Close to three years ago, Kendall and I had the opportunity to be filmed for a documentary by Kendall Wilcox (not my Kendall) called Far Between, about gay Mormons. Our three part video series can be seen here:http://farbetweenmovie.com/kelly-and-kendall-part-1/
I was recently asked to provide an update of my story, to be included on the Far Between website, and I've included that here:
During the time of the film, I was in the beginning stages of a 2 1/2 year relationship with another woman, with my husband's knowledge and blessing. Within five months of the film, Kendall and I were divorced yet still living together. We continued to live together as co-parents and best friends for a little over a year, until Kendall remarried another straight spouse in August 2013.
A few months before Kendall got married, I began working for the first time since my first baby was born,18 years previously. I knew that I needed to begin the process of taking care of myself, since one day Kendall and I wouldn't live together nor support each other. It was a huge adjustment, but I was fortunate enough to find a great company to work for, even though I didn't have much of a resume or a college education. I have continued to move up in the company and was recently promoted to a supervisory position.
I was excommunicated from the church in July of 2012, just a few months after my girlfriend was excommunicated, both for having a relationship while I was still married. We planned to marry each other at some point, but due to many complicated reasons, and a few on and offs, we ended up parting ways in February 2014.
Kendall and I remain best friends and we live one mile apart. We are able to share custody of our children 50/50, which is as ideal as it can be for all of us. My kids have four new siblings, and my children seem to be doing very well considering. I continue to say that we're fortunate enough to have had the "perfect divorce," knowing that it's never an easy thing, but we've been blessed to go through all transitions a lot easier than the general divorced population. I feel the same about our children's experience, yet I'm not minimizing their very real experience that has at times been very difficult. We've all been very blessed through each change, and I attribute that first to God's guidance and love, and secondly to the strong family ties that Kendall and I created for each other and our children.
My daughter is getting ready to go on a mission for the church. My boys continue to attend church meetings with their dad each week. I have not attended the LDS church in the past couple of years and I'm not sure if I will again. I still hold close many teachings of the church, but if I return in the future I will be a different type of congregant. I would first need to make sure that I've let go of the hurt and anger for some of the teachings, and some of my experiences in the church. I have attended a few different denominations, because I truly believe that I need to actively pursue my spirituality. More than anything I recognize that where the pew is located simply doesn't matter. I feel close to God in nature, in a church building, in a cemetery, talking with my children, driving down the road, listening to music, even watching a movie. What I have realized is that I need to remain aware of my close relationship with God at all times, and allow Him to bless me. I am happiest when I recognize His hand in my life, which is why I take time each day to feel gratitude for my knowledge of God and His knowledge of me.
I am happily out as a lesbian, excommunicated Mormon. I wouldn't have changed one aspect of my coming out story, and I'm very grateful for the support I've had along the way. I am happier now than I've ever been, and although I look forward to the possibility of finding the love of my life some day, I am confident in my ability to remain happy should that never happen.