Watch a Gay Mormon Come Out to His Friends and Family

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 20 2013 5:39 PM

Watch a Gay Mormon Come Out to Friends, Family

Yesterday, Jimmy Hales published the video above on YouTube. In it, he comes out to his mother, his brother, his college roommates, his friends, his mission companion, his high school friends. He comes out in English, for the most part, though he also comes out at least once in Mandarin, I think—he served a Mandarin-language Mormon mission in Australia—and once in sign language. His mother’s response is priceless, several others are awkward, and many are heartwarming.

A couple months ago, the Mormon Church launched the website mormonsandgays.org, which adopts a more conciliatory tone toward gay men and women than many church leaders have used in the past. Mormon doctrine has not officially changed, though: “same-sex attraction” is considered an unfortunate temptation, and acting on it constitutes a serious sin. In the past, gay Mormons have been ostracized and encouraged to “become straight,” but in the last year, a handful of gay Mormons have very publicly declared their intentions to live as both gay and Mormon.

David Haglund is a senior editor at Slate. He runs Brow Beat, Slate's culture blog.