Believer (2018) Movie Script

However you wanna express
yourself, gay or lesbian,
or transgender, or gender queer,
you are beautiful.
Heaven help me keep falling
It's not easy
Finding your place
This could be our opportunity
to take control of our lives.
But if it's not love
It'll just break
It'll surround you
You can't stop fighting
for the ones you love.
You can be strong
Standing in place
you'll break through...
Please understand,
I'm not fighting about bathrooms.
I'm fighting about her life.
Well I ask you,
can you see me now?
But if it's love
It will find you
Give you more to hold onto
It will carry the weight
I like the idea
that the world is changing
and I get to be whoever I want.
When it comes to war, I fight.
When it comes to love,
I don't choose sides.
This is just basic equality.
That's all it is.
WOMAN 1: There's no way to
get an accurate count of.
LGBT suicides in
the Mormon community,
but we do know that
youth suicide rates in Utah,
where a majority of
the populous is Mormon,
have skyrocketed
over the past decade.
MAN 1: I grew up gay,
and Mormon, and in Utah.
In my morning prayers,
I would ask that God
would do something drastic, like
cause me to die
in a car accident
or for me to get cancer
or something awful like that.
WOMAN 2: When the God
that you believe in,
and the family that raised you
and loves you,
when they reject you,
you don't have a lot
left to live for.
MAN 2: You see the church between
kind of a rock and a hard place
when it comes to gay issues.
MAN 3: We've taken this topic
on a number of occasions.
It's not going away.
Where do we stand on this?
MAN 4: We regard
same-sex marriage
as a significant,
serious kind of sin.
MAN 5: Simply being attracted
to someone of the same gender
is not a sin.
It is when we act on
the inclination
or the attraction.
MAN 6: The church finally said there's
nothing wrong with being gay.
WOMAN 3: Yay!
MAN 6: As long as you
don't do gay stuff!
So, if you're a gay Mormon,
and you're in a relationship
with a man, you're fine,
as long as you don't
hug him or kiss him
or hold hands with him
or have sex with him
or marry him or live with him or
be in a relationship with him.
DJ: And today, I'm talking with
Las Vegas resident Dan Reynolds,
who is the lead singer
of Imagine Dragons.
Reynolds is on a mission
quite apart from his
musical career.
He's putting together
a documentary examining
policies in the Mormon Church
regarding the LGBTQ community.
Dan Reynolds,
it's great to have you back.
First things first
I'ma say all the words
inside my head
I'm fired up and tired of
the way that things have been
Oh, oh
DAN: There are far
too many Mormons
in Utah that are
taking their lives.
And so, this is,
this is an issue that
needs to be discussed now.
Uh, the families need
to be having this,
this discussion
in their homes now.
I'm the master of my sea
Oh, oh
Yeah, the master of my sea
Oh, oh
DJ: You grew up Mormon.
You don't have to be
a member of the church.
A lot of people will say,
you know what,
if you don't don't agree,
just get out.
I don't feel a need
to denounce Mormonism.
I do feel a need, as a Mormon,
to speak out against things
that I think are hurting people.
You made me a,
you made me a believer
DJ: Dan, do you feel
like, in some ways,
you, yourself, might be
leading people astray?
DAN: People have reached
out and said, hey,
you know, you've lost your way,
and God believes that
being gay is a sin,
and you, you know,
you're dragging down, you know...
you are spreading a message of,
uh, against God's will.
My life, my love, my drive,
it came from
You made me a,
you made me a believer
DJ: Like a lot of rich people,
you could just ignore all this,
go on with the rest
of your life.
Why are you doing this? Why are
you putting yourself out there?
The community I was
raised with is Mormonism,
and I was always taught
that if you want to make
a difference in the world,
you start with your community.
That's a question
I had as well, Dan. I mean,
do you actually think you're
gonna change the church?
My life, my love, my drive
You made me a,
you made me a believer
Young gun
with a quick fuse
I was uptight
wanna let loose
I was dreaming
of bigger things and
Wanna leave
my old life behind
Not a yes-sir,
not a follower
Fit the box, fit the mold
Have a seat in the foyer
Take a number
I was light...
I was lightning
before the thunder
DAN: This song, I think, is
probably gonna be our next single.
It's been... a little bit
of the bane of my existence
for the last couple months,
'cause I just haven't
felt like it was
totally right yet.
I woke up at, like,
3:00 AM this morning,
with like a counter-melody idea
in my head for this end part.
This song is...
it's called "Thunder,"
but it's like, you know,
this, you know,
this time in my life was
lightning before the thunder.
It was like, you know,
when I was young,
feeling a little misplaced,
feeling never quite...
like I settled in a pocket.
Go and get Dan.
DAN: I am the seventh
son of nine kids.
BOY: Hey, Danny.
DAN: I was raised
Mormon, Latter-day Saint,
as Mormons say IDS.
It was really
all I knew growing up,
'cause when you
grow up, you just,
you think everybody's Mormon,
or at least most of
the world's Mormon.
So, in the Mormon Church,
you're supposed
to go on a mission
when you turn 19 years old.
A mission is two years
away from your family.
You knock doors all day.
We're missionaries from the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
WOMAN: Okay, we have our
own religion. Thank you.
Okay, that's okay.
When you start as a missionary,
you get into one
like out of every
hundred doors you knock.
What carries you on is
your complete, resolute
belief in what you're doing.
You are resilient about it,
and so you knock
those hundred doors.
If there's anything
I can leave with y'all tonight,
it would just be that
my testimony of this gospel
is that I know it's real,
and it does bring
true happiness.
When I came home
from my mission,
and I allowed my brain
to really think about life
and what I wanted out of it,
and who I wanted to be...
Everybody, you know,
in the Mormon community
who knew my family was, like,
the smart Reynolds, the doctors,
the lawyers, the good kids.
You want your daughter to
date a Reynolds boy, you know?
They're good kids.
You know, my brothers all
went to BYU. They all married,
you know, great Mormon girls,
had great Mormon families,
and I didn't want to be
the one to break that cycle.
And so it just,
you know, it seemed like,
"the easy route,"
like, you follow the line.
AJA: Okay, can you
give that to Daddy?
Get her dressed.
Dad, both of the babies
look like little aliens.
When their eyes are open,
they look like little aliens.
Yeah? They do look
like little aliens.
AJA: That's kinda what they are.
Hi, my little alien.
Can I kiss her, Dad?
AJA: It's not on you.
I know, but we just cleaned...
Well, it's okay. Just leave it
for a sec. I'll deal with it.
Let me just look and see. Oh!
Yeah, honey, just don't...
Honey, it's, like, massive.
I know.
I'll deal with it.
DAN: My family, so,
I have a four-year-old
daughter, Arrow,
she was born right when
our first album came out.
Let's just say, I am the boss.
And now I have two more
little girls, twins, fraternal.
DAN: She is so cute, honey.
AJA: I know.
It's killing me.
My wife, who is the greatest
human being ever...
Stop picking on her. I'm not.
I'm just trying to get...
You're like, "She has a furry
head and boogers in her eyes."
Well, no, I just want to get
the boogers out of her eyes
'cause that would
drive me crazy, too.
AJA: When I met him,
he was just a part
of this, kind of,
I don't want to say closed
community, but it was like
there wasn't really
a lot of outside...
It's like a very
Mormon community, you know?
And, um, I was definitely...
an alien to that.
We had this, like, connection,
but there were conversations early on
that were, like, you know, we can't date.
If I was Mormon, we could
entertain the idea, but we can't.
(SINGING) Don't be afraid
of me I'm just a sweet...
We did try to be friends a lot.
We kept being, like,
okay, look, we're just...
I can't have you,
like, out of my life.
So, we had to,
we have to try to figure out
how to be friends,
but then it would just...
we would hang out,
or see each other or whatever,
and it was just,
like, too much energy
between us to, and it couldn't go
anywhere... She couldn't handle it.
She couldn't handle the energy.
There was just,
so much, just, mojo in the air.
AJA: I would always be
like, I can't do this.
I can't talk to you anymore.
If we can't be together,
I cannot see you,
like, I can't talk to you.
'Cause I was
so in love with him,
and, um, it just hurt.
Dan had sent a song
that he had written,
and he had only written
part of the song.
And I was like, oh, well,
I'll just write a verse
and send it back.
Try one, try two,
and then you're messing it up
If you ever wanna have it,
then you're giving it up...
AJA: It was, like,
written to me, you know?
And so, I would, like,
write a response... (LAUGHING)
in the song, and it was like
the stuff we couldn't
say in real life.
