Gay Students of Brigham Young University: It Gets Better

This broke my heart.

It broke my heart at least partly because these students are all Mormon, and are less capable of questioning their religion than they are capable of questioning their peers or the gender roles proscribed to them, and partly because they faced such disapprobation at the hands of others that shared their faith.

I wish these kids would understand that they can have peace and help others without this religion, that produces homophobia as a matter of course to the point where 74% of gay students at BYU contemplate suicide. That’s… just disturbing. I wish it would result in a crisis of faith in these kids, but I’m willing to consider it a minor victory if these kids reconcile their faith with their gender identity.

It’s a good thing, of course, that there’s this group to help kids who are in the same situation. I have to pick my battles on this one. It’s better, in this case, that these kids support one another in realizing they have self-worth despite their religious teachings and the prejudices they face daily.

If you kids ever read this, and you ever find yourself backed into a corner where you need your religious cohorts or true supporters of your gender self-determination, come look one of us atheists up. Or, at least look me up. I promise I’ll try to help, without also trying to divest you of your religion. My contacts are on the right, in the Contact Me box.

Gay Students of Brigham Young University: It Gets Better
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7 thoughts on “Gay Students of Brigham Young University: It Gets Better

  1. 5

    you sound like a great guy. I wish that non-atheists could read this , especially the part where you offer to help, or at least be a sympathetic ear, and you promise not to bring religion into it ( they have enough problems already). I was impressed with the sincerity of the offer.


  2. 6

    If you have more requests for a sympathetic ear than you have ear-hours, I know I’m not alone in my willingness to help with that role. I was quite religious while coming out to myself; while I eventually walked away from organized religion, that was *after* I was able to reconcile religion with my personal needs, so I’m familiar with the process. (As far as personal priorities go, seeing people abandon religion is so far below seeing people abandon homophobia, internalized or otherwise, that I don’t feel any ethical tension in trying to help someone reconcile their faith with their sexual identity. I’ll probably always have close friends of various religions; I’m OK with that as long as they aren’t suffering from religion-induced homophobia, racism, sexism, etc.)

  3. 7

    To make it worse for many of the LDS LGBT community, there are many organizations (e.g., NARTH and Evergreen) with close ties to the LDS church that provide psychotherapy geared toward converting them to heterosexuality, celibacy, and cisgender identity, which the APA has denounced as ineffective and potentially harmful. LDS General Authorities have spoken at NARTH conferences and a major proponent of conversion therapy was Director of Clinical Training for LDS Social Services. Although I applaud the church’s acceptance of members with same sex attraction, these young people are getting set up for a lifetime of struggle and guilt if they allow themselves to act on this very natural, healthy attraction. I second your and M Groesbeck’s offer to help. Having grown up in the LDS (Mormon) church myself, I have a bit of personal experience with the sexual shame (in my case, heterosexual) and struggle for God’s acceptance that many of these students are dealing with. I also work as a psychotherapist who does NOT believe in conversion therapy.

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