|Mariah Lion Brown|
July 29, 1995
Mariah Lian Brown was born on July 29, 1995, to Kody Brown and Meri Brown (née Barber). She is the couple's only child. Mariah's father is a polygamist, and had two other wives at the time of her birth. She was his third child, and he went on to have fifteen more children and one more wife after her.
Mariah was raised in Utah until her teenage years. She attended Sheila Tarr Elementary School. She attended Centennial High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mariah began studying at Westminster College in 2013. Another student of the show claimed that she was getting tuition waivers in return for promoting the school on her family's TV show, but this claim was never substantiated.
Mariah graduated on May 13, 2017.
In August of 2010, it was announced that Mariah's family would be the subject of a TLC drama titled Sister Wives. This show would chronicle the lives of their polygamist lifestyle, which was illegal in Utah at the time of the shows release. Sister Wives aired on September 26, 2010. As of August 25, 2017, eleven seasons have been released with no official premiere date listed for season twelve. Mariah is regularly featured on this show.
Mariah currently works as a program manager at Promise South Salt Lake and a recreational assistant at William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home. It is unknown when she began either job.
Mariah grew up hearing negativity about homosexuality in her Mormon churches:
"I remember being in church, and they talked about how being gay was bad. But none of that came from my parents. It was from the church and the people I was around. One bishop told me gay people were selfish".
Despite this, Mariah struggled with feelings she was having. "People say they try to 'pray away the gay,' but I wouldn't even let myself think the word. I just wouldn't go there", she said in an interview. This became a source of anxiety, and she struggled with panic attacks.
While touring colleges, she had a gay tour guide who shared his story with her. Through this she began to accept her sexuality:
"There was this sort of realizing this is okay. My whole life I tried to shut it out. I was finally letting myself be real. I had this image I had to uphold, and when I started letting that go, I realized I didn't have to be the person I thought I had to be".
While studying in a women's psychology class, Mariah came to the realization that she had a crush on a female classmate:
"I was in my psych of women class.. and it really opened my eyes to a lot of things, and this in particular, and I was sitting next to one of my friends and we were talking about, um, women in same-sex relationships, and I realized that this friend of mine is gay, and I didn't know that before. So after she said that and I realized that I thought 'Oh that means I could date her!' and it was just like a random, most random thought, like where did that even come from? Like, I don't want to date a girl! And then it took me a minute and took me the weekend and I realized like, okay, this is a thing, like I'm attracted to her. It's a thing. Or maybe I'm more attracted to women than I am to men. Then it was like, no I'm really not even attracted to men".
Mariah also felt encouraged by her father's wife's Robyn's friendships with gay people.
Mariah publicly came out as a lesbian on the Sister Wives episodes "Another Catfishing" and "A Shocking Revelations", which aired on January 1 and January 8, 2017. She came out to her parents some time prior to this. Her father and his sister wives responded well:
"I thought about this years ago, I made a decision. My job as a dad is to love and respect and not to judge. I'm just really, glad, Mariah, that you're comfortable owning your truth, and that you're safe with us!" - Kody Brown.
"We're just happy she's figured out who she is. It's tremendous when you see a kid do that." - Janelle Brown.
"Everyone jumped up and hugged and congratulated her. She is so radiant just so beautiful that when she tells people I feel like most of them will be ok because she is so confident and so secure with being gay. It's wonderful." - Christine Brown.
Her mother, Meri, struggled to accept it. "This is a little unexpected. I did not see this coming... Kind of surprises me that she's known for so long and hasn't said anything to us," Meri said shortly after hearing the news. Later she commented:
"When I had Mariah, you know, I had this cute little girl, I just, I just always expected that she would grow up, meet a guy, get married, have kids. I see Janelle and her relationship with Madison's husband Caleb, and I see Christine building this relationship with Tony, and I kind of always expected that. I always wanted to have a son. I always kind of thought, well, you know, since I never had a son I'll be able to kind of adopt Mariah's husband into, you know, kind of being a son, and I looked forward to seeing who that was gonna be, you know. And that's not gonna happen!"
Kody and Robyn have worked hard to help Meri accept the news.
Response from viewers of the show was overall positive. "wow okay y'all making me cry with your support," Mariah tweeted shortly after the episode aired. "thank you thank you thank you".
She has been in a relationship with Audrey Kriss since January 2017.