BOTH: 'Cause I'm
so in love with you
But it was, like,
still very much, like,
you have to be Mormon
if we're gonna date.
Well, I'm tired
You're tired of acting crazy
Don't make big plans
if you're bein' lazy
Don't make big plans
If you won't follow through
You big baby
Let's speak nothing
but the truth
AJA: I was like, I'm not gonna
forget about this person.
He felt like
he was my soul mate,
and so, I decided to start going
and just learning
more about the church.
That's when I started to say,
okay, well, if I can, like,
really, just, follow
my own heart inside of it,
I don't see why I can't, like,
progress in this direction.
So, I did kind of just do that,
and I felt fine about it...
My heart
...except for the gay rights.
NEWSMAN: The Mormon Church
supported Proposition 8,
a proposal restricting
the definition of marriage
as being a union solely
between a man and a woman.
NEWSWOMAN: Mormons became
the most powerful force
in California's fight
against gay marriage,
because the church called
upon its members to donate
as much money and time
as they could to the cause.
And so, we ask you
to give your best
to this most significant effort,
support in every way possible
the sacred institution
of marriage
as we know it to be.
DAN: When Prop 8 was going
down, in my heart, I was like,
I don't feel good about this,
but whatever.
It doesn't affect me.
Which I think is
the mentality of,
probably, a lot of
Christians and people.
It doesn't affect me.
Hey, it'll figure itself out
in the eternities with God.
It was right when
I was meeting Aja.
Her two best friends who
were lesbians, and they were,
you know all very
ac... like, very...
Very active.
I mean, I was with them. Yeah.
I was like,
marching alongside them.
Yeah, and so, it was like,
And then...
she was like, well,
they told me that
Mormons believe this,
and that they're really, like,
funding these things
with Prop 8.
Is that true?
And I'm like, well, it is true,
but I... it's, like,
no part of me.
Well, she's like, well, why are you
Mormon then? I'm like, it's complicated.
AJA: When I started
to look into it,
and take the lessons
and convert,
I really had to ignore
that whole thing.
I had to just ignore it
because I was...
It was infuria... infuriating.
DAN: We got married in
my parents' backyard,
and her two best friends
didn't come to our marriage
because she was, basically, marrying
into Mormonism, in their eyes,
which was,
in the heat of Prop 8,
was the reason
they couldn't get married.
His wife's lesbian roommates
not wanting to go
to their wedding,
I think he saw something and said,
"Oh, there's something wrong here.
There's something
that can be better here.
There's something I can fix.
I can do something.
And I don't think
he knew what or how,
but I know he wanted to.
DAN: So, I, I,
I still feel guilt,
you know, with that,
that I, I, uh...
I just was, like,
a silent person, you know?
Granted, my voice was pretty
meaningless at the time.
Not to say a voice
is meaningless,
but I didn't have
any reach, you know?
My band was
a big puddle of nothing.
ROBERT: Growing up,
Dan was in different bands,
and he'd always
been making music,
but there is no guarantee
you can make something marketable
and earn a living at this.
And I remember one time,
sitting down with
my mom and dad,
and they said, so Dan wants
to do this rock thing,
be in a rock band.
So, just tell us,
what's his chance of success?
Regardless of the fact
that I knew he was driven,
and he had a good voice,
and I thought he wrote
amazing melodies,
I said zero.
I'm waking up
to ash and dust
DAN: Imagine Dragons just,
like, boo!
I'm breathing in
the chemicals
ANNOUNCER: Imagine Dragons!
DAN: Suddenly, it was, like,
everybody just screaming at you,
you know, great things
and terrible things,
and it was all just
a new thing to me.
What's been, like,
the biggest crowd response
that you just felt overwhelmed?
I've been overwhelmed,
honestly, every night.
DAN: I don't know that I can
think of many more opposite worlds
than that of a Mormon missionary
and that of a rock star.
It was completely shocking to me to
be kind of thrust into the world.
Like, I had to relearn
everything about everything
I had known.
I'm radioactive, radioactive
Oh, Lord.
"Love your music.
"I heard you have depression.
I also have depression,
"but listening to your music
really takes me away from it.
"Right now, I feel worthless.
"Life is just really hard.
I have no self-esteem,
"but your music makes it much easier.
I'm thankful for your music.
I'm also very thankful
that you are Mormon."
And if I type in Mormon,
there's, like, you know,
hundreds of emails.
"I'm in middle school,
and I'm Mormon,
"but I'm very different.
"I'm not pretty.
I'm not popular,
"but I don't care.
"I have anxiety and depression.
"I've had them
since I was young.
"I was also told
this was Dan Reynolds,
and I thought it would be cool
to tell him about myself."
Suddenly, I started to really
realize the weight of something
that I think I already knew,
which was that
there's not a lot of
famous Mormons.
"I want to tell you
something personal,
"to show you how
important you are for me,
"and how much you help me.
"I'm struggling a lot with
self-acceptance and anxiety.
"This is because
of many reasons.
"There's one big thing
that annoys me the most...
"my sexuality.
"I hate myself
for a lot of this.
"I don't even want to know where
I would be without your music.
"I have no idea if you support
"same-sex marriage,
since you are a Mormon.
"If you don't, it's okay,
and I respect you,
"but if you do support it,
thank you a lot,
and it means the world to me."
Tom, who sent me this email.
Says all these sweet things,
and at the bottom,
you know, hey,
you know, if you do,
I respect you,
but I know that, how he, I know
that he is hurt,
and is looking for someone
from this band that he likes
to tell him, no, Tom,
I'm not judging you, you know.
And I never even wrote him back,
'cause I haven't read
that email till right now
'cause there's
so many emails, but...
This is, this is
something that I've...
really had on my mind for years,
and it's come to a head,
I think, lately...
...because I'm,
because I associate
and my, my, my family's Mormon.
It's my culture.
I know that there are
so many people like this.
Mormons who, I know, look up
to me as a person, you know,
standing as a face
for the Mormon Church.
Yeah, I've been so conflicted,
'cause I don't know
whether to, you know,
let down all these people who are
Mormon, and, and looking to me,
or... to be part of...
To stand back, and then be...
If I'm passive,
if I'm just standing...
If I just stand back and say,
I don't want to talk about
Mormonism or something
in the press and stuff,
then I've, I have felt this...
Which I have done,
um, then I feel
this burden like...
I feel guilt. I feel like...
I am standing then for bigotry.
TYLER: I went on
a mission at 19.
I think it just felt like a safe
choice to go and give me more
space to figure out myself, so,
I got called to Nebraska,
and I was kinda hoping
I was gonna go to, like,
Tokyo or something. (LAUGHING)
DAN: Tyler and I both
served in Omaha, Nebraska.
He had finished his two years
right as I was coming out.
Like, we barely linked
like that,
but it was enough that, like,
the shadow of Tyler
was still there.
My first companion had a CD that
said, like, "Tyler Glenn" on it,
and he told me that
it was this missionary,
and was writing
songs in his spare time.
Jesus got my back
TYLER: Yeah, on my mission,
I had, really,
a great experience.
It really shaped this, sort of,
headphone-wearing, like,
kind of, pseudo-Goth kid
uh, into like, a... someone
that could talk to people.
Yeah, and I got home, and,
and, uh,
then I... decided to be
gay for a little bit.
And that started the conflict.
Hey baby,
won't you look my way?
I can be your new addiction
I got home from my mission,
and Tyler has started
a band called Neon Trees.
It started with a whisper
DAN: His band blew up,
and then my band blew up.
I would see him at festivals.
I'd be like, hey,
guy that's Mormon in that band,
hey, I'm guy over here
that's Mormon in this band.
I followed him.
I saw the things that he was saying
because he was, like,
a Mormon in the press.
TYLER: Being gay and closeted,
I became a master
I was able to, sort of,
a version of Mormonism that fit.
So, come 29,
and we've put out
two successful records,
and we toured
the world six times.
I'm living my dream, you know,
so, like, I should be happy.
And I'm not content at all,
and I'm thinking,
I can't keep thinking
this is a cool secret
that I can live with
the rest of my life.
It was like, I just,
I have to come out.
I came out to my producer.
I was just like, Tim,
do you want to know what
these songs are about?
And, like...
just saying it to him,
and having,
sort of the reaction,
from a... from, like, a straight
man, like, I always feared...
would probably ridicule me
because that was my experience.
He, like, said,
I'm so happy for you,
and it was the first time
that I ever, um,
attributed, like, positivity,
ever, to being gay.
I was expecting my life
to turn to shit,
or to feel
sinful or shame,
and I didn't at all.
