I don’t want to make this a name drop-py post or about something other than the message, but for the sake of giving some context, I was in high school choir with the lead singer of Neon Trees. He was super talented and a hilarious guy. We were never best friends or anything but we were choirmates and with that came a certain bond so I’ve kept up with his progress over the years and am a big fan of Neon Trees’ music.
He came out of the closet as a gay man a couple of years ago as a still practicing member of the LDS church. Recently, he made the tough decision to leave the church because of a policy that was released regarding gay couples and their children. I spent a large portion of this weekend watching his 6 hour podcast on a channel called Mormon Stories where he shared his story of growing up, struggling with his sexuality, coming out, and how he came to the decision to leave the church.
This isn’t a post about religion, anyone’s opinion on sexuality or how I feel about the Mormon church. It’s a post about someone I used to know who inspired me this weekend. So in that spirit I ask that you not post comments about how you feel about his sexuality or leaving the church, etc. This isn’t a post intended to be political or even remotely controversial and I ask that you respect that.
Tyler shared his personal struggles so openly and honestly that I know there are going to be adults and teens alike who will watch it and feel solace knowing they aren’t alone in how they feel or what they’re going through. What struck me the most was in the 3rd part (I’ve only posted the 1st here), he talks about how “rad” life is despite everything he’s gone through and how heartbreaking it was for him to leave the church he grew up in. He reminded us in simple but pointed terms that there are so many memories and so many experiences left to have…so many books to read, so many albums to listen to and so much food left to try in this life. He summed up in perfect terms exactly what I’ve been trying to do with my Celebrating Joys posts. It’s easy to get bogged down by all of the difficulties and trials, no matter how big or small, but I don’t know about you, but there’s a whole lot of nachos I still have left to try! 🙂 Cheers, Tyler.