13 episodes

Host Simon Kent Fung explores the life of Alana Chen, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Boulder, Colorado in 2019. Alana left behind two dozen journals chronicling a deep faith, love of fashion, and dream of becoming a nun. She also harbored a secret. At 14, she confessed to her priest that she was attracted to women and was instructed not to tell her parents. Over the next seven years, Alana covertly received conversion therapy which her family believes played a role in her fate. Simon, who sought to change his sexual orientation through conversion therapy for nearly a decade in his efforts to become a priest, is compelled to understand the truth of what happened to Alana—and finally face what happened to him. "Dear Alana," is an unraveling mystery and a poignant spiritual memoir about teenage rebellion and spiritual manipulation, the price we pay to belong and the systems that pay no price at all.

Explore more at www.dearalana.com

Dear Alana‪,‬ Tenderfoot TV

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 2.1K Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

Host Simon Kent Fung explores the life of Alana Chen, a 24-year-old woman who disappeared from Boulder, Colorado in 2019. Alana left behind two dozen journals chronicling a deep faith, love of fashion, and dream of becoming a nun. She also harbored a secret. At 14, she confessed to her priest that she was attracted to women and was instructed not to tell her parents. Over the next seven years, Alana covertly received conversion therapy which her family believes played a role in her fate. Simon, who sought to change his sexual orientation through conversion therapy for nearly a decade in his efforts to become a priest, is compelled to understand the truth of what happened to Alana—and finally face what happened to him. "Dear Alana," is an unraveling mystery and a poignant spiritual memoir about teenage rebellion and spiritual manipulation, the price we pay to belong and the systems that pay no price at all.

Explore more at www.dearalana.com

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Part 1: Mom

    Part 1: Mom

    Simon travels to Boulder to meet Alana’s mother, Joyce, and becomes determined to help her understand what happened to Alana.
    This episode contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Listener discretion is advised.
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    Go deeper at https://dearalana.com/
    Subscribe to Tenderfoot+ for ad-free listening and an exclusive binge at tenderfootplus.com.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 33 min
    Part 2: Father

    Part 2: Father

    Simon recounts his earlier calling to the priesthood. Alana sneaks out to church, and meets a controversial priest who advises her on becoming a nun.
    This episode contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Listener discretion is advised.
    ----
    Explore more at https://dearalana.com/
    Subscribe to Tenderfoot+ for ad-free listening and an exclusive binge at tenderfootplus.com.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    Part 3: My Secret

    Part 3: My Secret

    With access to her 20 journals, Simon discovers Alana’s devotion and obsession with sin, Father Dave’s encroaching influence, and the secret she’s asked to keep.
    This episode contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Listener discretion is advised.
    ----
    Explore more at https://dearalana.com/ Subscribe to Tenderfoot+ for ad-free listening and an exclusive binge at tenderfootplus.com.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    Part 4: Judo

    Part 4: Judo

    Through their spiritual mentors, Alana and Simon are introduced to Conversion Therapy. A deep dive into the psychological & theological theories behind this practice.
     
    This episode contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Listener discretion is advised.
    ----
    Explore more at https://dearalana.com/ Subscribe to Tenderfoot+ for ad-free listening and an exclusive binge at tenderfootplus.com.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 46 min
    Part 5: Piece of the Pie

    Part 5: Piece of the Pie

    Alana starts college and thrives in her new community, which creates conflict with her old friends. Alana is rushed to the ER after a suicide scare.
     
    This episode contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Listener discretion is advised.
    ----
    Explore more at https://dearalana.com/ Subscribe to Tenderfoot+ for ad-free listening and an exclusive binge at tenderfootplus.com.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    Part 6: DEFILED

    Part 6: DEFILED

    Alana enters treatment and comes clean to her family. While still actively seeking Conversion Therapy behind their back, she falls in love.
     
    This episode contains references to suicide. If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988. Listener discretion is advised.
    ----
    Explore more at https://dearalana.com/ Subscribe to Tenderfoot+ for ad-free listening and an exclusive binge at tenderfootplus.com.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
2.1K Ratings

2.1K Ratings

Alqualen ,

Powerful

This was such a good podcast. So thoughtful, and written in conjunction with the family, which is so important and so many podcasts ignore. I love he introspective he was and how Alana really helped him learn about himself as well. Truly a 10/10.

jenjenrnrn ,

Unmatched production quality and will not shake this story for a long time.

So thoughtful. So well handled. I’m in awe. Raised Catholic. Did not see it as toxic but it definitely shaped me and deconstructed several years ago. I want justice. I want accountability. These priests and nuns needs to be held ACCOUNTABLE!!! This should never happen in 2024. They have blood on their hands.

Forget about privacy! ,

Brought me to tears

So well done. And so sad so many people have had to suffer so deeply believing they need to change who they are.

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