Natasha Helfer Parker from MormonMentalHealth.org interviews Lorena Tobon, who grew up as a faithful and extremely dedicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Colombia. From an early age she found herself falling in love with other women in her life – something that caused her great consternation as she tried to live the Mormon life she loved. Serving a mission for the church, marrying her husband Elmer (who joins the discussion for part of the interview) and having two children were all part the choices she made desperately trying to deny her sexual orientation. Lorena and Elmer discuss how they have come to a point in their marriage where they realize it is no longer sustainable and the pain involved in the decisions they are currently making to keep their family system intact as they begin a co-parenting relationship. Lorena also shares the difficulties of coming to terms with her love for the gospel while not feeling like her experience fits in the current church culture and policies.
Part 1 covers the early part of Lorena’s life, her parents conversion to the Mormon church, implications church life had on their family life, her own journey into a Mormon testimony, and the recognition she was “different” from a very early age.