And it was, I was met with such,
you know, just inclusion.
It was, you know,
three years after Prop 8,
so I was met with a lot of
IDS people saying,
we need this
conversation to broaden.
As a church,
nobody should be more
loving and compassionate.
No family who has anybody
who has the same-gender
issue should, uh,
exclude them
from the family circle.
DAN: Tyler did an interview with
Rolling Stone that was like,
I'm gonna be gay and Mormon,
and I'm gonna make it work.
And I feel like a lot of
the Mormon community was like,
Woo-hoo! Look at this!
He's gay and he's Mormon.
He's gonna make it work.
What does that mean?
Maybe he's celibate?
I don't know, but hey,
he's gonna make it work.
He's happy. You know?
I started dating
a guy openly, and...
I took him to Temple Square.
For me, it was like,
when you and I have a kid,
we're raising him Mormon,
and this means a lot to me.
And about a month after that,
um, it was November 5th,
and a Po...
The policy was leaked.
The Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints
has come under intense scrutiny
following their new official
orders against homosexuality,
baptism and children.
The new policy change states
that same-sex couples
will also now be
considered apostates,
saying it will no longer
bless or baptize children
of same-sex couples
until the child turns 18.
Once a child turns 18,
he or she will have to disavow
same-sex marriage,
then they can be blessed
and baptized by the church.
TYLER: There was a
variant in the church.
It suddenly felt dark, and I'd
never felt dark at church.
I'd always felt like,
this is the safe place,
and I need to cling to this.
Um, I'm watching my brother
baptize his son,
and he, and I don't
ever get to do that
because I'm gay
and he's straight, and, um...
I just had taken, you know...
the guy I was seeing to the temple
and I was doing all of these...
these things to sort of
remain, and I...
It just hit me that
I have to leave.
And I remember...
telling my mom on the way
to dinner after the baptism.
I'm like, Mom, I, I...
I believe, and I, um...
and I know
the Book of Mormon is true.
I know the church is true,
but I have to leave
because, like,
they've clearly drawn a line,
and it feels like the last,
you know, gut punch.
Please have a little in me
I know you hate it
when I stray
But I tried everything
I drank the wine
and stained the sheets
I'm clumsy when I speak
I just realized,
I need to make an album
about all these feelings.
You never call me anymore
DAN: Tyler put out a record
that was very controversial
within the Mormon community.
God, where the hell
are you hiding?
My hands are in the air
and I'm excited
DAN: It was very visceral,
and, like, very angry.
He was, like, ripping up
the Book of Mormon,
and he was painting on,
like, the apostles' faces.
A lot of Mormons saw that
and were, like,
offended and angry at Tyler.
And then I think a lot of Mormons
saw it and were hurt for Tyler.
It definitely weighed, like,
very heavily on my heart.
I've been on the run
So I'm not coming Sunday
It's all right
I'll probably talk to you
At midnight
TYLER: Hey, dude.
DAN: Hey, how you doing man?
TYLER: Good, man.
DAN: Man, I don't even
know where to start. Um...
Really, I, I feel like
I should've made this call,
like, two years ago.
You know, I've watched
you over the last...
you know, couple years,
and I've watched you
just go through this,
and I've been like,
a really...
shitty bystander, honestly.
And so I guess, first...
I just want to, like,
apologize because I feel like,
you know, I feel like,
you know, I don't know who else
you could relate to...
How many other people
you could relate to in
this industry that are, like,
Mormon, and have to feel
conflicted about
all these things,
and I don't know...
Dude, thanks. That really
means a lot. Thank you.
Wow, that's really cool.
Seriously. Seriously.
But the question I wanted
to ask you is, what now?
Like, what can I do...
I know. what can, like...
You know, I had, like,
this little idea in my head,
and tell me if it's stupid.
What if me and you got together,
and we put on, like,
a big event in Salt Lake City?
Me, you, some people who can
come together, and be, like...
inclusive of everybody,
and tell them all, like,
this needs to change.
You know, I know we can't
force the church to change it,
but maybe we can, like,
by raising more awareness,
and making more Mormons,
in their heart, feel like
this isn't right,
maybe that's the begin...
You know what I mean?
Maybe that's what's gonna start
the change.
That's what it takes, man.
Dude, I'm down.
Like, absolutely.
Let's do it.
DAN: I'm so amped right now.
I'm like, we're gonna do
this amazing thing!
This is for Mormons,
this is for non-Mormons.
This is for the LGB non-Mormons,
LGBT Mormons. Like, this is
for the world to come to.
So, you know what
I thought about?
First thing that came to my mind?
Food. What are
we gonna do for food?
If we can get
food trucks, awesome.
That's what I think.
I'm thinking food,
and really what
I should be thinking is
how do we not offend 50
percent of the people who come?
You're just trying
to enlighten people.
You're not trying
to offend anyone.
See what you just said right there?
Enlighten people.
You think that's offensive?
That says to people,
you're in the dark,
let me enlighten you.
No, no, no, no, no.
You're stupid,
let me educate you.
No. That's not true.
I think people don't
know statistics.
They don't know the reality
of what's happening.
You can't come in and say,
"You're wrong."
No. You have to come in and say,
"Let's talk, and believe in
the goodness of people." You
have to change people's minds
as a friend and an ally.
You don't have to change
people's minds.
They have to change their minds.
We have to, like,
in my opinion, it's like...
Did you put boloney in this?
There's ham in there.
It's really weird tasting.
Is it?
We don't usually put ham
in sandwiches, right?
This is the first time. No,
but it's, like, what was in there.
The Mormon... This is where
I was raised, Mormonism.
So, this is my community,
these are my people.
That's the last thing
that I want to do
is to say,
"I'm right, you're wrong."
"Look, come and let me
tell you why."
It needs to be,
everybody come to the table
and let's see what's happening.
This is... these are
the people who are in it.
You know.
Their message is 10 times more
powerful than me getting up,
Hey, I'm the singer of Imagine
Dragons. You know that song?
Radioactive! Radioactive!
Now let me tell you everything
that I know about this subject
because I really don't
know that much,
and everybody's gonna be like...
I'm all heart. I'm...
The education is yet to come.
Oh gosh. Well, hey,
we are kind of all heart.
JOHN: Hello?
John, how you doing?
Good, how are you, Dan?
It's an honor to, uh...
to, to talk and to meet.
Right back at you.
Yeah. Virtually.
Can you hear and see me okay?
Yeah, I, I hear
and I see you good.
Um, you're a little choppy
here and there, but not bad.
I'll close a bunch of windows
and just make sure.
Yeah, are you playing World of
Warcraft while you're talking to me?
(LAUGHING) No, I'm not.
My name is John Dehlin,
and I'm a sixth-generation
raised, uh, as a devout
orthodox-believing Mormon.
Mormonism was everything to me
'cause my parents
had been divorced,
and I felt like the church
took care of me and nurtured me
when my family
was falling apart.
In 2009, I started a PhD
in clinical
and counseling psychology.
I was just noticing all these LGBT Mormons
that were depressed and suicidal,
and, um...
the church was encouraging
mixed orientation marriages,
where you're gay, but you
marry a straight person.
RICARDO: My name is Ricardo.
I am a Mormon.
I'm a father of six children,
and I am attracted to men.
The attractions aren't
gonna go away.
They're gonna be there
my whole life,
but I don't feel that I'm
losing anything in my life.
To me, that's being authentic,
is it's finding that
core happiness within you.
And for me, it's important
that that core happiness
is aligned with
my beliefs in the gospel.
JOHN: They were
encouraging celibacy.
JESSYCA: I feel now,
being around people
that know that I'm gay,
I'm able to be myself.
And I'm not having to
make up excuses of
why I'm not dating
or I'm not married
or I'm not falling in love.
What's been so great
about this experience
is that I've been
able to understand
what really makes me happy,
and that is pleasing God.
So, we decided to study, uh,
what decisions led to healthy
outcomes for LGBT people,
and what decisions
led to unhealthy outcomes.
I just wanted to understand
a couple things.
Can you change being gay
or lesbian if you try?
What happens if you
just try to be celibate?
What happens if you just
try and marry a woman?
Mixed orientation marriages
were a disaster.
Celibacy was the worst
possible option
that they could have chosen.
Hundreds and hundreds
of the people
mentioned suicide
in their narratives,
of wanting to kill themselves
because of the struggle.
Feeling like God
didn't love 'em,
that God wouldn't heal them,
and so they must have been
beyond God's love and power.
JOHN: The suicide rates,
uh, in Utah are alarming.
