FOF #1119 – A Gay Mormon in Russia

Jan 8, 2010 · 1985 views

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Spending the winter in the coldest parts of Russia can be hard, especially when you’re a closeted gay Mormon. Today we’re joined by J Seth Anderson talking about being in Russia for two years while struggling with his sexuality and trying to convert Russians to Mormonism.

Plus: the hilarious Summer Nettles joins in to talk about Mariah Carey’s drunken speeches, Obama’s trannylicious appointee Amanda Simpson, and the viral video of the walrus working it out!


  1. Saulo says:

    Hey guys!
    Today´s show was really good. Summer as always was fantastic and a great presence in the show. As for J Seth… it was very interesting to know these info about the Mormon religion. Not to say that omg how cute and adorable can a man be!!
    Marc an Fausto as always delivered a great show. Thank you guys for doing that!

  2. Briana says:

    Loved the show! Thought it was very entertaining! J Seth sheds an interesting light on the Mormon church and his experience. Love him!!

  3. Todd says:

    Great Show. Here in Taiwan the mormons all wear the same white shirts and ride around in pairs on bicycles waylaying people at red lights. They kind of creep me out. In the Philippines where I was in Peace Corps, they come in clean cut and innocent and a few months later you see some of them drinking beer in bars with local women. I’ve also read some articles about the brainwashing training sessions leading up to this mission. Sometimes I wonder what kind of impression they end up leaving. Is it just a numbers game trying to convert as many as they can?

    Please note when nominating Feast of Fun for the Bloggies at you have to nominate at least three different blogs, not just the Feast of Fools or your nomination will be disqualified.

  4. ventura79 says:

    Great show guys! plus how adorable where Summer and J Seth?!
    I used to work with a Mormon who had gone as a missionary to Central America and he was one of the sweetest guys in the world…love for everyone!

  5. Fantastic show! Great story from Seth on the coming out process and the adventures in Russia! And congrats to Seth for being on the show in person…..all the way from out here in Phoenix! 🙂

  6. Irene says:

    Great show…it was both insightful and entertaining. I appreciate Seth’s honesty and bravery in sharing his story and experiences with the Mormon Church. (And I’m not just saying it because Seth’s my friend 😉 ) Wonderful job everyone!! Awesome show!

  7. virginwhore says:

    i love j seth anderson, he’s my absolute favorite gay mormon! the world has not heard the last of this momo! you should have asked him about mormon high school parties! he’s a milk chugger i’ll bet ya! i read his blog regularly, he’s quite knowledgable about many different things and definitely totes hot.

  8. Benjamin Shaw says:

    What an amazing and wonderful surprise to wake up this morning, go to the Feast of Fun website and see my beautiful boy friend- surrounded by three other fantastic individuals- on the home page! I couldn’t be more excited and proud of all four of you. I hope Summer that your many projects work out perfectly- and seriously- you should move to Phoenix! Seth and I will totally play tour-guide and help you get settled. Yes- it’s a bit “warm” over the summer- but I think it beats sub-zero temperatures in Chicago in winter lol!
    Marc, Fausto-I love you guys. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you in person- but I hope that will change soon. Take care of my Sethy and thank you both for the dedication and countless hours you spend putting Feast of Fun together. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed listening to a program more.

  9. Annie says:

    Great show, hilarious, thanks!

  10. Fausto and Marc great show. I just love gay Mormon, especially, the former Mormon type.

  11. David says:

    I met the love of my life while on a mission in Nagasaki. He’d want to hold hands while riding bikes and he’d lift me up and carry me around the apartment. He went home 3 weeks later and by the time I got back a year later, he was crazy straight and could talk of nothing but getting married in the temple. I found the entire mission exeperience absolutely tortuous!

  12. Anna says:

    I hope you have J Seth back on the show again soon — I’d love to hear more about how he balances his family’s cultural history with the Mormon church and how his own views have changed over time.

