EAST IDAHO NEWSMAKERS: Mama Dragons Debbie Glenn and Lori Embree

East Idaho Newsmakers

4  Updated at 1:00 am, March 12th, 2017 By: Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
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In this edition of East Idaho Newsmakers, Nate Eaton speaks with Debbie Glenn and Lori Embree. Both are members of the Mama Dragons – a support group for mainly LDS mothers who have children who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Debbie is the mother of Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn. In 2014, Tyler announced he was gay and remained active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints until Nov. 2015. That’s when the LDS Church instituted a policy saying married gay couples would be considered apostates and children of gay couples could not be baptized until they turned 18-years-old and disavowed their parents marriage.

Last October, Tyler released an album called ‘Excommunication’ detailing his struggles with faith.

Debbie recently visited east Idaho and sat down with Nate to talk about Tyler, the Mama Dragons and her membership in the LDS Church.

Debbie joined Lori Embree, a Rigby mother who has been a member of the Mama Dragons for years. Lori is a lifelong member of the LDS Church and has two children who are bisexual.

Watch the video above to see the entire conversation.



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East Idaho Newsmakers with Nate Eaton is a 30-minute interview show posted every Sunday on EastIdahoNews.com.

The program features unedited, in-depth conversations with interesting people who live in or visit east Idaho. Have an idea of somebody we should interview? Email neaton@eastidahonews.com.

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  • Melanie Muhlestein Ford

    Thank you for a thoughtful, well done interview! What amazing mama dragons! For the East Idaho LGTBQIA community struggling with the intersection of also being LDS–you are not alone! Mama Dragons are here, Mormons Building Bridges is here, you have allies! They nailed it-it’s not any more complicated than love.

  • Pamela Reaves Rodriguez

    Thank you both and Nare for participating in this presentation. There are so many people who feel betrayed when their children don’t tun out how they expect them to. Your answer to just love them unconditionally is so true. I am a mother of a trans child who didn’t even know that transgender was a concept, but worked through the complexities of the gender spectrum with them, curious as to who they truly were. And yes, love was always there with us. Now identified as transgender/asexual/gender neutral and much more able to grow and progress in life because of acceptance. I feared death by suicide of by child because of their confusion, but now things are so much better. Adolescence is a difficult time hormonally and socially, that these kids just need to know they are as God made them, perfect in their own way, with a future only they can contribute. Love is the answer. It is the only answer that works.

  • jake abhau

    Great interview. I love the message at the end from both of you. To love your children. And to add, if I may. You’re not loving your children if they are not feeling it. So if you love them but they don’t feel love from you, it’s not them. You need to try something else.
    My wife, Meg (who is the founder of Mama Dragons, I might add) gave a talk in our ward 2 weeks after our 13 year old son came out.
    She said, Jesus didn’t heal the lame contingent on what they were going to do with their legs. He healed them regardless. He healed them to serve, to steal, to live and choose whatever path they wanted to.

    So please, we need to love our children even if they write sacrilegious songs about the church (thank you, Deb).
    And dads, they are mostly scared of us. They are scared of our reaction. We are the reason they stay on the closet much much longer. We need to do better. We need to be better.
    There are Dragon Dads. We have a group of about 150 and growing.
    Message me if you’re a dad and want to be a part.

    • OneFiestyRedhead

      Thank you Jake. I needed the comment about Jesus healing the lame. This article has tagged me many times, and I browse the comments (I should probably not do that).,Faithful Mormons saying “yes God’s love is conditional,” and “God’s not going to change..” I pray they don’t have a queer child; rhetoric like that could quite literally kill them.. No. God’s not going to change: WE ARE. How many times have we thought we were doing right by god, then we find out that we were waaaay off (yes, even the very human prophets & apostles too). So we progress and change. Black men not being allowed to have the priesthood was not a revelation from God, it was the racism from human beings. Similar things happening with women in the church, and our gay brothers and sisters. I figure if God sent us here the way we are, then that’s the way we should live through the lenses of the Gospel. And yes. That includes loving and being loved in good monogamous relationships. We are so quick to say “same rules apply” for our LGBT+ brothers and sisters, but then we say except for loving who you were born to love. To deny someone the love of another human being, is to slowly condemn them to death and/or a life of living hell. That’s not the plan of happiness for sure.