We've seen the suicide rates
of youth between the ages
of 15 and 19
double in the past
two to three years,
and triple over the past
eight or nine years since 2008.
Nowhere else in the entire
United States are we seeing
youth suicide rates
double and triple
over that same time period.
And so, what's the cause?
What happened in 2007, 2008?
It was when
the predominant religion
within the state of Utah
declares war on LGBT people.
Today, I'd like to explain
how I became an LGBT ally
as a Mormon.
I gave a TED Talk in, uh, 2013.
I want to begin
by making a point.
That you can literally
save the lives
of your LGB brothers and sisters,
sons and daughters,
through love.
Well, I gave the TED Talk in,
like, October or November, 2013,
and by January
or February of 2014,
my bishop had called me in,
and, uh, told me he was starting
an investigation
into my membership.
And in February of 2015,
I was excommunicated
from the church.
There's no doubt in my mind
that my public support
of LGBT people
was a major factor
in my excommunication.
Excommunication is
about the worst thing
that a Mormon could
ever experience.
It basically means,
from a religious perspective,
that you're cut off from your
family for all of eternity.
That your family's gonna go
to this really nice place
in heaven,
and you're gonna be alone,
uh, in a dark, sad place,
and that's what
excommunication means.
It means you can't
participate in church.
It's basically condemning you to
the Mormon equivalent of hell.
And it was... But more than that,
it's cutting you off
from your tribe.
It's cutting you off
from your people,
from your friends,
from your family.
Uh, I have family members
that won't speak to me.
Um, and it's...
(SIGHS) Oh, man. Uh...
My family is all Mormon,
and they're very active.
I have a... I have a real fear
of losing all that.
Maybe you've heard
the quote, um,
"The only thing required
for evil to persist
is for good men to do nothing."
You've probably heard that, right?
I have. Yeah.
I've always loved the church.
I still do. I still
consider myself Mormon.
Um... and so... But I felt
the same way you did.
I didn't want to leave it.
I didn't want to be excommunicated.
I do think the number
of overt bigots out there,
as a percentage,
is really small,
but the number of,
of Mormons, frankly,
who just have decided
to remain silent
is extremely large.
And so,
I've been watching you guys.
And in my heart, I'm just like,
things are gonna change
when these guys are
willing to speak up.
Here's to my future
Here's to my yesterday
Here's to change, oh
Here's to my yesterday
No tomorrow
without a yesterday
Here's to my future
STEPHENIE: This house
was built 125 years ago
by a polygamist named
William D. Alexander.
Yeah, you actually, you have
the view of the temple...
So, check out that.
Wow, yeah.
STEPHENIE: Little did he know
that someday his rainbow window
would perfectly
encase that Moroni.
The Captain Moroni on the top
of the Mormon Temple. Yeah.
DAN: So, the kids
can kind of, just,
come in here after school's out.
Just come hang out, find a place
of just refuge and kind of...
Yeah. The whole idea is
they just walk in like
it's their own home.
Um, I did have
an area authority ask me,
when these kids come here,
and you're going to
make them more gay,
and their families aren't...
And I was like, no, no, no, no.
We are just here
to love and support them,
and give them
a safe place to be.
Here's to my yesterday
So, maybe tell me about
how you got involved here.
My mom is... working here?
Is that what it is?
I am volunteering here. Yeah.
When you came out,
how was that received with
your friends, with the church?
Um, it was only this Sunday
that I came out to the church.
Hi, my name is Savannah,
and I want to share
my testimony with you.
I believe I'm a child with
heavenly parents. I don't...
I went up during
testimony meeting,
and I bore my testimony on how
everyone is made
the certain way that they are,
and how I was made to be gay.
I believe I was made
the way I am...
I felt nervous, actually,
'cause I didn't know
what people would react.
They did not mess up
when they gave me freckles
or when they made me to be gay.
God loves me just this way
because I believe that
he loves all his creations.
I hope to get married
and have a family.
I know these dreams and wishes
are good and right.
I know I can have
all of these things
as a, as a lesbian
and be happy...
I didn't get to finish all
the way through my testimony.
I think it was, like,
a paragraph later after
I said the word "lesbian,"
they cut me off.
I want to love myself
and not feel ashamed
for being me.
I ask you to...
HEATHER: It was a member of the
stake presidency that was there.
DAN: He leaned over
to a counselor...
HEATHER: Leaned over and have him
turn off the mic
and asked her to go sit.
It was a little depressing
and sad when it happened,
but I feel more happy now
that it has happened,
'cause now I got
to share my feelings.
You know, if my answer
of what resonates here
doesn't line up with what
the prophet, etcetera, says,
you know, it's like, hard
for my family to see that.
All I can do is accept them
and love them where they're at,
and, like, hope
that they can offer...
(SIGHS) um,
the same thing back to me.
BOY: Something that happened recently
with my brother who was on his mission.
He was, like, one of the first
people that I came out to.
Um... about the time, I told him,
and when I came out, he was like,
"No, it's just the devil,"
and he slapped me really hard.
WOMAN: So when you told him,
he said, "It's the devil,"
and he slapped you? Yeah.
Because you were,
like, following the devil?
In the callings? Wow.
All of you, in my opinion,
even being here right now,
are far braver than
I could've ever understood
'cause I'm just, like,
dealing with, like,
oh, religion and these things,
you know, but...
but you guys are, are so brave.
Thank you. Thank you
for letting me sit in
and be part of what
could be so uncomfortable,
and I can be the most awkward
person ever. (LAUGHTER)
And you guys have made me feel
totally comfortable here, too.
And, um, so, thank you.
I love you all,
and love is love,
and, uh, yeah. Thanks.
ALL: Thanks, Dan!
WOMAN: And here are our
crisis counselors here
are ready to take phone calls.
Our research here at The
Trevor Project has found that
if an LGBT young person
has one supportive adult,
the risk of suicide
is lessened by 30 percent.
It's incredible.
The Mormons are way over here
and the LGBTQ community
is way over here.
So it's like, to me, I was like,
well, what's a safe way we can
bring everybody together,
but also a place to be
a little more educated?
And for some Mormons,
guarantee this will be
the first time they'll sit down
and listen to someone who is LGBTQ talk
for more than, like, five minutes.
I have these Mormon moms
come in from their temple shift,
and they're very defensive,
until they fall in love
with a gay person.
They could fall in love with
Tyler for just five minutes. Yep.
Then, it's game over.
So, Dragons, Trees...
Dragons, Trees,
interspersed with speakers.
I mean, that alone
is gonna be like...
...20,000 people.
Have you thought about where?
I think Pioneer Park.
DAN: Isn't it right
next to the temple,
someone was telling me
or something?
TYLER: Um, it's like
three blocks from it.
Three blocks from the temple?
Ah. Mm-hmm.
TYLER: Yeah, so they
hold huge events here.
And do they have, like,
food trucks or anything like that?
Yeah, so there's,
like, event vendors...
What do you think the name
of the festival should be?
It needs to be something
that the Mormons are like,
oh, this sounds rad
and I want to come to it,
but it should sound progressive
and cool, and not boring.
LoveLoud Festival.
Or LoveLouder.
LoveLoud Festival.
LoveLoud Festival.
That's kinda cool.
It is.
LoveLoud Festival.
"Are you going to LoveLoud?"
That's kinda cool.
No, I'm going to LoveLouder.
No, I'm going to LoveLouder.
BOTH: As I have loved you
Love one another
This new commandment
Love one another
By this shall man know
Ye are my disciples
If ye have loved
One to another
It's actually pretty.
Yeah, it is.
It's a really, it's a...
it's a Mormon...
When you're a young Mormon,
you're in a group
called Primary,
and it's, like,
all the young kids, like,
get together, and they all have
this rambunctious class
where they learn about God.
And you learn, like,
these songs together.
Primary songs, yeah.
Primary songs.
Like children's hymns, basically.
And one of them, first ones you
learn is "Love One Another."
Which is a really rad...
It's actually beautiful.
Yeah. It's a beautiful song,
and the whole point
of it is about
just love one another, and so...
It's interesting
that that gets lost in...
you know, when it's really
just such a simple idea...
Totally... that we're taught
super young in the church.
JOHN: A lot of
Mormons are really
good-hearted, loving,
kind, charitable people,
who want what's right,
and they want to be kind
and loving and tolerant,
but they have leaders
that are telling them what
to think and how to behave.
If children have
a happy family experience,
they will not want
to be homosexuals,
which I am sure is
an acquired addiction,
just as drugs, alcohol,
and pornography are.
Adultery, fornication,
committing homosexual acts,
and other deviations
approaching these in gravity,
are not acceptable
alternate lifestyles.