  13. Nik Koele says:

    you guys and regina are just cracking me up!

  14. This was an excellent show. Seth’s frankness and openness were quite refreshing. He seems like a great sport putting up with the gentle ribbing. Definitely enjoyed this one!

  15. I am turning this episode into a drinking game: A shot for everytime you say “Volga”. Woo hoo!

  16. Javier says:

    This show was HILARIOUS!!! You guys had me in stitches today!

  17. Andy says:

    Would have liked to know more about J Seth`s experience in Russia. Other than that I loved the show!

  18. shane says:

    I loved the show! Being a gay ex-missionary myself, it was interesting to hear J Seth’s take on the experience, although I didn’t get to go an exotic locale, and got sent home. And being a fellow Phoenician it was like being there without freezing my ass off!

  19. Spock's Dreidel says:

    Hi Boys.

    I loved the show w/ J. Scott Anderson–good job! What a lovely boy, so sweet, so honest, so real.
    Hearing this thoughtful person talk openly about his experiences was truly a treat–please thank him on behalf of this appreciative listener.

    I knew almost nothing of Mormonism, and I’m grateful to J. Scott for coming out w/ what it was like to be a part of all that. Congrats to him for his bravery–it’s apparently not to leave that particular religion.

    Keep up the good work, and congratulations on your recent People’s Choice win, 4th yr in a row!


  20. kaitlyn531: @feastoffun actually, intelligence has little to do with brain size. It’s all about the folds and loops on the surface. 🙂 #fof1119 »

  21. Cory says:

    I had really mixed feelings about the J. Seth show. I’m a gay mormon too, and I kept wanting to interrupt the podcast to clarify the comments. It was was very one-sided and misrepresented the Mormon Church. Everything he said was true, but most of it was out of context or incomplete, and really left an inaccurate portrayal.

    I’m as activist as the next queen, but being derogatory, disrespectful, or making fun of other belief systems doesn’t further our agenda at all, and just makes us come off as dicks. The beliefs of Mormons are sacred to them, and they base their lives on those beliefs. I don’t think it’s good kharma to mock them just because we don’t understand them ourselves. We can be respectful and still disagree.

    • Blueboi says:

      ^maybe you could share with us your story? Would make for an interesting FRESH entry 😉

    • What exactly was out of context? I was neither derogatory nor disrespectful. I talked about my experiences and they are valid.

      I do not accept the notion that ALL viewpoints deserve my respect. Many things Mormons believe have been proven false. (For example, Native Americans are not from Jerusalem as Joseph Smith taught. DNA evidence says they are from Asia. Also, the Book of Abraham was not written “By the Hand of Abraham.” The 1st Vision story is actually the 4th version that Joseph Smith told people and the other 3 versions differ dramatically.) I study actual Mormon history from the primary sources and knowing and discussing Mormon history is not disrespectful. You may enjoy “An Insiders View of Mormon History” by Grant Palmer, “No Man Knows my History” by Fawn Brodie, and “Rough Stone Rolling” by Bushman and “Origins of Power” by Quinn. (All Mormon authors, by the way.)

      Also, I don’t believe in karma and I didn’t mock anything.

    • Heath says:

      I agree with Blue… I think we’d all be fascinated to hear your opinions on what exactly was wrong with the way Mormons were portrayed in the podcast. I remember some gentle ribbing of some of the more “out there” beliefs but I’ve heard worse things said by Catholic stand-ups about priests and altar boys.

      But if you want to boil it down to one simple thing: Organized religion – and I do mean all organized religion – is the greatest con ever forced upon modern man. That another human being can sit there and with a straight face tell you he knows for sure what happens when we die is delusional and has caused more bloodshed in human history than every major natural disaster combined.

