Shock is a common reaction when people find out that their friends and family members are gay. And often times, the “coming out” process has as many surprises for the person giving the news as it does for those receiving it. Jimmy Hales, a gay student at Brigham Young University, learned this all-too-well when he filmed his year-long experience announcing his sexuality to each and every loved one.
In the video montage’s description on YouTube, Hames, a Mormon, explains why he decided to let people know the giant secret he had been hiding from everyone, including himself.
“Studying at BYU as a closet gay Mormon has been quite an experience. I finally decided to come out and stop living a lie,” he explained. “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.”
The reactions in the clip range from surprised to expectant (i.e. “I’ve had my suspicions before.”). Watch the video in its entirety, below:
Considering that his faith is important to him, the young man has taken a pledge to avoid acting upon his sexual preference. Rather than entering into a same-sex relationship, he’s intent on sticking with Mormon teaching (which doesn’t embrace practicing a gay lifestyle).
On his blog, Hales gives an extensive explanation of how he came to accept that he’s gay, while also doubling down on his belief that the Mormon faith is rooted in truth. Here’s how he described first acknowledging his same-sex attraction:
Sometime during Winter semester 2012.
“So, are you dating anyone.”
“Nope.” I shamelessly replied.
“Well that’s not good.” my bishop said.
“I don’t want to date anyone.” Then my bishop looked at me,
“Do you experience feelings of same-gender attraction?” What?! All I said is I don’t want to date anyone, how does he…? ’This is real. Oh gosh, this is very real.’ I paused a good while. I looked at my bishop and in a weak voice replied,
“Yeah.” I had never wanted to die more than that moment. Finally realizing the fact. Affirming the fact. Loathing the fact. Breaking through the denial was almost more than I could take. A few words were exchanged and then my bishop looked at me and with genuine empathy said,
For more about Hales’ story, visit his blog.