I recently returned from an Affirmation Conference in Mexico City, and I want to share with you that I was truly humbled, moved, and more convinced than ever that the support you and I are offering through Affirmation is making a meaningful difference in the lives of LGBT Mormons worldwide.
Allow me to introduce one, Carlos. (photo not posted because he is still in the process of coming out)
Carlos almost didn’t make it to the conference. He only heard about it 4 days prior. In fact, he so desired to meet other LGBT Mormons and their allies that he traveled on a 22-hour overnight bus trip from the Yucatan Peninsula. Excitement brewing yet a little sleep deprived, Carlos said coming to the Affirmation conference was like his first day at the MTC, a life-changing milestone.
I saw Carlos throughout the conference and witnessed firsthand how much the conference changed him. Instead of feeling like he had to be less of himself to fit in, the conference allowed him to do what we want: express who we are. Carlos was able to make friends and meet people based on who he was. In fact, Carlos said the conference made him feel like he was finally “at home.” I was grateful that Affirmation could provide Carlos what he needed and could do it when he needed it the most.
There are over 15 million Mormons in the world, which means Carlos is only one of at least 750,000 (5% by modest estimates) who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or same-gender attracted. Imagine how many others we can continue to help! You’re a living witness of our efforts. Everything Affirmation has done has happened because of members like you. I can’t state it enough. We need your continued help to make it happen.
Together, we’ve achieved a lot through Affirmation. This year we had a record number of 450 attendees at our annual international conference and we were welcomed with VIP seats at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s weekly broadcast. We proudly walked into the Tabernacle as LGBT Mormons, family members and friends – out of the shadows and into the light. We were even introduced by the host (watch the video). We’ve launched our new Spanish website and are finishing our Portuguese website, with other language sites in planning stages through which resources, stories, and information will be shared more easily worldwide.
Now is the time to help the many others, like Carlos, who need a place where they can flourish and believe in themselves. In 2015, we will be holding regional conferences in Fort Myers, Florida, Santiago, Chile, Buenos Aires, Argentina, London, England, and again in Mexico. These conferences will bless many lives yet will require a significant investment of resources in the tens of thousands of dollars. Your gifts will make these conferences possible. I hope you will continue to support generously the vital work being carried out around the world by Affirmation.
So, please, reach out to those who need your help so much, by sending right now the most generous gift that you can to Affirmation – $50, 100, 250, 500, or more if possible. The Gift of Affirmation is a tax-deductible donation. DONATE HERE or send a check to Affirmation: LGBTQ Mormons, Families & Friends, 912 E 32nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407. If you would like to donate appreciated securities (e.g. stocks and bonds), email Chuck Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: A special event will be held in 2015 for all donors who gave $250 or more to Affirmation during 2014. Donate today to make sure you are invited! DONATE HERE
Thanks in advance for your support!
My sincerest wish for a very Merry Christmas and a joyful New Year!
Randall Thacker, President