Dan Reynolds has written a letter of love and encouragement to LGBTQ youth.
The Imagine Dragons frontman — who was raised Mormon and has subsequently become a staunch ally for gay Mormon youth — wrote the letter for Billboard as part of Pride Month. The note describes Reynolds’ conflict as a Mormon, in which he is forced to balance his understanding of his faith’s homophobic beliefs with his empathy for his gay friends and family.
The singer writes, “Religious leaders can speak all day about how much they ‘love’ our LGBTQ youth, but until they change their dangerous doctrine…they are contributing towards increased depression and anxiety in the lives of our LGBTQ youth as well as suicide….They simply want to love the way that their heart tells them to love. And they deserve to be LOVED, not ‘tolerated.’”
Reynolds then addresses youth directly: “To our LGBTQ youth. I LOVE YOU. Fully. Completely. I celebrate you. You are beautiful and worthy of love. I hope you let yourself find it and find peace and security in that place. You deserve it. I will fight for you.”
And he’s put his money where his mouth is: HBO is set to release Believer, a documentary following Dan’s journey to bridge the gap between his Mormon faith and the LGBTQ community. It shows him becoming an ally for gay Mormon youth and establishing Love Loud, a pro-LGBTQ music festival in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Neon Trees’ Tyler Glenn, a former Mormon who’s openly gay, also appears in the documentary.
Believer, named for Imagine Dragons’ 2017 hit song, will premiere June 25 on HBO. This year’s Love Loud festival will kick off on July 28.
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