothing else I could do about my loved one. We just cannot change them or change God’s teachings and what he considers wrong in His eyes. What religions, churches, and mere humans try to do to rearrange truth and God’s word does not make it okay. He hates and condemns the sin, but He does expect us to continue to fully love them and not cast them aside or turn our backs on them.

  14. Tom
    October 8, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Wendy & Tom,

    You are wonderful and should be commended and celebrated!

    Tom from Chicago!

  15. Rev Dr Thos. F. Krahn, ddl hon ret, "World's Leading Gay BIBLICAL! Theologian
    October 9, 2013 at 2:39 am

    I am sending a packet of information to Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Bob Ross the professor of Mormon Studies at the Graduate Theological Union concerning the first Gay marriage in the Bible. (Actually there are two in the Bible) If you would like a copy, then send me a snail mail address and I will gladly forward one to you.

    To give you a little taste of what I am talking about let me quote Hebrews 13: 4: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled…” And that all includes us Gay people!

    Take heart, though! You are doing the right thing!

    Rev. Dr. Thomas F. Krahn, ddl, hon, ret
    “World’s Leading Gay BIBLICAL Theologian Who Is Gay!
    tommie1941@q.com

  16. Mark
    October 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Dear Wendy,
    I stumbled on your story and the short film clip of your family on Huffington post. I must say that is quite a courageous thing for you to put yourselves out there like that. And judging by your son, courage runs deep in your family. His ability to speak his truth to you at such a young age speaks volumes to his strength, and also to the decency and love of his parents. If only every struggling young life had such love and support.
    You don’t know me, and obviously I don’t know you outside of s couple minutes of online video. But we have a little something in common. You share a roof and a last name with a young man whose identity and the doctrine of his church forced into thoughts of self destruction, and I was that young man once. So I feel compelled to offer you advice on what saved my life, unsolicited as it clearly is. I notice other folks here in comments are offering you advice and encouragement, so I beg you indulge me these few paragraphs.
    Like your son I reckon, I knew that my immutable nature (something I couldn’t change in myself, despite my growing terror of it) placed me in a group that everyone in my community supremely hated, as they said loudly and proudly more times than I can count, and I knew it from a very young age. I grew up in the foothills of Salt Lake City in the 70′s/80′s. It was a bleak time. Everyone I knew in every sector of my life was Mormon, white, middle class. Anyone considered the least bit effeminate or insufficiently sexist/homophobic was loudly branded “Faggot”, both by my young peers and our adult leaders. The two or three boys in my large urban high school that were clearly effeminate were savaged brutally by the good Mormon boys who would take sacrament without a second thought the following Sunday, and would soon be leaving on missions. I buried my true self so deeply its a miracle I ever found it again.
    Unlike your bright boy, I didn’t have the benefit of kind and loving parents. The terror I lived in at school was far worse at home and in church. If my parents had found out I was gay when I was in their clutches…. I shudder to think. At the time the barbarity of BYU’s electroshock aversion torture was widespread, and the pathetic quackery of Evergreen was going strong, churning out shattered people who would go on to live lonely, miserable lives of guilt and shame. I likely would have been shunted into the worst of it. Even though I had nearly convinced myself I was “OK”, I knew that something I feared lurked in my marrow, and it wouldn’t go away. Suicide was a constant companion, and aside form my cat, was the only consistent friend I had for years.
    I hated the church. I knew that because of my secret self, there would never be a place for me at that sanctimonious, self righteous table. I had to get out. I began trying to separate myself from it around age 12. This was met with violent resistance from my emotionally disturbed mother and explosive father. I was drowning, and their prescription was more water. It became somewhat of an existential struggle for years, one which I lost again and again. It’s important to note that in those days, in my very controlled world, I didn’t know what I really was, I had never met a gay person (as far as I knew), and there was really no positive gay portrayal in the media. So I wasn’t sure what I was struggling toward, just the muck and the evil I had to struggle away from. It was like being in a burning skyscraper. You don’t know what you’ll find when you jump out the window, but every cell in your body knows you have to do it.
    In a dark twist of fate, my parents cruelty, and that of my church elders and peers, was an incredible gift. It gave me the clarity to see the fraud of their beliefs for what they were; exclusionary, racist, jingoistic, and virulently homophobic. The only thing I ever wanted form their church was out. Obviously it didn’t feel like a gift at the time, but as I look at the pain and suffering of young and not so young gay human beings even today trying to detach the life-sucking tick of the church from themselves, I realize it is why I am alive today.
    With the greatest love and respect for you and your family, let me bear a bit of a testimony to you. The church has a vast, well funded international missionary program bent on making people leave their faiths every minute of every day. So I hope will you recognize my right, my obligation to do the same.
    My testimony goes something like this: All evidence points to the fact that Joseph Smith was a brilliant but unschooled young mind who didn’t want to spend his life behind the plow. Born into the pressure-cooker of religious nut-baggery that was upstate New York at the time, he began to spin wild stories pasted together out of the goofy ideas that surrounded him. Because education was basically nonexistent and people were even dumber then than they are now, young Joseph soon found his stories attracted interest, and so they became more complex and fantastic. Jump forward a few years, and we find Joseph buried up to his Urim and Thummim in his webs of deceit, fraud, and well documented peccadilloes. He conceived of a clever ruse by which he could separate his ardent followers from their wives and daughters for years at a time – the missionary program – and marriage / census records reflect how the women in the families of missing men became married to Smith in their absence. Recall he was very nearly castrated by men who he had dispatched for this reason. I could obviously go on. But with these easily provable origins of the Mormon church, is it any wonder it’s a cobbled mess of patrician privilege, intellectual starvation and amoral confusion?
    Wendy, I didn’t comment here necessarily to bash the religion I once involuntarily shared with you (though its easily done), but I was compelled to speak as an advocate, in hopes of preventing the misery and emptiness that has befallen me and countless others, especially in their youth. You clearly know whats best for you family and your son. Despite how depressing my story is (sorry for being such a downer!) I am a healthy and happy gay man, living loud and proud in Salt Lake City. My beloved husband and I just celebrated our 15th anniversary with a couple hundred friends. I have a career I love, a beautiful home, and a life that the 13 year old me couldn’t have conceived as possible. It comes close to making me believe in the miraculous!
    But I only have this life because I got off my knees and refused to beg for the recognition of my humanity from a fatally flawed, man-made institution that had no right to deny it. Will Mormonism ever recognize the right of LGBT people to live freely as they choose? Maybe, maybe not. It took them a full decade after the horrific martyrdom of Martin Luther King to grudgingly admit black people might actually be human, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up. They might, but the trick is to not give a damn. And you can achieve that by turning your back on those that would turn their backs on you in your most dire time of need, as your ward members clearly did. I bare my true feeling that your son has sacrificed enough of his precious life to this dying and ossified institution. And so have you. As my story (which is far from unique) demonstrates, the hatred you and your son experienced is doctrinal, institutional, cultural, and not going away. I would encourage you to find a club that would have him as a member. If you feel strongly about the core of Christian ideas, there are plenty of affirming, pro LGBT churches that would have you with open arms. Or like myself and many others who got free, there is the possibility of a life without the shackles of Iron age folk tales as well. Either way, I submit a happier life awaits outside the triple combo.
    All my best to you and your son and your family. You all have shown real courage under cruel circumstances. Wherever your journey takes you, you have already done so much right by him that I suspect life will just get better and better. You have my email, please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can assist you.

