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Meet the Team


Kerry Spencer Pray

Kerry got her PhD from the University of Wales and taught writing at BYU for 15 years. She now teaches writing at Stevenson University and lives in Maryland with her wife, Heather, and two children. Follow Kerry on Twitter @Swilua 

Her story is here.

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Jenn Lee Smith

Jenn is a filmmaker who focuses on stories of underrepresented people such as "Jane and Emma," "Bomberos," and the short documentary, "Faithful," about two Mormon lesbians. In a previous life, she worked on a PhD in feminist geography. She lives in California with her husband, children, and dog.


Averyl Dietering

Averyl Dietering is currently an English PhD candidate at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses primarily on the interplay between emotions, gender, race, sexuality, and religion in the early modern period, but she also occasionally writes about LGBTQIA+ Mormon history. She is married to Kristen Cardon, and they currently reside in California with their dog, Eliot.

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Kristen Cardon

Kristen Nicole Cardon is a PhD candidate in the English Department at UCLA. Her fields are postcolonial, British, and queer literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries with additional emphases in disability studies and environmental humanities. She has a B.A. and M.A., both in English literature, from Brigham Young University. Kristen’s dissertation is an interdisciplinary study of suicide notes in relation to both literary form and to species suicide in the Anthropocene. Read her writing about queer Mormon suicide:

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Eliana Massey

Eliana is a writer who has written essays and poetry about spirituality and queerness for QMW and the Exponent. Her passion for the intersection of LGBTQ+ identity and Mormonism has also led her to be a part of the Trans Saints Stories team. 

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Becca Appel-Barrus

Becca has a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University and is a copy writer, editor, and podcast producer for a nonprofit for 911 dispatchers. She also writes on the side and is currently reworking a YA novel about a closeted Mormon teen girl grappling with her faith and sexuality around the Exclusion Policy. 

Jim Elliot Marquez

Jim Elliot Marquez  is a passionate advocate for the LGBT+ community. Jim has a degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development from BYU, and a second degree in Animation and Visual Effects from Ex'pression College for Digital Arts. Jim now lives in Roy, Utah, where he works to build resources for the Queer Mormon community through organizations like QMW, Affirmation: LGBT Mormons, Families and Friends, and LDS Walk With You.

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