They are serious sins.
We regard same-sex marriage as
a particularly grievous or, uh,
significant, serious kind of sin
that requires church discipline.
JOHN: Mormon leaders
claim to talk to God,
so when the church make statements
in the '80s and '90s and 2000s
that to be gay is evil,
that to be in a same-sex,
uh, marriage or committed
relationship is evil,
they're not just saying
that as their own opinion.
They're basically saying
that God speaks
to the leader of our church
and takes that position.
As the church has
seen in the past,
when the church
takes a position,
and then the rest
of the nation changes,
so in the late 1800s,
the church was a polygamous church,
and the rest of the nation
wasn't cool with that,
uh, the church was
almost destroyed,
and so, the church
had to change.
Fast-forward to the 1960s,
the whole United States
is starting to support
African-Americans and civil rights.
And the IDS church is opposing,
um, the civil rights movement
and that almost
destroyed the church.
And so in 1978,
the church changes again.
He has heard our prayers,
and by revelation has confirmed
that the long promised day
has come, when every
faithful, worthy man
in the church may receive
the holy priesthood.
JOHN: So, just like the church
eventually got rid of polygamy,
the church eventually accepted
blacks into full fellowship.
Accordingly, all worthy
male members of the church
may be ordained to the chur...
To the priesthood
without regard
for race or color.
DAN: The church
changed, and said, okay,
now is the time, God has spoken,
now you can have the priesthood.
The thing is you're not
going to change God's will,
is basically what my mom said.
My mom said to me,
when I told her
I was doing this,
she was like, well,
just because you're
a rock star dude,
you can't change God's will.
While we are to value
the rights and feelings
of all of God's children,
we cannot change his doctrine.
It is not ours to change.
False prophets and false
teachers are those who
attempt to change the God-given,
and scripturally based doctrines
that protect
the sanctity of marriage.
DAN: Just because
you go and pound
on the brethren's door,
and you're, like,
Thomas S. Monson, come on,
change this, man.
Come on, change it!
He's not gonna change it
for you, 'cause God's...
He's only doing what
God tells him to do,
and God's not gonna
change it for you.
But if all the members of a church
are talking about something,
then the prophet's gonna
pray about it more, right?
I think that maybe I'm one part
of this puzzle that's, like,
you know, coming together,
and hopefully the apostles
and the prophet
go pray about it,
and God comes down
and tells them what's up.
So, um, you know,
there's a glimmer of hope,
and in the long-term,
I think there's a lot of hope.
The question is, um,
how long will it take
to get there,
and how many people
will be hurt along the way?
ALYSON: So we have three kids,
and, um, Stockton is
the youngest of the three.
And, really, our story
kind of begins
with him at age 12,
us finding a letter
with him saying that
he thought he was gay.
DAN: At earlier
times in his life,
had either of you said,
well, maybe he's gay?
Or do you think he's gay?
Does he seem...?
No, we, um... yeah.
Our, uh, our gaydar
was pretty weak.
MAN: How did you think
that they would react?
I thought they'd react
kind of badly
'cause, I mean, they're Mormon.
Not all Mormons
react kindly to that.
I don't know.
I didn't really think they were
gonna kick me out of the house.
I didn't think they were gonna
be, "Oh yeah, you're gay. Cool."
I'll just kind of...
hide it.
MAN: Yeah.
You know, when we said, well,
let's just kinda ride this out,
that wasn't his MO.
His MO was,
Yeah, I think I'm gonna announce
it at school tomorrow-type thing.
He had his own bullhorn.
Yeah. He...
ALYSON: You know, he
was pretty proud and out.
TROY: I remember,
um, I gave him...
this, a pink, neon pink T-shirt
that said, "Queer New World."
And he was so excited
by this neon pink shirt
because it was gonna scandalize
everyone in his school.
GEORGE: You know,
he just thought,
Well, this is me.
What's the problem?
And, unfortunately,
not everybody
was ready for that.
When I was kind of internally
realizing that I was gay,
I got handed a pamphlet.
"For the Strength of Youth,"
and it said, homosexuality
is a serious sin,
and I got very angry
about that and...
um, it kind of just spiraled
downward from there.
DAN: So, did you feel that,
even when he cut ties,
he probably still felt the sting...yeah.
ALYSON: He was angry. Oh yeah.
He was angry.
And he just didn't feel safe...
DAN: Yeah. a place that he
should've felt the safest.
Words fall through me
And always fool me
TROY: The rest of
society around him
from church, to school,
to government,
kept sending a message to
Stockton that he was less than.
ALYSON: You know,
often kids would say to him,
I can associate with you,
but if my parents find out,
then I can't.
It was always,
you know, this constant,
"I like you, but..."
or "I love you, but..."
Take this sinking boat
And point it home
We've still got time
I could sense, you know,
his frustrations,
and his anger, and his fears.
He would say to me often,
he'd say...
"What's so wrong with me
that I just can't have friends?"
ALYSON: I really
didn't see it coming.
We were in Saint George,
and just, um...
got a call...
that he...
was gone.
Why didn't he call me?
Because I would
have done anything.
That's what breaks my heart
is that he felt
that much despair,
and that he...
Well, that he was alone.
...felt that alone.
GEORGE: He like all of us...
We're looking for the community.
DAN: Right.
Your tribe.
And so, he was looking for
his community and his tribe,
and, so he...
Yeah, it was, it was hard.
'Cause the community that
should've been so loving
and accepting of him
and appreciative of his...
Of who he is just...
I mean, I think
a lot of these kids
really did love him
and accept him,
but they were at war
with their dynamic.
They're being taught at church what
they're gonna be taught at home.
BOTH: Right. Yeah.
We need more voices.
It's just, we need more voices.
And he deserves it.
DAN: My heart is full tonight...
...for so many reasons...
DAN: I think amidst all of this,
a lot of people would wonder
why I even associate
with Mormonism,
if, you know,
it's causing this much harm.
Why not just walk away
and be done?
We've lost our loved ones.
We've lost them to suicide.
DAN: I'm not gonna just walk away,
and let the house on fire burn.
I'd rather do all that I can
with this lucky spot
that I've been put in
to hopefully put out a fire.
It's time to begin
Isn't it?
little bit bigger
But then I'll admit
I'm just the same as I was
Now don't you understand
That I'm never
changing who I am
I have these tools of,
like, you know, hey,
if I wanna put on a festival,
we're gonna put on a festival,
and at least some people
are gonna come out
because Imagine Dragons
is playing.
We can get this press,
and we can get this interview
because of Imagine Dragons.
WOMAN: (ON PHONE) Dan, welcome to
the show. How are you doing today?
I'm doing great. Um...
(FUSSING) I don't know
if you can hear my baby
screaming in the background.
We're doing this documentary.
I'm also putting on a festival,
in Utah, August 26th,
called LoveLoud.
There's gonna be parents who are
gonna get up and speak who've,
who've lost their child
to suicide.
DAN: LoveLoud was this
ginormous beast, suddenly.
I was like okay,
I'm gonna hire an assistant.
I don't think he had any idea
what he was signing up for.
Uh, music festivals usually
take at least a year.
And we're trying to pull
this off in a few months.
We're gonna, hopefully,
create enough rumblings
that it's gets a ton
of press coverage
and that people
start to understand
that telling your child
that it's sinful to be gay
can be so destructive.
Are you worried about fans being,
maybe, turned off by activism?
You know. "Come on, Dan.
Just play your music." Sure.
I have to pay attention
to my heart
and speak the things
that are in my heart.
I felt that by not speaking out,
I was doing a big disservice
to my community.
My goal is to change
this in the church,
and not to say that
I can change the church,
but at least to bring together
a ton of people who are Mormon
who have said, you know,
we've had enough with this.
And I'm never
changing who I am
TYLER: I first met Dan in 2006,
when I was a shy,
closeted singer
in a local band in Provo, Utah,
called Neon Trees.
Dan, it's unbelievably exciting
to see you use your platform
to spread the love
you have in your heart.
That is the heroic move.
We have a special message
for you from one of our fans.
Hi Dan. My name's Miranda.
I am 16, and I am bisexual,
but before anything else,
I wanna say congratulations!
What you're doing
makes a difference.
What you're doing means
so much to people like me,
and I cannot thank you
enough for it.
TYLER: The Trevor
Project is proud to honor
my dear friend, Dan Reynolds,
with the Trevor Hero Award.
Please join me
in a round of applause.
Good luck.
All right. All right.
DAN: Uh...
I loved a lot of my mission.
I did a ton of service work.
I lost myself.
I became nothing.
