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Steve Lee

35 years of prayer couldn’t get rid of my homosexuality. My name is Steve and I am an Ex Mormon.

As I watched two buildings explode and crush into pieces on September 11th, 2001, my life began to fall apart. It was the event that shook my soul and began my exit from the Mormon Church. As I sat speechless and terrified watching thousands of innocent people die, I wondered if they had lived genuinely. They were in a situation they couldn’t control, meeting the ends of their lives with no choice. Up until that very moment, I also felt that I had no choice. This event shook my brain into a thinking mode as no other event had done. They were in a situation they couldn’t control, meeting the ends of their lives with no choice. But I DID have a choice in the direction I would go.

A sixth generation Mormon, named after Jacob Hamblin and John Doyle Lee, I was a select member with a shining lineage. I was destined to received all the temple blessings bestowed upon me throughout my life! But I was just fooling myself. I was a gay Mormon, hiding my true desires in an “eternal marriage” that was soon to come to an end. The thought of it all was overwhelming me. Leaving the Church was certainly the end of my being, my soul. My family would abandon me without question. What would I become? I would surely lose everything. Satan already had a death grip on my ankles pulling me to his side. Leaving the Church meant death of my body and my soul.

But the day arrived when I was so terribly unhappy I actually said it aloud. I would have rather died than live one more day feeling that disastrous inside. And many men in my situation simply end it, Blood Atonement to save themselves from the endless mental prison. But somewhere inside me I knew I could make it through even this trial. Could THIS be my real test from Heavenly Father? Escaping with my life, hoping to create a better life for my wife, my kids and myself? None of it made sense any more. I woke up on my last Sunday as a believing Mormon, my wife took my kids to Church with her, and over the next three hours as they were bored out of their minds, I began researching the Church online.

Without moving from that chair, every single question I had was answered, all my doubts about the strangeness of the Mormon Church became clear, a switch literally flipped in my head so loudly that I almost heard the click. From OFF to ON.

I’m not a stupid person, but I am a person who is controlled by fear. And my rational brain was able to conquer my fear of the future and I knew that I would never believe again. In three hours I knew that the Book of Mormon was absolute fiction and completely impossible. I knew that the Pearl of Great Price was also absolute fiction and it was almost laughable. The First Vision? What version of the First Vision? Patriarchal blessings, testimonies, seminary, BYU, my mission in Spain, all my callings, my tithing money, all my temple visits, my eternal marriage, my geneology, the General Authorities, the…the…the… It ALL came crashing down into a huge pile of rubble at my feet.

And I was still standing. I became extremely angry and very hopeful. I wasn’t going to die, or fall apart, or even lose anything! I was going to use my internal resources and rebuild my life! I was going to divorce amicably, release my straight wife from our confusing marriage and life, save my kids from a life of mental entrapment, and go forth!

The tenacity I had learned as a Mormon became the tenacity I needed to start a new life. My wife and I co-parented, divorced after 4 years of amicable separation, parenting and restructuring. I rebuilt my friends, people who would support me like my family once did, and my support structures. I launched into a new way of thinking about everything, I was energized, excited, and free! If there WAS a Heavenly Father, he certainly loved me without question, I felt more spiritual than I ever had in my life. I was reconecting with nature, discovering my real self, and finding the love of my life. And I didn’t have to convince myself or others with a programmed testimony anymore.

Everything I was before I still was, just released to be happy, genuine, and free to do what I wanted, to make my own choices without fear. I was now a cast-off from the Church, an apostate, the flotsam and jetsam of my family tossed off the Mormon cruise ship to the Celestial Kingdom. But I was happy. Finally happy. Not just saying I’m happy and lying about it, I was truly, to my core, happy.

I am getting married in five weeks to the love of my life, a man I met at a gay fathers support group in Denver. Our wedding day will be our 7th anniversary together. We are raising six wonderful kids together, three are his biological children, and three are mine. Our kids range in ages from 24-10. Our ex-wives are involved in our lives, and we all get along well. We have a lovely home on a street where our neighbors accept us. I have been able to realize what I wanted that day it all fell apart almost a nine ago. I have been fortunate enough to create a beautiful life for myself. And anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am one happy guy. If this is suffering, bring it on!

