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Ben Schilaty

Ben Schilaty works as an Honor Code administrator and adjunct professor at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He holds three degrees from BYU: a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies, a master’s in Hispanic linguistics, and a master’s in social work; he also earned a PhD in second language acquisition and teaching from the University of Arizona. Ben learned Spanish and Portuguese during his mission in Chihuahua, Mexico, and when he lived in Bolivia, Peru, and Portugal. He put his language abilities to good use by teaching Spanish for a decade at middle school, high school, and college levels.

In 2015 Ben began blogging about his experiences as a gay Latter-day Saint. During his time in Arizona he created a support community for LGBTQ Latter-day Saints in the Tucson area. He cohosts the podcast "Questions from the Closet" with his friend Charlie Bird and is the author of A Walk in My Shoes: Questions I'm Often Asked as a Gay Latter-day Saint. 

June 29, 2021 12:00 PM MDT
In 2014, I returned to Tucson after spending weeks at my parents’ house trying to figure out how to move forward. I had few answers, but one thing I knew was that I needed to stop hiding. I had decided not to force my experiences on anyone, but to be honest with people when my orientation came up organically. Dianna and I had carpooled to a young single adult activity on Mt. Lemmon, just north of Tucson, and as the two of us drove down the mountain I felt a prompting to come out to her. I mentioned our friend Laura whose nickname is Fun Laura. Dianna asked, “Does Fun Laura have a nickname for you?”
6 Min Read
April 20, 2021 12:00 PM MDT
As my social work program came to a close, I remember a distinct moment walking across campus to the Marriott Center for a Tuesday devotional. I realized that BYU had become my home and that I wasn’t ready to leave.
8 Min Read
January 26, 2021 01:00 PM MST
I kept a secret journal for my biggest secret. There are only eleven entries in it, and they are filled with fear, hope, and the most honest things I’d ever written. Part of my first entry on June 27, 2007, says, “Since I was a teenager I have struggled with same-gender attraction. This is the first time I’ve ever admitted that fact except in prayer.” I was twenty-three years old. Admitting that on paper was a big deal because admitting it made it real. I went on to say how afraid I was of leaving the Church.
8 Min Read
September 14, 2019 09:02 AM MDT
As I write this post, it is my mom’s 71st birthday. Three years ago she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the day before her birthday. Two years after her diagnosis, I was visiting home. I wanted to get some details about the story of my birth from her while I still could. While the two of us were walking along the Stillaguamish River at Cascade Park, I asked her some questions. She didn’t seem to know what I was talking about and just gave some rambling, nonsensical answers. It felt like the memories were all gone and that I’d have to rely on my own memory of what I’d already been told.
5 Min Read
April 05, 2019 08:19 PM MDT
I am not in a same-sex relationship. I have no plans to marry a man. I have no children. The November 2015 policy said nothing about gay Latter-day Saints like me. And yet when I read about the policy, I felt pain and confusion. You see, the hurt came from wondering if the church didn’t want people like me. The hurt came from feeling excluded. The hurt came from fearing that if I chose to be in a same-sex marriage that I would be erased from my people.
5 Min Read