The Fierce Utah Moms Protecting LGBTQ Youth

The Fierce Utah Moms Protecting LGBTQ Youth

(dramatic music) – [Woman] Growing up Mormon. – [Man] Growing up in Yelyas Church. – [Woman] Being Mormon. – [Man] I felt like being
gay just wasn’t an option. – [Woman] We were about as
evil as a thing can get. – [Man] The church hasn’t
really acknowledged us. – [Man] I was ultimately
told to suppress it. – [Woman] I dealt with
a lot of self-hatred. – [Man] I thought about suicide a lot. – Utah’s problem is that our suicide rate has been climbing in youth, and that’s appalling. – These kids are being lost, but there’s no discussion in the church. As Mormons we need to have
some serious discussions, and look in the mirror and figure
out what we’re doing wrong. – The church has made it fairly clear where they stand on gay relationships, and so if you can’t get on this ship, those of us that are in the trenches are gonna make it happen. And that’s what Mama Dragons do. – It’s very cool to see
this grass root network of women giving people hope,
and giving people answers. – In the book, How To Be
a Perfect Mormon Mother, there’s no chapter, how
to parent your gay kid. Mama Dragons is helping
to right that chapter. (string music) – Before my son came out, I felt like being gay was an abomination. I felt like it was a choice. I didn’t really ever question anything. I was asked by my leaders
to canvas my neighborhood and get signatures to protect the marriage between man and a woman. And I was a good little soldier. My whole thought process
changed when my son came out. – The Mormons tend to be a
pretty conservative bunch, socially, and current
Mormon doctrine and policy, really doesn’t have a place for the our LGBT kids. – A lot of people are fearful that having their LGBT kids will impact their relationship with the church, it may impact their
standing with the church, they’re not willing to reach out and go to the next step. – For a lot of Mormon moms, having a kid come out is the start of a real faith crisis for them. Mama Dragons is a support group for Mormon moms with LGBT children. One of the things it does
is help moms not feel alone, not feel like they’re the
only one walking that path. We figured out that
Grayson was transgender when he was 16 about halfway through his junior year of high school. I was, you know, supportive
of his transition, but for about the first year and a half, I didn’t know a single other, Mormon mom, with a transgender kid. I don’t want other moms to
feel as alone as I felt. – In five years, 10
years, if the Mama Dragons still exist, we can have a huge base. There’s usually 10-15,
every week that we add, so that’s 60 new women a month so, 720 a year. – Most Mama Dragons that
I work with and know, have their finger and their
pulse on at least 15 kids. Talking through how they
might be able to come out to their parent or how
to handle their situation with their parents. Part of that is, you know, trying to help them with suicide
prevention, understanding. We’re saying, oh no, that’s
not gonna happen on my watch. – You know an average of 557 Utahans die by suicide every year. It is the leading cause of death in youth ages 10-17 in Utah. (dramatic music) – No one is acknowledging that our LGBTQ people feel so ostracized, by the religion that they were raised in. – Here, by default, if you don’t fit in your church community, you then don’t fit into your neighborhood and then you don’t fit into your school. – The data is very clear, that young people who don’t
have a good support network, in particular young
people who feel rejected by their families, are
at much higher risk. We have to change our whole culture, about how we treat LGBT
young people in the church. – I’ve met a lot of Mama Dragons because I went and met them for lunch, and then I told them about the group and asked if they wanted to be a part. Hey, Jill. So meeting with them one on one and letting them share
anything they wanna share. – Anna was afraid to come out to us, before she came out she was telling us, oh, there’s a kid at school who’s gay, and he’s being bullied; but it’s like, that was her. And she was afraid to tell us that. – She wanted to see what
your response would be. – Mm-hmm. She was testing the waters,
you know what I mean? It’s like if, you know,
are my parents gonna say, “Well, don’t hang out with that kid, “stay away from that kid,”
you know, it makes me sad. She slept on the floor of