My name is Steve, and I’m an Ex Mormon.


To visit Steve’s wedding site click on the following link: www.rexandsteve.com


An ABC News article about Steve and the controversial “reparative therapy” program with Evergreen.


Steve’s Ex-wife wrote a book about their experience called “My Ex is Having Sex with Rex”

Below is a preview of Steve’s book “Falling Into Life: A Gay Exmormon’s Journey”

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Zack Tacorin
July 9th, 2011 at 11:47 am

Steve,

Great vid. Thanks so much for sharing you story. I think your insight about the Church’s reparative therapy was especially touching. I’m so glad you came out of that alive and that you’re now thriving, free of the Church and its oppressive dogma.

Best wishes!

Zack

Lynne
July 9th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

“The tenacity I had learned as a Mormon became the tenacity I needed to start a new life.” Well said, Steve. Your laughter and joy is a beautiful sight to behold. I, too, am very grateful for the tenacity I learned. It does serve us well. Thank you for sharing.

Linda
July 9th, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Thanks for sharing your powerful story. It’s inspiring for those of us left alone after an “eternal” marriage comes crashing down and the church is no longer of source of belief and comfort. Loved the wedding website, best of everything in your future!

TruthR
July 9th, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Another great video. Congrats Steve.

iorek
July 9th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

heroic.

jean
July 9th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

Wow Dan; Steve – this has to be THE most powerful of the videos yet. It really touched me to listen to you Steve, telling about your life and your struggles. I really related to the part where you talked about your last prayer, when you were able to grasp and hold the thought that god was just a ‘joke’ a figment in the imaginations of people who still need a parent to tell them how to behave.
Our society is no longer Bronze Age; it is the age of technology and science. I don’t give a damn what the Bible or the Mormon leaders say about homosexuality; they are using old ‘science’ and you are right; they don’t get it. They have no idea what it is like to be homosexual and they don’t want to know; they just want to control you, me and everyone else.

We CAN walk away and be happy. In my case it took a while. When I said that last prayer while sobbing “Why don’t you answer me? Why don’t I believe like my husband does? Help me – help thou mine unbelief.” I truly thought that I was having a stupor of thought; that he must be answering and that I was not able to hear his response because I was asking him to tell me that the Mormon Church was true. Ergo, he must be telling me that it wasn’t true. Then, and only then did I start to research anywhere I could find information. The Journal of Discourses was the best source of information for me to know that I was right, god was telling me the church was not led by him.

It didn’t take long before I recognized that I had received NO response and that it was my own logical thoughts that had led me to my conclusions about the church. That same logic has freed me from the god fairy tale and now I am free and happy. I could be happier if my family would accept my decision but they have to take responsibility for their beliefs and actions and I, like you absolutely HAVE to be authentic.

I love the way you love life Steve; all the best to you and your partner; your future husband.
Vive la difference!

Andrea
July 9th, 2011 at 5:27 pm

35 years? 36 is the magic number. At least that’s what my Chinese fortune cookie told me today. If you had endured to the end for ONE MORE YEAR, it all would have been worth it.

July 9th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Are you trying to be funny or just weird?

Duane
July 17th, 2011 at 6:58 am

I’m pretty sure that’s tongue-in-cheek (being funny)

Arthur
July 9th, 2011 at 9:10 pm

@Andrea Are you kidding me??? I sure hope you are but if not then you are a bigot who knows nothing of the struggles of gay religious men. Did you hear the video? He said 1/3 of his therapy class committed suicide! If he had waited another year maybe he would have committed suicide too!! Thanks @Steve for sharing your story with us. It was very inspirational. Even though I personally am straight, your story helped me to further understand the struggles of gay people in an oppressive religious world.

wontbefooledagain
July 9th, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Thank you for that powerful and beautiful story Steve.

Amy
July 9th, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Hearing about how 1/3 of his friends at Evergreen have now committed suicide was perhaps the most sobering thing I have heard in a while.
If the leaders of the LDS church have to account for nothing else, I hope that they will one day have to account for their treatment of gay people. It’s inexcusable. Something needs to be done.

Roger
July 10th, 2011 at 7:42 am

Steve,

Thanks for sharing your story. It had to have taken a lot of strength to endure the things you have been through, I respect and admire you. The world is a better place with you in it.

