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Mormon Student Tells His Friends and Family He's Gay and Films Their Reactions: VIDEO


Jimmy Hales is a gay BYU student and Mormon missionary. For an entire year he has been coming out to friends and family and capturing it on film.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

HalesHales wrote a detailed blog post in which he describes his experience coming out as a Mormon along with the making of the film.:

So today has arrived.  G-day.  I have officially come out.  Wow.  A year ago I didn't even think of myself as being gay; denial owned my face.  But I was getting older, 3 of my 5 roommates here at BYU were engaged and the majority of my closest friends were already married.  The only people at parties were freshmen and sophomores, and the things they did at the parties were boring.  Personally I feel like an OK dancer, but "Just Dance" kept giving me the lowest score at the party.  Why did people go to these lame things?  Oh, to get a date.

Then suddenly I had a thought: 'I feel like I should make movies again like I did in high school.  Sounds good to me.'

Hales began shooting his coming outs to friends and family in January 2012 and says he just finished this month.

SisterHales adds:

When it came time to edit the footage, I ended up cutting well over half of the script.  In fact, I cut the parts that I initially thought were most important.  Similarly, while searching online for some royalty free music, I felt I should just write the music and record it myself, so I did.  That's why the music is lame...

...At this point, me being gay it not such a big deal to me or those close around me.  I believe, with time, it won't as big a deal to all members of the church either.  They just need opportunity to think about it, so here I am posting about it.  Every Mormon I've come out to has been awesome.  Soon enough, gay people will be able to come out and not be as afraid to do so.    However, there will always be a certain stigma attached to it to some degree, for living a lonely celibate mortal life is a taste of hell, and the possibility that a person might "fall away" is always possible.  If you know someone who has fallen away, please try to understand that they've been through hell, and that they've probably gone through hell all by themselves with little or no help.  Please love them.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

And read the full blog post here.

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  1. I don't get what the big deal is. I'm a jewish nazi and I don't go around making videos about it.

    Posted by: Johnny | Feb 20, 2013 12:41:42 PM

  2. I read several posts on his blog (plus comments) after watching the video, and it is so very depressing that he somehow thinks he is now enlightened and unburdened. I fear his real troubles are just beginning as he realizes how sad his life must be while he sticks with the LDS. Meanwhile, he should just refer to himself as a Mormon eunuch. He has been castrated by his church.

    Posted by: arundel | Feb 20, 2013 12:57:26 PM

  3. Sad. And disturbing that there's no commentary from Towleroad - this isn't exactly a benign message once you scratch the surface.

    You shouldn't build someone up as a role model or example for gay kids when said role model is so beholden to his church's dogma.

    Sex is healthy. Expression of gay sex is healthy. As a gay site, you'd think we wouldn't be promoting someone who believes there's some North-Korea-in-the-sky-regime which requires him to live a sexless, romantically loveless life.

    Posted by: John | Feb 20, 2013 1:04:53 PM

  4. OK - so this guy is gay and has condemned himself to a lonely, sexless life because he belongs to a hateful church . . . you just gotta ask what's wrong with this picture.

    Posted by: Continuum | Feb 20, 2013 1:07:23 PM

  5. This is horrifying on a number of levels. Not least of which is that he completely misunderstands what it means to come out. You come out as a positive statement about yourself, not as an admission that you are damaged and plan to exile yourself to a life of loneliness. If you take the latter approach, how can you possibly expect a good reaction from your friends and family? And sure enough, with just a few exceptions, these people basically laugh nervously in his face or say that they feel sorry for him. Why this moron thought that it was a good idea to record all this to perky background music is beyond me.

    And he is going through all of this because of an invisible god-man who lives on planet Kolob.

    Posted by: Ron | Feb 20, 2013 1:17:28 PM

  6. The conditional love of any person or (church) community is not worth the love and respect you can give yourself - by being a fully realized human being and sharing physical intimacy with another person.

    Posted by: Kieran | Feb 20, 2013 1:31:22 PM

  7. The malleable Mormon Church is likely to come around to gay rights as the church is so extremely family-oriented. I will be happy when the church matures to that point.

    On the other hand, this is not to say that there is ANY legitimacy in their teachings. This church is another fraud, and anyone would be smarter to walk away from it and live their life morally outside the church (instead of within it)...

    Posted by: TonyJazz | Feb 20, 2013 1:32:20 PM

  8. There are so many gay Mormon boys and so many of them are so tortured. It's tragic, and I feel bad for this young man that he doesn't believe he can or should love and be loved. Why would you be gay if you weren't supposed to love and be loved like everyone else?

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 20, 2013 1:34:07 PM

  9. As a gay mormon myself, let me make a few observations.

    1. This kid is still at BYU... so he'll be all gung-ho on being celibate while he is there. (A very strong group think exists at BYU).
    2. He'll move away, get a job, become infatuated/fall in love with another man, and his eyes and heart will be opened to what life can be with a partner.
    3. He'll post another video in 2-3 years about how being celibate doesn't work, God still loves him, and he's never been happier.

    I've seen this will 95% of my friends in the Mormon world.

    And as a side note: The teachings of the LDS faith do contradict themselves somewhat right now. One cannot attain the highest level of eternal reward without a temple marriage—and marriage is a commandment. At the same time they instruct Gay men and women to be celibate to stay worthy of Gods blessings.
    So they are teaching that there are 2nd class souls in the eyes of God, since they teach Gays are born this way and we will never be exalted to the same level as the straights. (this is the same logic when it came to black members of the church 30-40 years ago.) When Jimmy said in the video, the churches doctrines don't change... well they do, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them change in the next 5-7 years. Just saying... :)

    Posted by: Wayne | Feb 20, 2013 1:42:28 PM

  10. 3:55-"The doctrine of the Mormon Church isn't going to change."

