The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints preaches that same-sex relations are sinful and—while it doesn’t have an official position on the trans community—has previously supported anti-transgender campaigns.
But one Mormon woman in Utah has managed to remain an active member of the church, all while championing the rights of the LGBT+ community, the Daily Beast reports.
Neca Allgood was supportive when her child came out as gay at 16—but after a little research on gender and sexual identity, Neca realised that Grayson was probably transgender.
When she sat down to chat with him, he told her: “I have a boy’s soul”.
“When he said that, that was just so clear to me that I needed to help him make his life match his soul," says Neca.
Neca is now the President of Mama Dragons, a safe space for women “navigating the waters of LGBTQ issues within their family or community" that started as a message thread between mums.
The group now has over 1000 official members and provides support both online and through local meet-ups, championing "faith, family and LGBTQIA communities".
Neca acknowledges that some of the church’s teachings discriminate against LGBT+ people and that it can be a challenge to maintain her faith.
“There are certainly very hard things about being a faithful Mormon and having an LGBT kid, because a lot of the policy and a lot of messages our church sends about LGBT people is pretty harmful,” she says.
She’s also willing to accept that her son might want to leave the church one day.
“I know he’s someone who tries hard to do the right thing,” she said.
“And it seems like church policies haven’t necessarily caught up with what might be the right thing for Grayson.”