Stephenie Larsen | Appomattox Project | 11.7.18

Appomattox Project Brownbag Discussion

Encircling our LGBTQ+ Youth, Families and Community with Love

Portrait of Stephenie Larsen

Stephenie Larsen

Founder & CEO
Encircle: LGBTQ+ Family and Youth Resource Center

Wednesday, November 7th 2018
12:00 p.m. - 12:50 p.m.
Clarke Building, CB511

Stephenie Larsen founded Encircle LGBTQ Family Youth Resource Center, a non-profit organization in Provo that is a safe place for LGBTQ youth and their families. Stephenie was born and raised in Utah County, graduated from BYU University and BYU Law School, was married in the LDS temple, and has six children. She held traditional Mormon views on homosexuality, same-sex marriage, etc., until she met and grew to know her husband's uncle, John Williams -- a gay man. The relationship they developed inspired her to open Encircle in February 2017 and to work toward improving the church's difficult relationship with the LGBTQ community. Later this fall, Encircle will open a 2nd location in Salt Lake City in honor of John called the John Williams Encircle House. Plans are also underway to open a 3rd location in St. George, UT.

Stephenie was recognized at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Awards and at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. She was named one of 11 "Upstanders" by Starbucks Coffee for her example of what it means to have courage in today's America. Encircle recently hosted the country's largest LGBTQ youth summit and helped make possible the recent LOVELOUD Festival, featuring Imagine Dragons. Stephenie has appeared on the Today Show and Encircle has been featured on NBC News and the Huffington Post.