You're the geeky,
stupid-looking dude,
with the name badge and it's...
and you get Slurpees
thrown at you, and it's,
it's humbling. It's humbling,
and it was, it was good for me.
But I want to... I'm sure you're wondering,
where is he going with all this?
And this is, this is
where I'm going with it.
For those two years,
when people asked me
what the doctrine was,
and they said, "Hey, I am gay,
or I feel, you know,
"like I'd feel like,
I like girls,
and what do I do about this?"
I taught that it was a sin
because that's what
I had been raised to teach.
I never felt it in my heart
since I was young.
I hold regret
about that to this day.
I wish I could
knock all those doors.
I wish I could re-knock them,
and tell them that I was wrong.
I can't do that.
All I can do is come forward
to you today and tell you,
I sincerely am sorry.
I, really, in my heart...
Thank you for this.
This is such a great honor.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
And I know... I know it's been
said, but love is love.
Love is love.
Thank you so much.
DAN: We're less than two months
out from the LoveLoud Festival,
which is super intimidating
and scary for a million reasons
because it feels like we're still
just getting stuff together.
MAN: And just say,
"Take one." Take one.
I'm here to make
a very special announcement.
On August 26th,
in the Provo area,
we're gonna be putting on
a concert called LoveLoud...
LANCE: So with LoveLoud, we knew
it was important to be in Utah.
And I don't want to say
that people were intentionally
trying to curb this event.
We can give them
a sponsorship, like a...
LANCE: But when we
started realizing
it was a lot of people being
afraid to touch this issue.
DAN: I thought we were
gonna have a massive park.
We're gonna show that
the whole state of Utah
actually believes in this.
The reality hitting me is
that not all of Utah wants this.
I had tons of people
who were like,
you shouldn't talk about
how we have, like,
any issues with suicide.
Let's not talk about that.
I'm a little nervous to even click on the
comments section, to be honest with you here.
"I know many LGBTQ-XYZ people,
"and while I treat them like
any other person I know,
I don't agree with their choices
to live that lifestyle."
AJA: People might laugh
because they might say, like,
why is this straight white guy
the poster child for this now?
I don't know.
People love to hate, you know?
So, we'll see what happens.
DAN: "Ditch Your Imagine Dragons Music
because Dan Reynolds Embraced the Poz."
So I had no idea what that was,
so I googled it.
"Gay slang, willing to have sex
with someone who is HIV positive
by someone who is not."
You start to feel,
upset that it's, like,
so blatantly obvious.
Like, look how obvious this is!
Like, of course we have to love
and accept everybody.
Come on, guys!
ROBERT: It's a terrible challenge
to go into this intersection
of LGBT individuals
and communities of faith,
which requires sensitivity
on both sides,
and a lot of nuance,
and that is not
an easy spot to be
when you're someone like Dan.
DAN: You know, I just did
an interview with Billboard,
and my family saw it, and
that's been a little difficult.
Feeling like the family thinks
that I'm doing something wrong,
or I'm, like, making them
look like bigots or something.
That's, that's been, probably,
the hardest thing for me.
ROBERT: The risk is that in going
to this vulnerable intersection,
of not just,
I wanna help LGBT individuals
have more peace and love
and acceptance in their lives,
but I'm gonna have
an event in Provo, Utah,
and I'm going to talk
about Mormon doctrine.
Will you express it in
a way that sounds like
kicking somebody when they're
down or throwing a stone?
Or will it come across
as someone that's
putting his arms around his
fellow brothers and sisters,
and saying, hey,
let's do better.
It makes the family nervous.
But I love Dan and know
he wants to do good.
I know he's trying to be good,
and I know he means well.
If I were you
I'd run away
Closing your eyes
and count to 10
Bird in the sky
Peace in your mind
DAN: There was a
week in particular
where everything with LoveLoud
was basically falling apart.
Why is it so much more difficult
than I thought it would be?
Like, you just say, "Hey, let's all meet
in this park, this day and do something."
DAN: As of yesterday,
our whole team
that we have together
was kinda feeling like,
we needed to cancel the event.
DAN: Utah was just making it
too impossible to put it on.
If I was me
Weight on my back
Feeling the sun upon my eyes
Where would I turn?
What would I burn?
I am a pawn within your hand
So many voices
Carving my blood
into the stone
What do I do?
Where do I turn?
Even my screams
cease to be heard
WOMAN 1: Bye, everybody. Bye.
MAN 1: Thanks, everyone.
Bye. Okay.
MAN 2: All right.
WOMAN 2: Thank you.
To be alone
So many choices
I was on a, a phone call
with, um,
one of my fund-raisers,
just going over
a bunch of details,
and my phone, uh,
my phone kept ringing.
I looked down,
and it was my mom.
I was like, ah, Mom. (CHUCKLES)
Then she called again,
and then she called a third time.
And at that point, I realized,
I need to talk to my mom.
And, uh...
So I just said, hey,
I need to end this call.
I need to call my mom.
And I called my mom, and, um...
she was hysterical.
She told me my brother, Landon,
had just hung himself...
(SIGHS) Provo.
In praise of you
Our faith is strong
We'll raise our colors
high in the blue
And cheer our Cougars of BYU
Oh, rah, rah, rah-rah-rah
LANCE: So Landon was
attending BYU, the...
IDS church's university.
He also had a, uh,
really cool girlfriend,
and he'd kinda
blossomed down there.
And then he and his girlfriend,
they had sex,
which is against the honor code.
Landon was honest
with the university
and explained what had
happened, and told them.
And they said...
(SCOFFS)'re kicked out
for five years, and...
you can't associate
with any of your professors.
You're done.
It started to put him into a
downward spiral of depression
and emotional wound after emotional
wound, it was... it was hard for him.
Even though in the eyes of his,
his God, he was clean.
In the culture there, he wasn't.
He was just a sinner.
And, uh, that's how a lot of
people looked at him.
As less than.
He just felt worthless.
So it was really hard,
...night after night,
day after day,
I'm spending all my time
trying to bring this...
trying to bring
this festival to life,
to save lives and to help
people not feel alone.
LANCE: It breaks my heart knowing
that Landon got to a point
where he believed
that the only way his soul
could go on was for it
to leave his body.
And the harsh reality is that,
I mean, here in Utah,
the leading cause of death
for teenagers is suicide.
I think we all can agree that we
need to find a solution to this.
And it's gonna take every
single one of us in this room
to make a difference.
I believe, and I know, that...
Mormons are good people.
we have sincere hearts.
That we're no, no less...
broken than any other society.
But the way that our culture
is failing right now
is in a very unique way,
and in a deadly way.
The shaming that happens in
this culture needs to end.
I believe in a higher power,
and I believe in
goodness and love,
and I know we can do this.
This isn't some
insurmountable task.
It's feasible
because I believe in us.
I had to respond to him,
and I said,
Lance, I'm so sorry that your
brother just committed suicide.
You don't have
to do this anymore.
You know? You don't have
to be on these calls. Please.
Like, go take off time
with your family.
Like, you could, like,
I'll do LoveLoud.
And he... he just refuses.
He texted me and he says,
"I'm gonna be with my family
for a few days,
"but will still be working on
everything and want you to know
"we will make it happen.
"No one deserves to feel the way
my mother does right now,
"and I'm going to work
my hardest to ensure
"that this suicide
epidemic ends, man.
"This is so wrong
and has to stop.
"I know you're stressing
about this festival,
"but I assure you,
we're going to pull this off.
"There are too many
things going right.
"LoveLoud is going to happen
and it's going to
change the world."
DAN: He just said,
we're going to do this, Dan.
We can do this.
I have an idea.
Let's do it grassroots.
We don't need to get
a bunch of money.
We don't need to dumb it down
or clean it up or make it
more vanilla to get sponsors.
You know, you told me
on the phone that
if we didn't get the money,
we'd go stand in a park
on... (CHUCKLES)
...on a soapbox,
and just scream to the world
that things needed
to change in Utah.
We want it to be a safe space for
everybody to come out and be able to...
feel the love and acceptance
together for LGBTQ youth,
and we want them to hear it with
resounding cries from all across Utah.
DAN: We went from the
event not happening,
to me begging people
to take it on.
We have the chance
to do something
that's really
powerful and great,
but, um,
it has been, doing it
in Utah has been difficult.
Finally, we got somebody
who said okay, we can do it,
if we do it in this ballpark,
and we're gonna have
to set it up the morning of,
so we need a small stage
you can roll in.
NEWSMAN: A mutual love of music
is a great way to foster love,
understanding and acceptance.
