“I’m a pretty lucky guy. I have a great family, awesome friends, and beautiful landscape all around me. But even with all that, I had to grow into loving myself and loving the world around me.
I was born and raised as a “mormon”, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). I holistically believed that being gay was a sin and that something was deeply wrong with me. I remember crying in the shower before school quite often and asking God why he would give me an insurmountable curse. Though I put on a smile, inside I was drowning. I hated who I was. I couldn’t even stand to be around gay people – they made me “uncomfortable”.
I finally decided that, no matter what, I had to choose to love myself. Every single part of myself and that made me reevaluate my faith. Having a sense of self-confidence, I have been able to look at the world around me with new eyes. I feel clear, I guess. I can be totally honest with others, reserve judgement, and keep an open mind.
After all this, I can finally say that I’m proud to be a gay man. I’m proud of our community and I’m proud of where we’re going.
Living in Salt Lake City has helped me to understand just how grateful I am for the support I have received from my LDS friends and family. No matter our differences, I believe people can always get along with patience, unconditional love, and an honest intent to understand.”