Workshop for Families in Conflict

      On the evening of Friday, February 21st, Circling the Wagons will be holding a Workshop for Families in Conflict. We recognize that many Mormons experience deep divisions within their families regarding the appropriate response to sexual orientation. It can difficult, if not impossible, to find spaces where members who disagree can feel […]

Emotional Pain, Families in Conflict and Learning Acceptance

By Anne McMullin Peffer Same-sex attraction within Mormonism has a tendency to be associated with deep amounts of emotional pain. This emotional pain is often at the heart of family and community conflicts. In general, a great deal of the emotional pain is related to fear of rejection and exclusion. Family members who are attracted […]

2014 Keynote Speaker FAQ

Q: Who are Lee Beckstead and David Matheson and why is it different to have a conference that keynotes both of them? Lee Beckstead, Ph.D., is a former-Mormon psychologist who was a member of the APA task force that made the official recommendation that the appropriate therapeutic response to sexual orientation be LGBT-affirming. David Matheson, […]

The Chinese Finger Trap

By Anne McMullin Peffer I am the third of five children. My siblings and I could probably have won the contention award of the 1970s. We were opinionated, smart, and each felt it was our personal obligation to teach each other how to behave. The fighting was incessant. While I won’t deny that I was […]

LGBT? SSA? Allowing for Self-Determination

By Anne McMullin Peffer Within Mormonism we have a history of debating whether it’s preferable to identify as LGBT or same-sex attracted. There are many cogent and well-founded arguments behind this conflict that I won’t use any text space to rehash. That’s a conversation we’ve already had….. a few (or more) times. What I’ve learned […]

Mormon Missionaries Create Art with LGBT Community in Ecuador

It’s been ten years since my mission to Ecuador. Recently I thought it would be fun to revisit the experience through reading my journals. As I skimmed through the pages I came across something quite precious and unique for an LDS missionary. On April 17th 2003, in Quevedo Ecuador, my zone of fellow missionaries coincidentally […]

Who are Circling the Wagons Conferences For?

I received another message today from a Mormon who wondered if she would be accepted at Circling the Wagons conferences. She was worried that she wouldn’t belong because she believes that it’s right for people who are attracted to the same-sex to self-identify as LGBT instead of same-sex attracted. Circling the Wagons conferences are for […]

Why Attend When I Already Know What I Believe?

By Anne McMullin Peffer Many people have written me to explain that they hold very firm stances in regards to LGBTQ and same-sex attracted Mormons and that they don’t see any reason to attend a conference that keynotes speakers with whom they disagree. Considering the fact that the keynote speakers disagree with each other, chances […]

Emotional Pain and Diverse Community Spaces

By Anne McMullin Peffer Participating in a Circling the Wagons conference is a challenge for several reasons. A first primary obstacle is the fact that Circling the Wagons conferences seek to be safe spaces for Mormons of diverse beliefs, sexual orientations, gender identities, gender expressions, political ideologies and life decisions. Secondly, there is a great […]

A Memory of Josh Weed and Love

By Anne McMullin Peffer I remember the morning of the 2012 Salt Lake City conference featuring Josh Weed, Allen Miller and Joseph Broom as being very tense. The invitation of keynote speakers who had made different life decisions had not settled well with the public. Media were bustling and requesting interviews with Josh, last-minute conference […]