Karolina
July 10th, 2011 at 8:14 am

Love u Steve, you are amazing I really admire you! Thanks for your book too!!

Catherine
July 10th, 2011 at 9:52 am

Steve… I love love LOVE the second ending!!! That second ending sums up your entire story… so wonderful! I am thrilled that you and your whole family have found joy. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. May you both have many, many years of happiness together.

July 10th, 2011 at 9:58 pm

With a 1 in 3 suicide rate, this so-called Evergreen program should not be excluded from accountability. It doesn’t matter that they say they are not health professionals, etc., they claim they can reduce same-sex attraction, and through their methods, people are responding by taking their own lives. There should be a class-action lawsuit against them. I’ve read about other ex-gay programs that include shock therapy! The church’s failure to accept homosexuality will most likely be its downfall. They were one of the last religions to accept blacks into the priesthood, and it’s history repeating itself with the homosexuality issue.

Soon after I left the church, I watched general conference, including Boyd K. Packer’s talk on homosexuality. I used to think he was one of the most strong, steadfast and immovable members. I now realize he’s just an extremely bigoted ignorant old f**k.

Michael
July 10th, 2011 at 11:10 pm

Good job Steve.

July 10th, 2011 at 11:20 pm

I sailed along in the church ignoring the conflict between my homosexuality and “their” doctrine until the Church launched its campaign on Proposition 8 and I learned about the number of Mormon suicides. I then did two things: ONE, entered into a legal Civil Partnership with my companion of 42 years (celibate companionship for the last 17 years – the whole duration of my Church membership); TWO advised my Bishop and congregation of my opposition to the Church’s politicking and my new partnership – and was promptly excommunicated! I wrote a book of poetry about this process (all poems on the web site). Steve, your new life sounds idyllic: God bless you. I still choose to believe in a loving God (my personal psychological prop, maybe) and I am darned sure Boyd K Packer ain’t His spokesman! Evergreen and like programs are abusive and should be illegal. They would be illegal in UK.

Marlene
July 12th, 2011 at 8:34 am

I’m 51, and I knew I was both transsexual and lesbian at an early age.

I was raised United Methodist, and I left Christianity in my early teens when I realized the faith was bogus, and had no business regulating people’s lives when it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation.

It always amazes me when religious fanatics refuse to take the historical, cultural, textural and sociological context of their book. Does this country follow *every* tradition the ancient tribes had? Hell, no!

We no longer believe the Earth is flat and is the center of the Universe, we don’t think illnesses and disease is caused by demons, possessions, curses or spells. We don’t force women into arranged marriages and demand payment in the form of a dowry, we don’t force women into the kitchen and eternal domestic slavery (although the fascists are doing their damnedest to bring that back!), we don’t allow slavery and a myriad of other traditions we now consider invalid and outdated.

Yet, when it comes to sexuality, the US is still in the Bronze Age, believing two men or two women living with and loving each other is wrong! That’s like taking a science book from before the 1930s and still claiming that supersonic flight is impossible and taking a trip to the moon is a fantasy!

Steve, I’m sad it took you this long to throw off the yoke of an oppressive and dangerous faith, but happy you and your loved one will finally be happy. Here’s hoping your words ripple through that den of fear, loathing, and oppression and begin to free others from their spiritual bondage and slavery.

DD
July 12th, 2011 at 10:46 am

Another great video. I particularly enjoyed the part when he compared “traditional” marriage to his own relationship. IE – where he and his partner made dinner together, opposed to sitting on one’s ass while the wife made dinner.

Speaks volumes on how more equitable marriages are more satisfying for both partners.

Thanks for sharing Steve and i wish you happiness and fulfillment in your future.