our bedroom for a month. You know, it’s like I
couldn’t leave her alone and knowing there are people like Alison, you know, who … – Kind of experienced our worst nightmare. – Yeah. – Wanna show them your smile? Stockton was my long-awaited boy. He was, the happiest kid … (baby babbles) spoiled rotten. – [Stockton] Up, shake, lay. – I would say Stockton
was very comfortable with being gay; I think Stockton was very
uncomfortable with being alone. (dramatic music) – That was June 27th of 2016. If someone would’ve told me that, I would be coming back
to my son being gone, I wouldn’t have ever guessed it. (dramatic music) – I don’t know; I don’t know what kind of
just pushed him that day. I think that’s one of the hardest things, not knowing, you know, as a mom, and if I could’ve, I would’ve done anything, to keep him here. – We hear about the gay kids
who are taking their lives, but now it really did happen, it wasn’t just someone said it, I live it; it’s real. (dramatic music) – You can’t sit and see a kid suffer; or see a kid talk about
how they’re worth nothing, and that their only two options is either to leave the church, or to commit suicide. I’ve dealt with those kind
of situations with kids. (dramatic music) – If I didn’t have Jill, part of me thinks I probably
wouldn’t be here right now. How are you? Suicide is something that I’ve
struggled with for a while. There was a time I even
thought that my parents would rather me die than to marry a man, and so it’s something that, logically, I thought made the most sense. I was having a really,
really, really hard time, and so I was talking to a friend about it, and he said, “Well, I
have someone I can put “you in contact with, her name is Jill “and she’s a Mama
Dragon,” and I had no idea what in the world the Mama Dragons were. So it’s been interesting
that, in the space of a couple years, Jill has now become such an integral part of my life. – We’re just his home; he is welcome here; we love Shane as a family, but I think it is taking a
long time for him to really, start to realize how wonderful he is. He’s had to go through
a lot of dark times. – It’s very hard to be both openly gay and a very active, serious
member of the church. You know, how do I choose between, literally, two parts of who I am? I think that’s a challenge
that lots of people had to experience. – Sometimes my youngest daughter will ask me: “How do you go to a
church that hates your son?” And, it’s a hard question to answer. – Hey.
– Hey, how are you? – I think if I were to categorize it, I feel like I’m in a bit of
a faith crisis a little bit. I pray and sometimes I feel like, you know, is anybody listening to me? My relationship with
Heavenly Father and Jesus, is kind of a work in progress. – You know religion and spirituality are two different things, so
I really decipher between, the church and the gospel; and the gospel will always be part of me. – The Gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect. The church is imperfect, even
though the gospel is perfect. I look at, you know, the
leaders of our church today, and say, well, I wish they were a little more loving and compassionate and understanding of the
experiences of LGBT people. But, for me, I know that
being a member of the church is where God has called me to be. – I got a card from a family in Idaho, oh, on the back it says, “Jill, thanks for loving
and accepting my son “and for being such a positive
impact for good in his life. “You will never know how
much that means to us.” And that’s from his mom. ‘Course that always means a lot to me. (string music) – [Man] This life is meant to live. – [Woman] Finding one
friend, finding two friends. I can make a world of a difference. – [Man] That day will come
when you can be yourself. – [Woman] When you have
that support system, it’s sheer bliss. – The Mama Dragons
mission is to help people to see that there’s
hope that they can find a community in which they feel loved. I know that if they’re doing it with me, they’re doing it with other people. – I look forward to the day when Mama Dragons doesn’t need to exist. When having a LGBT kid is just as ordinary as having a kid who’s left-handed. I feel like there’s more Stocktons within the walls of the church,
and there’s more parents who need to know that you can love your kid. I believe that there will be a day that I will be reunited with him. And if not, I’m gonna be really pissed.