That's how our next guest
wants to support
the LGBTQ community...
DAN: It's basically come together
in such a crazy, last minute way,
that every single person told
me that I was stupid doing it.
Yeah, I guess I've
never thought about
how big the church
is versus the band,
how influential the church
is versus the band.
I guess if I really stand back
and look at it, it's like,
the band reaches millions,
and we put out a video and
it's like 500 million views.
ALL: Good morning, America!
DAN: We have a show in November,
in Salt Lake City
that's sold out,
and it sold out super fast,
and it's 20,000 people plus.
We figured, oh,
when we do this LoveLoud,
it's just gonna sell out.
And so, when we put up
the tickets, it's just nowhere
near selling as fast as
an Imagine Dragons show sells.
I mean, that tells you
everything you need to know.
In order for Mormons
to feel safe to come to this,
the truth is Mormons will
feel safe about something
when the prophet says
to feel safe about something.
LANCE: We know that there
are conversations going on
in the, the hierarchy
of the church.
I don't know fully
what they look like.
I hope that the church is
able to make a statement,
and to let people know
that these conversations
are okay to have.
If the prophet said,
"Hey, LoveLoud is cool,"
then that would be incredible,
and that would shift,
that would be, like, everything
I could ever hope for.
For me, that is a bridge
that has never been, like,
that is not a bridge that,
that has been created.
It would be the most amazing,
huge step of progress
if the church says,
hey, there's this LGBTQ event,
and yeah, even the guy who's
behind it doesn't believe
that it's a sin to be gay,
and, well,
here's a stamp of approval.
Like that, to me, I'm like...
amazing! It'd be amazing.
So yeah, I've just,
I've been waiting on, uh,
pins and needles
to see if they're gonna,
uh, come through
with a proposal,
and, and I hope it's sooner
rather than later.
AJA: Do you know
what Daddy is doing?
ARROW: What?
So, Daddy's putting
on a festival
because he wants people
to understand
um, that...
Do you know what being gay is?
Do you remember how
we talked about how, like,
boys can love boys,
and girls can love girls,
or they can love,
girls can love boys
or boys can love girls?
Uh-huh, and...
And sometimes, what?
And sometimes girls
wanna be a boy,
and sometimes
boys wanna be girls,
and girls wanna be boys.
And then what can happen?
Remember, I told you sometimes
people can be mean
to that person.
And so we have to be,
protect that person, huh?
So, the festival's
called LoveLoud...
because it means,
"love everybody,
no matter what."
AJA: I saw something on your
phone, so you better read it.
Okay. It's 10:30 PM.
Uh, 10:30 PM, we were
just about to go to bed,
and it's August... 14th.
Sunday. Yeah.
So, we're like a week out.
Is that right? Yeah.
No, I don't know.
Arrow starts school tomorrow.
I don't know what...
We have 10 days. Like 10 days.
10 days. Anyway.
We have the church's statement.
"We applaud the Love..." It's long.
Geez. (GASPS)
Quote, "We applaud
the LoveLoud Festival
for LGBTQ youths..."
First of all, I've never heard
the church say, "LGBTQ."
It's always, they say,
"same-sex attraction."
I've never...
This is, that's...
I've never, ever
heard them say that.
"We applaud
the LoveLoud Festival's...
"Festival for LGBTQ youth's aim
"to bring people together
to address teen safety,
"and to express respect and love
for all of God's children.
"We join our voice with all
"who come together to foster
a community of inclusion
"in which no one is
mistreated because of who...
they are or what they believe."
"Who they are."
(LAUGHS) I know, that's big.
"We share common beliefs.
Among them,
"the pricelessness of our youth,
"and the value of families.
"We earnestly hope
this festival and others,
"other related efforts can
build respectful communication,
"better understanding
and civility
as we all learn
from each other."
That's really great, babe.
It's a step.
That's pretty awesome.
MAN: Check, check, one, two.
Pole mic one.
Wireless one, one, two.
Wireless one...
This is the reality of life.
Dan and I both have nerves,
and we're, like, nervous,
but I just think that there's some sort
of a deeper feeling of just, like...
I feel like this is the kind of stuff that
life is really, the purpose of it all.
So, there's, like,
a real gratification
in actually pulling
something like this off,
even though it hasn't
been pulled off yet,
I feel like it's just...
(SIGHS) Just one of those, it's,
opens your heart, you know?
It feels amazing.
Oh my gosh, seriously?
Let's not put that in there.
Hey, babe. We got to go,
sweetie. We're so late.
Honey, we are fine!
We have 20 minutes,
and I'm pumping.
The sooner we get there,
the sooner we can...
The better chance we get of
getting everybody in a room...
to have, like, a...
What do you want me to do? ...Pow-wow
with all the speakers and stuff.
Honey, what do you want me
to do about this pumping?
Nothing. You're fine.
I'm just...
being anxious. Sorry.
(SIGHS) I could help you
pack while you're pumping.
Well, I, I like to pack.
I'm a control freak, remember?
Well, it's just literally
a matter of me zipping up
your zipper over here.
Well, okay. Just start
putting things away.
Yeah, I'll be honest. I don't know
where you want these two things...
Oh please. Can you just
...let me do it?
Oh my gosh.
It's gonna be amazing.
I just have to go
on stage and just...
Talk about... (LAUGHS) all these people who are
completely opposites of
each other to get along.
All right, babe.
You okay?
We're gonna do it.
Let's do it.
AJA: All right, it's a good time to
look and see if there's protesters.
You're making me
so nervous today, hon.
I don't know why.
I don't know why.
I don't know why.
I'm not supposed to be
here to make you nervous.
I think I'm just
making myself nervous,
and I just wanna blame it on
you 'cause you're my wife.
DAN: The people in line, I'm just
so curious to hear what people...
AJA: Are talking about.
Yeah. And what
the line looks like,
and, like, who,
who's coming to this.
MAN: It seems like there's a lot
more people than just the LGBTQ,
and I'm really happy
to see that.
I think what Dan Reynolds
has done here
is, is really, uh, important
for helping people to see,
and, and normalize
the concept of, of us being
in the same world as them.
I wish they could've been here,
you know, 10 years ago.
I think it would've saved a lot
of heartache for a lot of people.
yeah, I think it could've
saved some lives.
WOMAN: Seeing how many people are
out here supporting the cause is,
it's like a hope for
humanity kinda thing. Yeah.
Yes! This is incredible!
This is the night that, uh,
I've been looking forward
to for so long.
This is the most important
stage I've ever been on.
Some people walked in tonight
feeling a little out of
their comfort zones.
Feeling like,
are people gonna judge me?
But guess what?
You came still.
I applaud you for that.
This speaks to the courage, to
the love of the people of Utah
that I have known for years.
And to see this,
for our LGBTQ youth,
I know speaks volumes to them,
so please give a round of applause,
first and foremost, to yourself.
I got to say that
that means so much
to me and to the people
who have put this together.
We've worked tirelessly
and hard to be able to make
this a place for everybody.
I hope that you know that.
There's no judgment
cast on anybody.
There is a place for everybody
here at this table.
We can all agree on one thing,
and that's in love,
absolute, pure, complete love.
I wanna introduce you to the
person who has me here today.
My everything. I am nothing
without this individual.
She has shaped my life, opened
my mind and my heart. Oh geez.
And she's also the greatest
artist in the whole world.
I'm not biased.
That's just the way it is.
It's my wife, Aja Volkman.
Come on out.
I can't talk, so I'm
just gonna play. (LAUGHS)
Breathe in deep
This life ain't gonna be
Nobody said it'd be
So very
Don't lose faith
MAN: I was a seven-year-old,
eight-year-old Mormon boy.
I was so afraid that I might
be gay because if I was,
it would mean that I would lose
my parents, my family,
the faith community
that I love so much,
and if that seven-year-old boy
could have flashed forward
and seen tonight,
with 20,000 Mormons
here celebrating us,
I would have had more
hope for the future.
And I hope that that the seven and
eight-year-old queer kids out there
will feel hope for
their future, as well.
I need some more time
A couple last tears
Few more days
Before I disappear
AJA: Thank you.
Thanks for coming.
ANNOUNCER: Give a LoveLoud Fest welcome
to Savannah and her mother Heather!
I was invited here
to share my truth.
Thanks to you for giving me
the space to speak today.
I believe I was made
the way I am,
all parts of me,
by my heavenly parents.
They did not mess up
when they gave me brown eyes
or when I was born bald.
They did not mess up
when they gave me freckles
or when I was made to be gay.
I want to love myself
and not feel shame.
And I know my heavenly parents
love and accept me.
