Townsend, Johnny Papers

Span Dates: 1977-2023
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 13 linear feet


Collection consists of the daily journals of Johnny Townsend (1961- ), an ex-Mormon, writer, and advocate for the rights of the gay community. The journals highlight Townsend's struggle to reconcile his religious upbringing with his emerging sense of sexual identity.

Hist/Bio Note

Johnny Townsend was born in 1961 and raised in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. After serving an LDS mission in Italy, he returned to Louisiana to attend the University of New Orleans. He later went on to earn an MFA from Louisiana State University. A prolific writer, his essays have appeared in numerous renowned publications and he has written several books about the experiences of gay Mormons. The collection also contains personal records including, but not limited to, school transcripts and standardized test scores, and email correspondence (2006-2014). Furthermore, the Townsend papers include various manuscripts including a thesis and short stories. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington.

Finding Aid

An online finding aid is available through Archives West.


University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library University of Utah 295 South 1500 East Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0860


Author/editor | Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) | Louisiana