My LDS Church Membership is the foundational affiliation most important in how I came to this dialogue. In addition to that I am a scientist by profession, a university professor (now emeritus) in the ISU College of Health Professions, where my specialty is hearing disorders. During my teaching years I published regularly in the refereed literature of my field and I have used self report extensively in my work.
In the beginning I was drawn into this discussion because of a close family member, my nephew Brad, who grew up Mormon and discovered his gay feelings during his teen years. These drew him away from the Church, but he remained close to his family.
In 1991, I co- edited a book along with my brother, Wayne Schow and my friend Marybeth Raynes which was dedicated to my nephew. Brad died of AIDS in 1986. The book was “Peculiar People:Mormons and Same-sex Orientation” In the early 1990s I was a co-founder and helped organize the LDS groups “Family Fellowship” and “Reconciliation.” In 1993, Marybeth and I chaired an initial Family Fellowship conference at the University of Utah with the head of the Kinsey Institute as keynote speaker, which was followed by annual conferences during most of that decade. Family Fellowship continues to have quarterly scientific type meetings in Salt Lake City and Provo. LDS Reconciliation involves weekly gospel discussions with LDS hymns, prayers and scriptures which have been held for over two decades initially in 6 Utah and Idaho cities and they continue weekly in SLC.
Beginning in about 2000 I was granted a university sabbatical focused on these issues during which I began work on and helped produce three documentary films and helped coauthor “A Guide for LDS Families Dealing with Homosexual Attraction” with Bob Rees, Marybeth Raynes and Bill Bradshaw. This was distributed and sold for a time at Deseret Book. Since then I have helped create three websites: LDSResources.org, GayMormonForum.org, GaysAndMormons.org and I have been involved in other related writing and research projects.
I currently have affiliations with both Affirmation and NorthStar.