100 Replies to “The Fierce Utah Moms Protecting LGBTQ Youth”

  1. If your religion didn't support people of being gay (just like me) and you also strongly believe that it wasn't the right and natural thing, one simplest thing that you should do is not to support them as an LGBT people but support them as human being. Protect their right, protect them from any mental and physical abuse but you should still hold strong of your believe that being gay is not the right thing, is an option, and can still be healed.

    Sounds hard and harder to do. But possible to be done

  2. Aren't we supposed to correct the wrong? just like teachers their students who did wrong things, or parents who correct their children. Instead we do all these stuff forcing people to accept something that's wrong on so many levels.
    Evolution created organisms as male and female (there are some exception yes, but human is not among them) for a purpose, so those who wanted to go against this natural order, well, they don't deserve living among in THIS nature then.
    Hate me all you want for this unpopular opinion.

  3. "Relationship with the church…" some parents prefer this over their own flesh and blood. Sad. But it's reality.

  4. I wish movements like these would spread around the world. Believe me, things like these, conservative communities like in the Japan, Malaysia, Philippines or Indonesia, some youth often commit suicide rather than coming out for fear of being ostracized, disowned or stoned. I really appreciate this story, but hopefully this would become a global movement, not just in Salt Lake nor in Utah.

  5. *from*: iamEric an X.ent
    *to*: nnOt grlZZnoIZZ
    PDFfile*: ㅂㅎㅏㅣ, Wa B on nnOt? *bt bt bt bt ahOOO (sNG it 🍟 like trizz) how many tYmz *trizz=tYmz on E B on nnOt? *oHOh
    placeWmany/6lvlzzz/*: it to be hNGonW(noN)ll물건 u cyrusalbum lUv 1:23PM lenlOOU… willam WW2$ YahaZ *song continues u cyrusalbum

  6. Suicide is the natural end result of subscribing to a cult sadly. Choices seemed to be "double life" or "AIDS" at first, later it became "suicide" or "live as a gay man". Often, there is no choice. You will be outed and you have to be ready to escape and deprogram or face mobbing/bullycide. My experience walking into gay culture with zero knowledge and fresh out of church would fill volumes.

  7. Fun and super coincidental fact (maybe): salt lake city, Utah is also where Andi Mack is filmed, aka disney’s first ever tv show with an official and acknowledged LGBT main character!

  8. why all this fuss about homosexuals??? Why you cannot promote youth who are religious and who love God? Homosexuals represent tiny % – so why focus on them? This normalization of homosexuality is not good at all.

  9. If Islam and Christianity were moving with the times would be so much better. Morons can change their religious text through “revelations” maybe a gay affairs revelation will happen next . All religions should be progressive.

  10. I'm Brazilian and I grew up in a Mormon family, it has been very hard for me. I had a lots of difficult times at the church as a gay guy, it has been hard to my friends too. Here we don't have a supporting network as Mama Dragon, but we try to support and help each other. Thanks Mama Dragons, muito obrigado pelo ótimo trabalho! (thank you very much for the good job!)


  12. I respect people that know how to respect others! This is how a religion should work, as long as they dont hurt others everyone should be free to live a life as they want. I'm straight, but i have nothing against gay, if i can live a happy life, they should to! Go Mama Dragons!

  13. I don't feel comfortable going to church because even though everyone is nice I know what they would think of me if I came out

  14. This warms my heart so much❤️ these women are making such a big difference in their community and I pray that it will spread to the rest of the church

  15. Adding approximately 700 new Mama Dragons per year – wow. OMG, the loss of a child to this bigotry is beyond words of human expression. Whoever produced and edited this video should receive an award of some kind. The A roll and B roll are woven together in such an artistic way that adds to the narrative without distraction. I remain dumbfounded how LDS General Authorities can watch something like this and still stand up behind a pulpit and say such negative things about their own members. Thanks to the Momma Dragons and the producers of this classic, timely and powerful video story!

  16. Matthew 11:22, And thou, Capernaum, (A city like Salt lake City) which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in SODOM, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of SODOM IN THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT, THAN FOR THEE. Because the people of Capernaum did not heed His Gospel of Mercy and Compassion, they taught of themselves as "Holier than Thou", "exalted unto Heaven". They, instead, berated Him: Matthew 11:19, "The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a WINEBIBBER, a friend of publicans and SINNERS. BUT WISDOM IS JUSTIFIED OF HER CHILDREN". He also said: "I require MERCY not SACRIFICE".

  17. Am I the only one disturbed that the only LGBTQ+ person who even gets a name-check in this video is the one telling queers that it’s OK for them to be mormon?

    It’s not, and it’s damaging to tell vulnerable youth otherwise.

    I understand that this is about the “heroic” women who chose to love their queer kids anyway, and the kids are just props to highlight their heroic struggle.

    But I just don’t buy it. The heroes are the kids who survive long enough to escape the anti-LGBTQ+ hate group that is the mormon church, often losing parental love and support in the process. How about a documentary on all the mormon kids living on the streets because their faithful mormon parents kicked them to the curb when they discovered their kid was queer?

  18. This is so sad, Mormonism disgusts me. I can't imagine one of my sons taking their lives for that bullshit cult……….too sad 🙁

  19. I wish I had really understanding parents. My parents they won't let me be gay and ground me every time I argue to them, but at least I got a good grade on an essay I had to write.

