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Chips for Ex-Mormon Women

At a recent gathering of ex-Mormon women, a friend mentioned that she felt like we needed some visible reminder of the things we’ve consciously done after stepping away from Mormonism to become ex-Mormon, to choose our own path rather than letting the leaders of the Mormon church tell us what is “right,” to experiment with things that most people decided on when they were teenagers, and to claim our bodies as belonging to ourselves alone.

Here is a short list of some things most ex-Mormon women should get kudos for:

  1. Figuring out how you like your coffee (or if you don’t like coffee at all, perhaps a tea you like instead for your daily caffeine intake).
  2. Watching an R-rated movie for the first time (or an X-rated movie) without any guilt.
  3. Trying alcohol for the first time (by the way, it’s terrible!)
  4. Taking off church temple garments and buying your own underwear.
  5. Wearing a tank top that shows your (porn shoulders) for the first time in public where Mormons will see you.
  6. Saying “no” when someone from church asks you to do something churchy for them.
  7. Writing the “letter” to explain to family/friends why you’ve stopped believing. (Alternately refusing to explain why because it’s not their business and you’ve finally learned boundaries!)
  8. Meeting up with other ex-Mormons (who are “evil” and “chose to sin.”)
  9. Getting rid of all your Mormon scriptures and related spiritual books.
  10. Getting rid of all your Mormon photos/artwork in your house.
  11. Getting rid of your Mormon temple clothing.
  12. Buying your first bikini.
  13. Saying “fuck” out loud for the first time in front of other people.
  14. Getting your first tattoo/second ear piercing (which isn’t allowed).
  15. Buying alcohol/coffee at the store for the first time where Mormons will see you in your sin.
  16. Writing new words for your favorite Mormon hymn.
  17. Stepping into a different church for the first time.
  18. Claiming yourself as a feminist.
  19. Deciding your own health rules without the Word of Wisdom.
  20. Proudly showing your cleavage in a dress cut down to there (or your thighs with a dress cut up to there).

Written by

Author of The Bishop’s Wife mystery series, The Mormon Sabbatical Podcast, Princeton PhD, fiction editor at Exponent II, autist, she/her

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