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Pearson's new book paints gay Mormons as heroes on a quest

Published November 27, 2012 12:29 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Instead of seeing their sexuality as a defect, what if gay Mormons imagined themselves as heroes born with an essential and valued gift?

That's how LDS writer Carol Lynn Pearson depicts them in her fourth — and possibly final — book on the topic, "The Hero's Journey of the Gay and Lesbian Mormon."

Pearson published her first book about gays more than 25 years ago. Titled "Goodbye, I Love You," it described the life and death of her husband, Gerald, who was gay and died of AIDS. She followed that with two collections of gay Mormon personal essays, called "No More Goodbyes."

In her just-published "Journey," Pearson draws parallels between the experience of gay Mormons and the archetypal tale told by famed mythologist Joseph Campbell. It is a story of brave souls who venture from their homes in a search for self-discovery, where they confront and, ultimately, triumph over demons or darkness, before returning transformed by the experience.

Pearson's newest volume is a hopeful fable, she says, with a powerful, positive message for Mormons with same-sex attraction.

It is about, she writes, finding love — "the life-giving substance that cures all ills."