Imagine Dragons star Dan Reynolds embraced homosexuality and bisexuality after spending years as a “confused Mormon”.
In a “love letter” to the LGBTQ community to mark Billboard’s Gay Pride Month celebrations, the Believer singer insists he truly loves and appreciates his gay fans after wrestling with his religious beliefs for years.
“Raised as a devout Mormon in a very conservative home, I spent many years in conflict between the teaching of the faith and what my heart was telling me,” Dan writes. “I had many friends who were LGBTQ and Mormon that lived with constant anxiety and guilt because they were being taught that their innate sense of being, their most beautiful and sacred right to love, was flawed and sinful.
“I saw how hard they fought every day to hide it from their Mormon families. To try to force themselves to change their identity, but of course they could not.
“As I got older and found the courage and agency to follow my own heart and mind, I let myself follow and speak MY truth that I’ve known since I was old enough to understand love: that being gay is perfect and in fact beautiful, as is all love. It should be celebrated and shouted from the rooftops. Our LGBTQ youth should know that they are truly accepted in their homes and communities.”
Reynolds goes on to warn religious leaders that speeches which imply that LGBTQ youth are living in sin with their lovers contribute towards “increased depression and anxiety in the lives of our LGBTQ youth as well has suicide”.
He adds: “We know that our LGBTQ youth are eight times more likely to take their lives when not accepted in their homes and communities. They aren’t choosing to love the way that they do. They aren’t choosing a life of people casting judgmental eyes upon them. They aren’t crying for attention. They simply want to love the way that their heart tells them to love. And they deserve to be LOVED, not ‘tolerated’.
“I spent far too many years as a confused Mormon. I am no longer confused. I am still a Mormon, but I am one with open eyes and open arms. I give you my word that I will do all I can to create dialogue that leads to change within communities of faith, for that is where change needs to happen most. I hope you can forgive years of intolerance and injustice to you.”
Reynolds has founded the LoveLOUD festival in Utah, which serves to celebrate the LGBTQ community.
– Cover Media0