Andrew’s Court of Love

Interview

Posted July 30th, 2017

Heather leads Randy and Jake through a spectacular interview with National Geographic travel writer Andrew Evans. Andrew is a former Mormon who was excommunicated for his sexuality. He tells that story in his new book “The Black Penguin.” Heather, Randy, Jake, and Andrew take turns dramatizing key moments from the book. This is an incredible episode of Infants on Thrones. You won’t want to miss it.

Here is a video we made of the dramatized portions of this episode:

Heather

Jake

Randy

  • steve

    I’m only half way through, but best episode ever!

    Andrew should return every now and again.

    • Thanks, Steve. I’m already trying to lure him back.

      • Andrew

        Dark chocolate & gay porn work best.

        • steve

          I’d definitely go for the dark chocolate part

          Seriously – this was an important episode. The chemistry was excellent.

          My gay uncle was pretty much erased from the family. My sister and I weren’t allowed any contact. When he died only one family member would claim him. I thought that I was away from the church (I live far from Utah), but the harm being done got to me and I stumbled on Infants.

          I left when I was 12. It caused some fallout at the time, but my parents were understanding after a bit. The odd/funny thing was they thought my apparent non-interest in girls and sports meant I must be gay. They were relieved to find it was only a math book when they caught me under the covers with reading with a flashlight. They were worried I was gay like my uncle. They had been anti science (evolution and the old universe were wrong in their book), but they didn’t protest too much when I fell into that path.

          • Andrew

            Very sad to hear about your uncle, as this has been my own experience. I think of all the families in the LDS sphere who have erased other members who didn’t fit the correct picture. It’s almost as if they’re enforcing Celestial law on Earth. Thanks so much for your comments and for listening. Glad that you got out when you did.

  • Anonymous

    Andrew, Thank you for speaking up about these issues. I’m one of the many LDS women who unknowingly married a closeted gay man. After 10 years of marriage, we both left the church and then he finally told me the truth about his orientation. We separated soon after and are now divorced. Many erroneously assume that the moment your spouse comes out to you is the moment your life comes crashing down, but my life had been slowly crumbling for 10 years. I developed PTSD-like symptoms from his constant underlying anger, and was profoundly confused by his behaviors and his attempts to explain his behaviors when questioned. He quickly moved on to a new relationship after we separated, but due to the PTSD and betrayal of trust it has been difficult for me to do the same. It would have been better for me to be single in the LDS church during the last 10 years of my life than to be in this incredibly damaging marriage. I’m saddened that my ex-spouse had to choose between a heterosexual marriage and the possibility of losing the love and acceptance of his family and his faith community. What has been really hard for me is that while he made a choice under these incredibly difficult circumstances, I was not allowed to make an informed choice about my marriage. I wasn’t allowed to decide if I wanted to try to make it work in a mixed-orientation marriage, rather, he kept me in the marriage through deception because he saw that as better than the implications of telling the truth. The recent policy change will likely lead to a higher percentage of mixed-orientation marriages based on deception which breaks my heart.

    • Andrew

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so sorry for your pain and that you had to live at the opposite end of someone’s insecurity and bad decisions. You make a very good point about not having the freedom to make that choice for yourself, which seems fundamental to a marriage. I hope you have found courage and stamina in the truth and the knowledge of your value. Sending hugs and best wishes on your journey.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Andrew, your words mean a lot. My life has been SO much better after the separation and divorce. Although I wish it didn’t take so long for him to tell me the truth, I’m so glad that he did instead of waiting 20 or 30 years to do so. I’ve had the freedom to seek new career opportunities and to live a much happier and healthier life.

  • seagullite

    Oh man. I had so many feelings while listening to this episode. I laughed! I almost cried!

    I thought when I came out after my mission (2009 to 2011) that I had it hard with a family that was not terrible supportive in some ways, but after hearing Andrew’s story, I feel truly lucky that I have had such wonderful parents and family that have come around. Andrew is an engaging storyteller and has a really great sense of humor even though he’s been through so much! I’d love to have him on IOT again! 🙂

  • Angela Shields

    Great job guys. This has been one of my favorite episodes so far! Andrew, I hope you return to iot again! I think we can all learn a lot from you.

    • Andrew

      Thanks Angela! I was glad for the chance to hang out with the Infants, even if I have to stop myself and say a little prayer every time Randy says a swear.

  • Seb

    Thanks to Andrew, and of course the crew, for a compelling interview from start to finish.

    Andrew, I’m very curious as to who your liberal convert Bishop was in Oxford(?) in the 1990s(?)

    Any chance of a hint?

    • Andrew

      Sorry, man. I’ll respect his confidentiality even though he did not respect mine. Thanks so much for listening though!

      • Seb

        I quite understand! Perhaps you’d be willing to share the years in which you were there?

        I was in the Oxford ward approx ’86-’02 so I’m assuming there’s overlap? Maybe you even directed music for my primary class? 🙂

        • Andrew

          99-2002, after which I stopped attending.

          • Seb

            Ah, thanks!
            My father served two terms as Bishop – before that period and again after it, though I can’t say whether things would have been different on his watch.
            A deplorable situation.

  • floydfloyd

    Best episode in a while. Heather, PLEASE drive more discussions like this one. I always appreciate your perspective and I think that Jake and Randy were a good complement to make a nice panel.

  • MoHoHawaii

    Hey Andrew, I listened to the podcast and then read The Black Penguin. Enjoyed both quite a lot. Best of luck to you and yours.

    I came out to my own LDS parents about 30 years ago. They instantly gave me their full support and love. Within a year my mother had started a PFLAG chapter in her small Utah town. I realize now that my parents were black penguins of a sort; I have yet to meet anyone with a Mormon coming out story like mine, especially from that era. I found the account of your family’s rejection of you heart wrenching.

    In any case, thanks for sharing your life with all of us.

    (BTW, my orthodox LDS siblings are still not ok with me.)