July 14th, 2011 at 11:37 am

Hi Steve,
I am an ex-Mormon Lesbian living in Denver. The horrible pain that anyone must go through to be FREE of Mormonism is overwhelming. You lose everything you have come to know and love in your life. Your family, friends, your God and your community are ripped away from you when you come out. Mormonism is about complete community….you are raised with Mormons, you go to school with Mormons, you eat with Mormons, you get married to Mormons and there is nothing else. And when you come out, you are stripped and left with nothing. So I say YEA! for the strong ones who can come through it and find a place in the world and I say PRAY! for those who are not as strong.
I am happy with my life now and, although my family is still strong in the church, I have a wonderful relationship with my family. It has not been an easy 30 years for us…but there is hope! Thanks for your story and your insight. Congratulations on your marriage:)

Sam
July 22nd, 2011 at 9:08 am

Great Vid, Steve. I’m in your exact situation right now. Leaving my marriage now becasuse I am gay. Your story give me great hope. Everything will be ok.

July 23rd, 2011 at 11:01 am

“In the end you’re just a gay guy that knows how to work on a car” Made me chuckle. I can’t imagine the torment he went through, but it makes me happy to see him be able to joke about it and to see how better his life is now. Fantastic interview. I really like the point that his feelings for his partner are no different than the feelings straight couples have for each other. Too many people can’t wrap their heads around that.

Jessica
July 31st, 2011 at 5:44 pm

What a powerful story. I was moved to tears. I’m so happy that you found the love of your life and you’re able to be together. Congrats on the wedding! I wish you & your family the best!

FNWK
August 2nd, 2011 at 5:43 am

‘I was now a cast-off from the Church, an apostate, the flotsam and jetsam of my family tossed off the Mormon cruise ship to the Celestial Kingdom’

I love this writing Steve, made me laugh out loud because it is hilarious, but also because I’ve been tossed off too. Great way of putting it!

Christina
August 8th, 2011 at 4:12 am

What I don’t get is decisions based on emotion. There is no committment to marriage. No thought for the children. ME ME ME. Thats all this video says.

kate doster
August 11th, 2011 at 11:03 pm

you know i love you steven. excellent video, i am proud to be part of the same “family”, you are fabulous and you and rex have an amazing life laid out for you. xo

katie

Adele
August 18th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

LOVED IT!!!! This is one of my favourite videos!

Pam
August 21st, 2011 at 8:02 am

Hi Steve,
Am not gay, but love you all to the fullest. Had my name removed from the “Church Rolls,” many years ago. Mormonism is a totally man made religion. We are to love one another….nuf said. Now you are living like Jesus would have you live. Your authentic self, giving and receiving love. Bless you on your journey…thanks so much for sharing.

Tobin
August 21st, 2011 at 11:50 am

Now, I just don’t understand that at all. “Had my name removed from the “Church Rolls,” many years ago.” Why would you do that? Let’s be reasonable and assume you are right and Mormonism is a bunch of junk. Fine. Don’t go! Go do whatever you want. Take up underwater basket weaving if that hits your fancy. Now, let’s suppose that Mormonism isn’t made up as you state. You basically have damned yourself and jumped to the back of the line. So, I’d have to wonder why someone would do that? Is it out of spite? I just don’t get it, but it really seems to be a stupid move since it shouldn’t matter to you whether or not your name was on the church rolls.

Tobin

brainz
September 1st, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Steve y do u have to lie wen u know u r a gay and u lied , common u are a coward, u even went to mission in this state entering the temple, what a big blast. so what did you go mission to teach people in Spain, that they should be gays. we..lll pray u neva repeat this any where in your life again.

brainz
September 1st, 2011 at 5:07 pm

if u will change then its a personal thing that should start from within if u dont want to change do u expert super powers to change u. no way u hav eto put in an effort to change and u will. dont forget wen christ could not perform miracles in a part of his ministrtion on this lovely earth that he was sent to because of thier faith???????? it depended on them!!!!!!!!!!! so did the change u expected depend on u and not any one, if i tell u to sit…… u have the freedom to reject or to accept therefore if u sit becos i said so without thinking then it shows how stupid u are. pls find something better to say.

Howard Carver
September 14th, 2011 at 9:57 pm

This site is GREAT! I bought ‘Falling Into Life’ by Steven Lee and thoroughly enjoyed his honesty and wit throughout the entire reading. I strongly recommend it for those fascinated with the LDS church and the issue of non-acceptance of the LGBT community. Although I’ve never been a member of the Mormon church, I am so very thankful that I was not duped into accepting a religion based on delusion in my earlier years. I guess that’s why I am a bit intrigued when it comes to reading about Mormonism based on the truths that are NOT told to insiders who follow with blind faith down a path that leads to nothingness because it’s based on lies and schemes from beginning to end.

