When Nathan Ivie publicly came out as gay last month, he had no idea how the world would react.
But in a new interview with Today, he said he finally feels ‘free’.
‘If I could use any word to describe it,’ he said. ‘It would be free.’
He revealed he knew he was gay from the age of nine, but suppressed it due to his Mormon upbringing. It wasn’t until he saw a gay couple holding hands while walking down the street that his feelings surfaced.
By that time though, he was married to a woman and had two children.
Ivie opened up about a suicide attempt when he was just 22 years old. He went into the woods with his rifle and attempted to take his own life.
‘But for some reason,’ he said. ‘The gun I have used for my whole life, didn’t fire.’ He took that as a sign and kept going in life.
Ivie came out to his wife and family earlier this year.
‘I made a decision that no matter what happened,’ his wife, Stephanie, said. ‘I was not going to allow hate to become a part of our relationship or our family.’
Then Ivie’s son, Philip, said: ‘I think it’s very nice. It’s very nice to know that you’re always loved.’
Ivie also revealed he has problems with some of the Republican Party’s and Mormon religion’s stance on homosexuality.
Nathan Ivie comes out
Nathan Ivie came out a video via social media last month.
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he did not comment on his faith in the video.
The Utah-based religion strongly opposes marriage equality. Any LGBTI Mormon is expected to stay chaste for life or to marry someone of the opposite gender.
The county commissioner said he worked with families who have lost LGBTI children to suicide.
He also interacted with a same-sex couple who he photographed for their wedding.
‘The love they shared and the way they looked at each other was the same as any other couple,’ he said.
‘It helped me realize, “Maybe I’m not broken.”’
He said the support he’s received from family friends has been ‘liberating’.