Brigham Young University – Idaho
Rachel Moulton lives in Riverside, CA, is a member of the LDS Church, and is gay. “I know that I am a child of God,” she said. “And I now know that being gay and being a child of God can both be true.”
Rachel grappled with significant religious trauma for much of her life, unsure how to reconcile feelings of same-sex attraction with her deep faith. She tried to ignore her feelings but concluded that there was nothing she could do to change her sexual orientation.
During her freshman year at Brigham Young University – Idaho, she attempted suicide. She felt abandoned and betrayed by her school and Church, which has long taught that same-sex attraction will disappear in the next life. The school also has many anti-LGBTQ+ provisions in its Honor Code and has a history of requiring LGBTQ+ students to undergo so-called “conversion therapy.”
After recovering, she returned to BYU-Idaho, where she took several required classes that underlined anti-LGBTQ+ views on marriage and family. She sought support from USGA, a support group for queer students at BYU-Idaho that was not allowed to meet on campus. After several years of self-discovery and self-affirmation, she returned to BYU-Idaho in 2020 through online courses, but the discriminatory environment and anti-LGBTQ+ climate had not changed. Rachel is now working as a behavior technician for children with autism and hopes to return to school someday.
She is raising her voice to protect all LGBTQ+ students at Brigham Young University – Idaho and religiously affiliated colleges across the country.