ST. GEORGE – Dixie State College of Utah’s weekly “Dixie Forum: A Window on the World” convocation wraps up a successful 2011-12 academic year on Tuesday, April 24, with presentation by Gary and Millie Watts, former co-chairs of Family Fellowship, a support group primarily for LDS parents with gay and lesbian children.
The couple’s presentation, “The Long and Winding Road,” tells their story as a devout and united LDS family with two homosexual children. The Watts are both fifth generation Mormons who were raised in Cache Valley and married in the LDS temple in 1962. They lived the quintessential Mormon dream until 1989 when their eldest son told them he was gay. He was one of six children, a recently returned missionary and the former student body president of his high school. His revelation came as a complete surprise to both parents. The news started the entire Watts family on a journey of discovery and understanding that continues today.
They will tell their story and share a DVD of their son’s discovery of his same sex attractions and his honest response.
Six years after their son’s revelation, their fifth child, a daughter, also came out as lesbian. Through it all, the family has stayed united and has been actively involved in sharing their story in hopes of creating a better and more just world for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered individuals.
The Watts served together as co-chairs of Family Fellowship for 13 years. The Family Fellowship was founded nearly 20 years ago as a volunteer service organization with a diverse collection of Mormon families engaged in the cause of strengthening families with homosexual members.
The Forum will begin at noon, in the Dunford Auditorium of the Browning Resource Center on the DSC campus. Admission is free for all community members, DSC students, and faculty and staff.
For further information on DSC’s Dixie Forum series, please contact DSC Forum advisor Professor Marius van der Merwe at 435-652-7924 or at [email protected].