Students at Brigham Young University risk excommunication for their sexuality
Gay students from a strict Mormon college that prohibits ‘homosexual behaviour’ have come out in an It Gets Better video.
The video features 22 Brigham Young University students, who attend the college in Provo, Utah with ties to the Church of Latter-day Saints who strongly oppose gay sex and marriage.
By posting the video the students face excommunication from the church and expulsion from BYU, where gay students are forbidden from touching or kissing.
In the video several BYU students confess to considering suicide because they did not think they could be both Mormon and gay.
One student Erikka Beam said: ‘Because I just felt I’m not worthy. God clearly doesn’t love me because he doesn’t love gay people.
‘I just felt that I needed to kill myself because the heartbreak of me dying would be less than the heartbreak my parents would experience if I came out to them.
In the video it estimates 74% of LGBT students at BYU have contemplated suicide, while 24% have attempted to kill themselves.
The students later found they were not alone, and founded the unofficial group Understanding Same-Sex Attraction. They aim to provide a place of open, respectful discussions on the topic of same-gender attraction.
It Gets Better was founded by columnist Dan Savage as a response to gay teen suicide, reminding teenagers they are not alone.
Adam White, a sophomore featured in the video, said: ‘The ‘It Gets Better’ message is we can be open, this is not something we have to fix or change about ourselves.
‘This is something we can celebrate.’
Watch the beautiful video here: