WHAT THE LDS?

BYU’s “It Gets Better” Video Doesn’t Really Make It Sound Like It Gets Any Better

Yesterday, Queerty reported on a panel discussion at Brigham Young University that featured LGBT students sharing their stories and struggles. We’ve never been able to figure out why some people cling to a faith that rejects them—let alone attend a school that is wholly infused that faith—but it was encouraging to see the subject brought into the light.

Today we received this video from Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (USGA), an unofficial group at BYU that provides “a place for open, respectful discussions on the topic of same-gender attraction.”

Though the video is titled “It Gets Better at Brigham Young University,” the pain in the voices of these students as they talk about praying to God to make them straight is palpable. And the stats flashed across the screen—some 25% of gay and lesbian BYU students attempt suicide—are heartbreaking.

It seems like USGA has been something of a lifeline for these kids, but you have to wonder why they didn’t leave BYU and go elsewhere. (Sure, they might have to foot the bill, but millions of students do that every year.)  At 20, 21, even 24, they’ve decided to stay in a place that, at best, doesn’t know what to do with them.

Is this an It Gets Better video? We didn’t hear anyone saying that they were happy. That they had embraced their sexuality as a blessing, not a curse. That they had met someone and fallen in love.

Are you a recent Brigham Young graduate? Is there truly openness and acceptance on campus? Or is homophobia just wearing a different hat—hate disguised as compassion?  Share your story in the comments.