BRAVO Steve! You did GOOD!

Marcus
October 3rd, 2011 at 10:17 am

I laughed, i cried, i loved every second of your video. You are truly an amazing and brave man sir and i wish all the best for you and your family.

January 11th, 2012 at 8:32 am

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theodorus
February 2nd, 2012 at 5:50 pm

tremendous steve ,that you finally took your own life in your own hand,s and mind !!!
and cool too ! that when you did , you where lucky enough to find your love.
and yes ! this mormon believe is a charlatan , fake believe and the followers are the real looser,s!!!!
but you are free. free too live your live.
and that is a good thing.

and thank you for sharing your story with us.
dick.

azur wolf
June 1st, 2012 at 9:18 am

An inspirational story of personal strength. I changed my life round six years ago, amical divorce and raising my two kids myself. No love of my life, but I understand completely how scary it is to go through this process, and how truly liberating it is. I also have found real happiness and an ability to finally feel happy in myself. Best wishes to you and your husband as you go forward in life together.

Andrew
July 17th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Steve, you are a brilliant, beautiful person and I hope you read this and know how incredible you are. I wish my father could have seen this but he died before it was made. His story is similar to yours, except he spent over 60 years praying not to be gay, being tortured by the mormon church (and no I do not use that term lightly, he was LITERALLY TORTURED!!!). He too was in Evergreen in SLC for many years. Yeah, that was helpful (NOT!!!).

At 70, he could not take it any more and attempted suicide. Luckily, he failed, and the last 3 years were wonderful, though he could never really accept who and what he was. I’d like to think that if he had seen this video, known people like you, he could have accepted himself.

Thank you for your inspiration and let me say it again, you are a beautiful person and I thank you!! I am the straight son of a wonderful, beautiful gay father. I am Andrew, and I am an ex-mormon!!!

Julie
October 10th, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Andrew, your response made me cry for your father but feel so much admiration, as i know your father must have had, for you. Just wanted to send you love x I am Julie, and i am an exmormon !!,!

carrie wilson
October 19th, 2012 at 11:14 am

Wow, I watched this video. The steve and rex site is down, since posts or anything on this site have not been updated in well over a year, probably no one will read this, so I will feel free to comment.
I just do not believe all this “I was born this way” garbage. Didn’t the wife have a clue. In bed you can tell a lot. Didn’t she notice when he was doing her doggie style he would ‘slip.’ Was he too receptive to blow jobs.
I had a friend that went through the “my husband is gay’ thing and all the signs were there. He only came in her on occasions and was always slipping. This poor woman is just a poor excuse for a woman…she couldn’t keep her man so she lashes out at the Mormon Church (which I AM NOT a member of).

monica
October 27th, 2012 at 11:03 am

You have an energy, light, intelligence, and bravery that is inspiring. Thanks for your contribution!!!

Matt
November 27th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Thank you for your video!!!!!! I am mormon, I’m gay, and your video helps me feel human and normal. No one is bad person because they want to live a happy life with someone they love. Thank you

Nicole Brown
January 7th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

This guy does not look like a Mormon. He looks like an average Jewish gay guy. Do you guys check if the person appearing on the videos are real Mormons?

D. William Johnson (admin)
January 8th, 2013 at 11:45 pm

In order to fake being an ExMormon you would need to become fluent in the terminology that describes the Mormon version of reality- ie Celestial Kingdom, Fast and Testimony Meeting, General Conference etc etc. I speak with each individual I film, and it would be easy to spot someone faking it. Interestingly, I often find comments on youtube accusing those I have filmed of being actors (including some of my best friends and brother who I included in the video series). Not to be harsh, but I find it amusing the lengths some believing LDS people will go in order to discredit the emotional and authentic stories of those I have filmed.

June 3rd, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Kannst du den ersten Teil ausführlich erklären?

Stop by my web site – Kinder Schuhe

Issac
January 14th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Steve, never had that struggle, but I do want you to know God is not defined through people, people are wicked or/and can become that way. God love for you never changes, ever! Dont forget that, He is in control and He does love you.

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