Thank you.
MAN: It's quite a privilege to
be able to share your voice.
15 years ago,
I was a student at BYU,
and I was coming out,
and I was suicidal.
And I'm here, and I just got this hug
from this little girl who stood up.
She's 13, and she just told
everybody that God loves her
because He made her. I mean,
it took me until I was almost 30
to have that in my brain to say,
I don't have to be better
or try to be better.
God made me exactly who I am.
I'm the best I can be.
I'm exactly, exactly
what He said.
I made you.
So, it's just been
the most amazing thing.
I feel like I'm in
a dream right now.
JOHN: It feels like
Mormon Woodstock.
That's how it feels.
It feels like, uh, it feels
like a historic moment, really.
It feels like, uh, we've, we've
fought so hard for so long,
and finally, uh, we're able
to do something significant.
We've reached critical mass.
A scripture I cherish says,
of God, that He inviteth
all to come unto Him
and partake of His goodness.
And all are alike unto Him.
May this be a new beginning
for all of us that
this community may
hereafter be known
as a place of love for all.
WOMAN: The church did, um, endorse
this, right? Yeah, that was great.
But now, for me, I want them to put
their money where their mouth is.
If they're gonna say,
we love all of our LGBT people,
then let's get rid of
that policy,
and let's bring them
into full fellowship.
I mean, for me, personally,
nothing less will do.
Yeah. Because you can say,
I love you, all you want,
but until you act on that
in a way that feels
inclusive and complete,
then it's, it's a no-go.
TYLER: I totally get where people
are coming from where they say,
like, it's a big step. It's
historic that they're approving
of anything, uh, LGBT related,
but I don't know.
I'm a little salty because
there's still a policy intact,
and it doesn't take away
from everyone that,
the pain that I went through.
that policy caused me to completely
go through a faith crisis.
I've, you know, had suicidality
this last year.
Like, I don't know where
I fit in all the time,
and that's because of them.
It's a tiny step
with the church.
It's a huge step for this area.
I'm the mother of
a 17-year-old gay son
that we lost to suicide
a year ago.
We work hard to spread the
message of unconditional love
for all of God's children,
so heartbreaking stories...
like mine won't happen again.
GEORGE: I'm absolutely
just blown away.
This is a great message to
parents to say, you know what?
It is okay to love
your gay kids.
And I think the thing is kinda
hitting me the most is, uh...
I know Stockton is really proud.
He's really proud.
He would be dancing. (LAUGHING)
He's up there just glowing.
Probably... dancing
with no clothes on.
That's the truth!
I was gonna say it, but he did.
GEORGE: He's lovin' this.
Oh, oh
I want some more
Oh, oh
What are you Waitin' for?
Say goodbye to my heart
You have to know
how much it means
to me personally, in my heart,
to play at this event
with my band, Neon Trees,
on this stage
in front of this crowd.
Being an openly
gay man performing
with my band up here
should speak volumes.
I am happy. I'm proud. I'm open.
I have friends and family
that love me,
and you will, too.
Thank you so much,
from the bottom of my heart.
It started with a
And that was when I
Kissed her
I mean, it was a her,
at the time.
And then I found out...
Everybody talks
It started with a whisper
And that was when
I kissed her
And then she made
my lips hurt
I can hear the chitchat
Take me to your love shack
Mamas always got to backtrack
When everybody talks back
Everybody talks,
everybody talks
CROWD: Everybody
talks, everybody talks
Everybody talks,
everybody talks
TYLER: LoveLoud, good night!
ANNOUNCER: Are you guys
ready for Imagine Dragons?
First things first
I'ma say all the words
inside my head
I'm fired up and tired of
the way that things have been
Oh, oh
Yeah, the way that
things have been
Oh, oh
Second thing second
Don't you tell me what you
think that I should be
I'm the one at the sails,
I'm the master of my sea
Oh, oh
Yeah, the master of my sea
Oh, oh
But they never did, ever lived, ebbing
and flowing, inhibited, limited
Till it broke up
and it rained down
It rained down, like
You made me a,
you made me a believer
You break me down,
you built me up, believer
DAN: LoveLoud was everything
we could've hoped for and more.
It showed,
it's not just me, as a Mormon,
who is antsy for change.
The whole Mormon community
came out in droves to say,
this is a place, uh, within
the church that is broken.
How can we fix it?
Leading up to LoveLoud,
uh, the church
obviously, reached out to me,
and we have been having,
kind of, an open dialogue.
Coming out of LoveLoud,
everybody was feeling
positive momentum.
I had been extremely
excited for General Conference.
And general conference
happens twice a year.
It's where the apostles,
and the prophets speak,
uh, like on live television
to the world,
and to all the Mormons.
And I think a lot of Mormons,
myself, were waiting
to hear an apostle say,
now let's start to do
something to change this.
Members of
the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints
are blessed with unique doctrine
and different ways
of viewing the world.
We've witnessed a rapid
and increasing public acceptance
of cohabitation without marriage
and same-sex marriage.
DAN: Elder Oaks talked about
the Family Proclamation,
which is basically an old piece
that was put together
from the church that
was released about
marriage is between
a man and a woman,
and these are the things that
make up a good, healthy family.
The Family Proclamation
begins by declaring that
marriage between a man
and a woman is ordained of God,
and that the family is
central to the Creator's plan
for the eternal destiny
of his children.
It also affirms that gender is
an essential characteristic of
individual, premortal, mortal,
and eternal identity and purpose.
DAN: The church basically just
doubled down on everything
they've been pounding into
my head, and Mormons' heads
for years, which is
to be gay, and act upon it,
is a sin.
Marriage is between
man and a woman.
Popular culture, popular people
will try to tell you otherwise.
DALLIN: Every generation
has its tests,
and its chance to stand
and prove itself.
I believe our attitude toward,
and use of
the Family Proclamation,
is one of those tests
for this generation.
I pray for all Latter-day Saints
to stand firm in that test.
In light of LoveLoud,
that, for me, was a dark day
to say the least.
It's a dark week, a dark month.
DAN: With that being said,
if there's one thing my Mormon
values have taught me
since I was young...
First things first
I'ma say all the words
inside my head
I'm fired up and tired of
the way that things have been
It's that no matter
what the world says
about who you are,
what you believe,
still do it, 100 percent.
That spirit was the spirit that
carried me through my mission.
I felt like I was
bearing my truth,
regardless of what
anybody thought about me.
That's all because of Mormonism
and my parents,
and so they have all prepped me
for this moment now.
Pain, you made me a,
you made me a believer
Pain, you break me down,
you build me up, believer
DAN: A determined
Mormon is a scary thing.
I will tell you that.
Because they don't stop.
I knocked 100 doors
to get into one door.
I knocked thousands of doors
on my mission.
If there's one thing
I can guarantee,
it's that I will continue
to knock this door
until somebody answers.
My life, my love, my drive,
it came from
You made me a,
you made me a believer
Wake up every morning
With a new resolve
Two hands and one heart
Let the world revolve
Because of LoveLoud,
my dad felt like he had
the permission to love
and accept me for who I am,
and LoveLoud gave us a bonding,
and that I am really
grateful for.
It gave me the guts to talk
about my son's sexuality
in ways that I had never
been able to before.
I've had four people come out
to me since LoveLoud.
They said that LoveLoud gave them
the courage to live their truth.
LoveLoud gave me the opportunity
to tell my story,
and declare that I am worth it
in front of thousands of people.
LoveLoud gave my family
the chance to stand
shoulder to shoulder
with our transgender son.
And not only him, but with
neighbors and extended family,
who never would have ever
shown up for an LGBT event.
LoveLoud gave me hope,
and inspiration that
things can change.
That I, myself, can be a force
for good in my own community.
Looking at this crowd
of thousands of people,
I realize these are people
I don't have to be scared of.
There's a lot of support
in my community that
I didn't realize was there,
and it was honestly one of
the best days of my life.
When I was 13, 14,
I felt completely
isolated and silenced,
and it hasn't even
been that long,
and I just feel so hopeful
about the future, and that
things will just keep
getting better, and...
I hope it does.
I keep skipping stones
Hoping for a change
But, things just
stay the same
I keep walking roads
Looking for the home
That I can call my own
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
DAN: Love is not a product
of reasonings and statistics.
It just comes,
and none knows whence.
It cannot explain itself.
Love is a madness.
If thwarted, it develops fast.
When you fish for love,
bait with your heart.
Not your brain.
I keep skipping stones
Hoping for a change
But, things just
stay the same
I keep walking roads
Looking for a home
That I can call my own
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones
Skipping stones