  17. Blake Welling
    October 10, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I have a similar experience in my family. I would love to send you a article that my father wrote about his experience. Can I get your email address?

    • Mark
      October 10, 2013 at 12:55 pm

      Blake, are you talking to me? Or Wendy? Why not post a link to the article here?

  18. Dan
    October 15, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Wendy and Tom thank you for recognizing the love of Jesus Christ in your son. We know that God is in all who will love Him and live a life for Him regardless of our color or orientation. I was raised Mormon, excommunicated because of who I was. I have found that the scriptures do not speak of same sex loving relationships. They speak of orgies, rape and mostly deal with idolatry. I would enjoy being able to dialogue with you via email phone or even face to face if the opportunity would arise.

    Please feel free to contact me if you need help in the scriptures or other Mormon moms and dads. Not only am I gay, but I have two gay nephews. Who would have thought? God has a sense of humor, He does not make mistakes. God bless you in your walk in helping to teach tolerance and understanding.

  19. Drew
    October 18, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Hello Wendy. I just heard you on NPR Tell Me More.
    Wow, I was so incredibly impressed with you. We are all tested here on this planet. Some understand the sense behind these tests and others less so.

    You are a woman of beautiful heart and a good mind.
    That’s it. I have nothing to add regarding any particular religion. There is something substantial in all spiritual traditions. But you are a beacon for others regardless of our upbringing and orientation.

  20. October 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Dear Wendy,

    I listened to your interview with Michel Martin on NPR today and I have to write you a big thank you for the inspiration! Your words brought me to tears; a mix of sadness for the struggles you and others like you face, but above all happiness for what you are doing. Wendy, you are very brave and an amazing role model. If only our lawmakers could share your wisdom.

    Although I am not gay, I can imagine through my friends how challenging it must be to feel accepted everywhere. If I ever have a gay child one day I will surely think of your words and efforts. Wishing you and your family all the best. You should all know that even if you don’t hear us, there are many people like me who are grateful for you, your family, and what you are doing.

    Thanks again, you’ll always have my support. Kind greetings from Medellin, Colombia!

    All the best,
    Karla

  21. lauren
    October 22, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Wendy – while I am a Buddhist, after hearing your beautiful and touching story on NPR, it left me hopeful that, oddly enough, it will also be the beginning of our nations political divide, as the party lines seem clearly drawn by those who are tolerant, and those who are not… (not that I have any idea what your party line is at all – it is simply my humble opinion…. please read on :)

    BUT, funny how the Universe seems to be putting these beautiful children, such as your son, into your lives, so you can expand your faith beyond it’s original borders, by becoming more accepting, tolerant, and embracing of ‘others’…

    I also love and respect how you really wanted to keep your faith, and make it work for you, for I believe that desire will be precisely what makes the greatest impact on a larger scale, in a way which will carry a rippling effect far beyond the Mormon walls… (and save many other young people)…

    Blessings to you on your courageous journey.. You & your son are clearly pioneers, and your story is intended to be a part of a larger movement towards unity for us all… Love & Light to you and yours….

  22. Charles
    October 23, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    Wendy, I’ve lived In Bakersfield my whole life. Even though I’m just a teen, I face so many challenges being gay in this conservative town. I’m so happy that your son has a mother like you in his life. Your bravery is something that many people in this town should admire. Thank you so much for everything that you have done for this community, you are a true inspiration to me from here on out.

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