Staying True: Jena Peterson

Staying True

Jena owned her decision as the right one for her: "Every part of my life is mine." 

Jena Peterson didn't understand why everyone made such a big deal out of love until she fell in love with a woman. At that point, she had been married to a man for two years. At Encircle on Monday night, Jena shared how she has stayed true to, as she puts it, both halves of her heart.

Jena's faith has been a major factor in her decisions and remains one of her main sources of comfort, along with meditation and mindfulness. At the same time, her commitment to authentic expression has helped her to be open about her orientation with herself and those around her. Although her decision has not come without its challenges, ultimately Jena decided to continue in her mixed-orientation marriage while simultaneously owning her identity as a lesbian woman. 

Ultimately Jena decided to continue in her mixed-orientation marriage while simultaneously owning her identity as a lesbian woman. 

Jena grew up as the oldest of six children in an LDS family. She served a mission to New Zealand and married her husband, Todd, and they now have three children together. But two years into her marriage, she began to feel romantic feelings for a female friend. She felt lost and didn't even have words for what she was feeling. She wanted to reach out for help, but didn't know what she needed help with. When she realized that she was gay, so many things about her life suddenly made sense. 

When asked, Jena and Todd said they would not necessarily recommend their path to others. They stressed that what is right for one person won't be right for everyone else. But Jena owned her decision as the right one for her: "Every part of my life is mine."