a healing healer

This gay ex-Mormon doctor offers prescriptions of hope and thirst traps

 

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A post shared by Jake Jacob (@jakejacob01)

Regular Queerty readers may remember Jake Jacob, the gay doctor who posted an extraordinary underwear pic last November. Extraordinary not just because of the goods on display in his photo, but because of the story Jacob shared in his caption.

In that Instagram post, Jacob talked about shedding his Mormon garments — the so-called “magic underwear” — 12 years prior. He wrote that it “made no sense” to continue wearing that garb because he was having sex with men and thus committing a “mortal sin” in the eyes of the church.

 

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“The conscious decision to take my garments off was life-altering, physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” he told followers at the time. “It was my last physical reminder, for good or bad, of my ties to childhood religion.”

He added, “It was liberating for my body to finally remove the oppressive clothing that insisted I always stay covered instead of celebrating the body God gave me. It was also liberating to eliminate the constant reminder of childhood guilt and trauma, like shedding unnecessary shame I’d been carrying for years about who I am and my God-given orientation that I can’t and shouldn’t change.”

 

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And if you’ve followed Jacob on Instagram in the months since, you’ve no doubt noticed he has kept up with the thirst traps and the inspirational messages.

Jacob posted a rare photo of himself wearing a shirt and pants — no shade! — on May 14 and talked about realizing that his sexuality was in fact compatible with his dreams.

 

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“I went to [Brigham Young University] for undergrad, living in fear of the school honor code,” he wrote. “I hated my attraction to men, that I couldn’t find myself attracted to women. I hated that I felt stuck, unable to reconcile the person I felt I was inside with the person my church preached I was supposed to be. Mostly, I hated that I was void of any examples of successful gay men. Hate is a strong word, and I use it intentionally. I hated myself.”

 

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Later, Jacob wrote, he was accepted into grad school, but he was so sheltered in his upbringing that he didn’t think there was such a thing as a “gay professional.” And when he told as much to his academic advisor at the grad school, she literally laughed in his face before apologizing and introducing him to “an endless line of LGBT out and proud professionals.”

 

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In his Insta caption, he explained what happened next: “Suddenly the fear of being ‘the first’ out professional turned into a comical distant memory. I finally did my research and learned of generations of individuals who trail-blazed the pathway for me to simply walk into my institution out and proud. That’s not to say I haven’t had my fair share of horrible discrimination, sexual harassment, and even workplace sexual assault. The work is far from over.”

 

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Jacob wrote that he wanted to share that story to tell young LGBTQ+ folks to believe the future they want is within their grasp. “Please, please, no matter how bleak and hopeless you feel right now, I promise from my years of anecdotal experience, life gets so much better. Keep pushing for your dreams. Don’t settle. You are your best champion.”

 

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We’re proud of Jacob for bravely charting a new course for his life, away from the familiar and toward freedom. And we’re proud of him for baring his soul (and other assets) as he inspires others to keep hope alive. Doctor’s orders!

Pride50Welcome to Queerty’s Pride50. We’re celebrating the members from our community who are responsible for some of the most inspiring and extraordinary moments for LGBTQ people over the last year. See all the honorees