      As if this weren’t bad enough, these organizations use their hold on people’s immortal souls to influence their own agendas. Certainly as a gay man, you know this and have felt the negative repercussions. I’m not saying that there is no good that can come out of religion. I’d even go so far as to say the majority of things done by religious organizations today are positive. But organizations are made of people and people are fallible (no matter what the pope says). People in power want to keep that power and if this means forcing people to believe in things that are hurtful to others then so be it as long as that almighty tithing comes in.

      Yikes, I really ran on a bit longer than I wanted but my point is, if more people just woke up and realized that the only conduit to God they need is the heart and mind She gave us, then the world would be a much better place.

      • Blueboi says:

        I’d have to agree, except i’d go as far as to label ALL religion as a crime against humanity. It’s a fundamentally flawed man-made construct.

        Faith is good. Religion is bad.

  22. Cory says:

    I could go poinit by point, but I think you know what I mean when I say a lot of you comments were salacious and unobjective. Bringing up garments, or Kolob, or temple ceremonies without any explanation makes them seem completely unfounded and crazy. We both know those have lengthy contexts that explain how people believe in them. There’s a certain charm to being a gay ex-Mormon, that I think a lot of us use as a plume to make us more interesting, and it’s just not fair to reinforce stereotypes. All the “proofs disproving what Mormons believe” have PLENTY of explanations by Mormon apologists, most of which are pretty reasonable. And with any faith, there’s no way to argue it with facts and counterpoints, it’s a matter of belief.

    Thanks for your book recs, I think I’m pretty well-versed in the issues. And by way of clarification, they’re all ex-Mormon authors.

    I wasn’t baggin on you, just stating my reaction to the show. I’m hardly in a position to defend the Mormons. I’ve been just as victimized by my upbringing as the next gay RM. I just feel the Mormons deserve respect as a religion alone, regardless of our opinions of their doctrine. We wouldn’t talk about Jews or Catholics in the same patronizing and condescending tones we talk about Mormons. And you should respect a person’s belief system simply because it’s important to them, it’s just common reverence towards other people as people.

    • Cory, it is part of my religion to disrespect and mock other religions. You have to respect that.

    • Not all the authors I cited are ex-Mormons. Bushman is not an ex-mormon. Palmer was disfellowshipped but still attends church. Fawn Brodie was a member when she wrote her book (and left the church after its publication.) On the show I made a point to say that you won’t find truth from the anti-Mormon books and you won’t find truth in Church publications. The truth is found in the middle.

      I don’t respect belief systems simply for being a belief system. With your logic I should “accept” the KKK because those beliefs are important to some people. I don’t.

      You’re right that there are plenty of explanations from Mormon apologists, none of them however, are very good. (Even the apologists don’t agree with one another on everything.) Believing an assertion or a premise for which there is no evidence (or in many cases, when the evidence contradicts the claim) is not a virtue.

      There is no way that I could explain every single issue in depth and detail on the show. (It was only an hour, and I didn’t even talk the entire time.) But that’s not my job. There are mountains of scholarly books written on the subject.

      Please don’t think I’m trying to pick a fight with you because I’m not and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I’m sure we have much more in common than not.

      • Cory says:

        Lol, if you think the KKK and the Mormon church are on the same level, I don’t think we’re going to come to an agreement.

        I think we both get each other’s points, I don’t think it’s worth trading barbs back and forth, and I don’t want to end up being the defender of all thing’s Mormon. I liked your show and didn’t mean to turn it negative. I served my mission in the Czech Republic, and it sounds very similar.

  23. Cory says:

    HA. Well it’s part of my religion to turn you into a bottom, so if you can learn to respect that, then I’ll try to do my part.

  24. Blueboi says:

    Maybe it’s a matter of perspective, but I’ve heard practically ALL religions ridiculed or joked about in everyday life & media.
    This particular episode focused on a Gay MORMON living in Russia. Go listen to some episodes with The Best Church of God crew and you’ll find just as much “ribbing” going on there.

    By the way Fausto & Mark, what are the chances of getting some gay Scientologists on the show? I wouldn’t mind hearing from them. 😀

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