Utah native and singer-songwriter Justin Utley survived “ex-gay” therapy after coming out to his Mormon bishop, then lost his boyfriend unexpectedly of a heart attack and was fired from his job after his boss found out he was gay.
He appeared before Utah lawmakers last month, the Advocate reports:
The meeting, which was co-sponsored by Democratic Senator Jim Dabakis and Republican Senator Steve Urquhart, marked the first time some of the state’s lawmakers had ever officially met with LGBT people.
Said Utley: “There is a spoke in this wheel of diversity in this state that needs to be fixed… today, most transgender and gay Utahns are not only bringing a briefcase to work, but they’re also bringing a closet. I’m here because I am still a proud Utahn born and raised with these values: compassion, optimism, that Utah is a place where every person has the same opportunity to earn a living free from discrimination.”