    Sure, just like it didn't change on polygamy, or on blacks in the priesthood.

    Jimmy's an appealing kid, but exposure to history and the world outside his religious community are going to erode his worldview quickly. I'd like to see where he is in 5 years.

    Posted by: SC David | Feb 20, 2013 2:08:49 PM

  11. Mormonism is something you choose. Gay is something you are (inherently). Why go against who you inherently are to appease some belief that you weren't born with, but chose (often to appease others)

    THAT I will never get. Happy though that he's atleast accepting who he is.

    Posted by: Duration & Convexity | Feb 20, 2013 2:41:33 PM

  12. hopefully Wayne u'r #2 & 3 will happen

    regrettably though too many who are going the "celibate gay mormon" route end up committing suicide when they realize it isn't working / hit #2

    Posted by: Moz's | Feb 20, 2013 3:09:21 PM

  13. The kid is still in a bubble inside BYU and the closet of closets. I attended the church's ex-gay therapy program in Provo (BYU), and this guy isn't an anomoly. I fear he is going to be used as a rolemodel for other gay mormons to look to for strength, when he has clearly not grasped the severity of his situation.

    I appeared on CNN about this whole mormon vs gay conundrum..

    Ignorance isn't innocence, and the "universal" truth he claims to believe in is quite relative to whomever is seeking it. Church leaders have had to recant and change positions on many things.. the roles of women, blacks, interracial relationships, plural marriages, Jewish Native Americans, and even that the moon was colonized by Mormons.

    I hope he learns he can and will be loved and accepted by thousands of Mormons and non-Mormons alike when he finally "comes out" honestly. But right now, he's in discovery mode.


    Posted by: Justin Utley | Feb 20, 2013 3:21:51 PM

    Main Purpose: keep the kids in the fold, living as if crippled, so the families can have them for eternity to all be gods. Remember, their entire society is based on marriage and procreation
    Secondary Purpose: to "whitewash" the public image of mormons, which they tanked by their use of dirty tricks on Prop 8
    If in fact, the family/friends were shocked that this very fruity young man is Gay, it only shows how ridiculously closed their culture is.

    Posted by: Bob | Feb 20, 2013 3:23:07 PM

  15. Religious brainwashing and stupidity at its finest

    Posted by: Steve | Feb 20, 2013 3:31:13 PM

  16. @ TONYJAZZ and SC DAVID___ This "prosperity scheme" of a church is boxed in, not likely to change to suit modern thought.
    The 2 previous big "revelations from God to the prophet" merely altered the DETAILS of the church and mormon life (one wife, but still the same family thing, a few Black males getting equal status)
    THEY WILL HAVE TO HAVE A GIGANTIC REVELATION IN COMPARISON to allow their Gay kids to actually be Gay, enter the temple, and not be pushed into the "cheap seats" in the afterlife.

    Posted by: Bob | Feb 20, 2013 3:32:45 PM

  17. When I told my best friend I was gay he said, "Well that would explain why you go down on me all the time."

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 20, 2013 6:44:53 PM

  18. The sad part isn't that he's Gay and a Mormon who feels he has to be celibate.

    The sad part is that ANYONE is a Mormon.

    It's a completely idiotic religion, along the same lines as Scientology. Read about it and learn, it's based on nothing more than lies from a charlatan, no matter what good they've done or what good they may do. It's a cult, plain and simple, made up by a liar and carried on by greedy, power-mad men. Like most religions.

    Posted by: johnny | Feb 20, 2013 6:53:22 PM

  19. he's adorable, the video is adorable, his friends, his sister, his mom--all adorable. And it was difficult not to notice that nobody whose reaction he recorded seemed exactly horrified. That alone is worth a thousand words--words the LDS leadership aren't gonna care for too much.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 20, 2013 7:04:58 PM

  20. i actually think his mom looked secretly thrilled.

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 20, 2013 7:06:31 PM

  21. So sad. So, so sad.

    Posted by: MIleHighJoe | Feb 20, 2013 7:54:57 PM

  22. Why hasn't Towleroad edited this post to add some clarity?

    He states in his video description:

    " I'm still, and will forever be, a faithful Mormon, so it looks like I'm not going to marry and therefore live a single life through this mortal existence. Sucks."

    A little more context is required, Andy.

    This shouldn't read as simply a 'positive' coming-out video. It's a negative coming-out.

    He's coming out to only acknowledge how wrong and how 'sucky' his situation is. He doesn't complain about the wrongness of his church's position, but in fact makes a case that their 'that sucks' response was very empathetic and 'understanding.' And that they're completely correct.

    Posted by: John | Feb 20, 2013 8:47:04 PM

  23. @Bob (Feb 20, 3:32:45 PM):
    Thanks for the clarification; I know little of the internal justifications for what appear from outside to be substantial evolutions. I still suspect young Mr. Hales is setting himself up for a huge cognitive dissidence FAIL if he ever makes one "slip" and has a taste of the forbidden...especially if it's with a man who treats him kindly and lovingly and has a sensitivity to spirituality.

    Posted by: SC David | Feb 20, 2013 9:53:20 PM

  24. I liked this video and I like the fact that he is working to take a stance in the Mormon community and trying to maybe change peoples attitudes. When I was younger, I moved to NY and then L.A. to "be gay" because I thought that was the only option. But now I'm living in a small east coast town with my partner and just being myself.

    Posted by: tiki2 | Feb 20, 2013 10:25:07 PM

  25. this is about as progressive as the move from slavery to segregation.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Feb 20, 2013 10:42:35 PM

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