On September 22, LGBTQ+ Services partnered with Student Development and Enrollment Services and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to bring LGBT author, Lou Anne Smoot, to share her story.

Smoot is known for her book, A Christian Coming Out: A Journal of the Darkest Period in My Life, which was recognized by the Texas Association of Authors. She addressed a large audience of students, faculty and staff members who asked several questions about her journey to reconcile being a part of an organized religion and identifying as LGBTQ+.

She shared her proudest moments and her most challenging days as she negotiated whether or not to “come out” of the closet to her former husband and children.

According to her website: http://www.louannesmoot.com, “This retired public school teacher, holder of two college degrees, mother of four, grandmother of six, and Baptist Sunday School teacher, courageously changed her life in the direction she felt God was ‘prodding’ her to go. Despite the uncomfortableness of remaining a member of her Baptist church when she divorced and began ‘coming out,’ she remained faithful to God and to her church at a time when most homosexuals her age either remained ‘in the closet’ or turned their backs on the churches that seemed to turn their backs on them.”

Justin Andrade, coordinator for LGBTQ+ Services, stated, “Her openness invited a great dialogue among attendees and it was an honest presentation on how hiding a secret for 37 years is not easy. Ultimately, Lou Ann explained how she found peace with being a Christian and a lesbian through self-acceptance and her faith in God.”

Smoot’s partner, who also spoke to the audience, left them with this, “Find one thing in your faith that you believe in…God is love.”