  20. While I agree with what their saying, it’s not true that the LDS Church hasn’t talked about being gay. Just visit

  21. Old white conservative men are the Leaders of the church, that’s why your church is the way it is. When they can control your sex life they can control you as a person. That’s what religion is all about. In the Mormon church even woman (and black people, they still believe black people will be white in heaven) are not equal to white men, like in most other religions. How can you than expect tolerance in other aspects of life? I was a Mormon, but when they started to control who I can see and what I can do in my own private bed, I left. Besides, DNA testing proves that the Book of Mormon is false, the doctrines of the church are insane when you think about is. The church is started by a man who understood that starting a church would get him access to females, no matter what age, and power. My life is so much better as an atheist. Science and reason gives me all the answers I need In life. I am lucky that the majority of my family have left the church, we now have a normal close family without superstition and intolerance…

  22. Sooo much I want to say … But I would go on and on for too long… My main thought with the closing of this video is that ""The day when having an LGBTQ+ child is normal" will never come per say , Because it has always been that day and it has always been normal! Sadly it's the churches of these organized religions that teach and preach that it is not normal or right! I am not an extremely religious person , but I believe that if God or Jesus or anyone was on this earth right now today and among us, that he would supportive and loving of anyone who is seen as different, and do this unconditionally no matter what anyone else said or thought. These Mama Dragons started because one or a couple woman saw that the teen suicide rate of LGBTQ+ Teens was heavly connected to what the Mormons preach, and saying this is not ok with me! Every great movement in our history that has brought great change and movement forward has started very small and grown , and I hope the Mama Dragons keep the momentum forward and continue to get bigger and more visible so they continue to impact people and teens and whomever to keep humans from feeling so alone that the only choice is to take their life. We are all humans and we all just need to find ways to have compassion and love for everyone as humans to humans period.

  23. ✊🏾 beautiful. Blessings. It is not a plague once they take fear that has no place .. and embrace differences honor accept… u don’t have to like anyone but respect ✊🏾 The human “race” is so multiplex .. Just respect thy neighbors 🙏🏿

  24. I love how one of them notes that the gospel is perfect but the church is not. The faith of these women is incredible.

  25. I love the work these Mama Dragons are doing. I am a member of the Church and I have a few friends that have come out in recent years. We have still had them over hung out and played games with them, but a few of our other friends say they don't know how to feel about them being gay. And while I understand that I can be a little surprising, it does not change who they are. Or it shouldn't change, but some people think it does. We can love and support without belittling and punishing. Their relationship with God is for them to figure out, but they aren't going to figure out that relationship while they are suicidal or without support. Love first and always.

  26. Thank you so much for this. Thank you to the Dragons. Leaving "The Church" was a hard decision, but the best one for me. I have so much more peace and resilience now. I'm glad there are Dragons for those still there and suffering.

  27. God I wish my mother would accept me for who I am. She found a picture of my boyfriend and I and I was forced to lie and say that he was my "bestfriend", obviously he wasnt, but I didn't have a choice, she threatened to disown me and harm me. I love my mother and she gave me a good life, everything I wanted besides acceptance. That's all I want, all I need. I feel so alone.

  28. The best organizations are those who knows that when the world is done with them, they know that their mission is complete.

  29. John 13:34-35 New International Version (NIV)
    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    guys,He already gave these words long time ago. We're already living the new testament guys. For those whose heads are still stuck in the other part of the book, YOU NEED TO MOVE ON. It's not gonna hurt ya or other people.

  30. It is just so sad when people use their religions as an excuse to bully/harass/isolate or do any awful things to other people… When pretty much every religion's core value and teachings were to be kind to others

  31. Are Mama Dragons only for Mormon folks? Can moms of other faiths participate? Is it a secular organization, or simply a Mormon one which will allow other people to join?

  32. I love that these awesome mamas have a supportive group to go to!! Especially for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The only issue I have is someone said that the members hate gay people around 10:20. Makes me so sad to here this 🙁 I have been a member my entire life (I'm 26) and have never heard any member saying they hate gay people. I have always been told that we all have different trials in our lives, our Heavenly Father understands us completely, and to love one another no matter of our differences. But I also grew up in the Nevada/Arizona area and so maybe the LDS culture is a bit different outside of Utah… My husband grew up in northern Utah and he does not want to raise our family there because he doesn't really like the LDS culture there. We are in Texas now and the members here are some of the most amazing people I have ever met!!

  33. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I’ve really been struggling lately. Policy on LGBT issues as well as the VERY strict gender roles that it clings to are really tearing me apart. It’s hard to understand how a gospel that carries so much light and truth can espouse a church that causes so much pain. Listening to these women gave me a sense of hope that I’ve had a hard time finding anywhere else.

  34. Mama Dragons! You all are doing fabulous things! You all are so strong – kids and moms! Keep fighting the good fight! 🌈🙏🏻also – if there is a way to donate, I’d love to assist.

  35. Don't worry, churches always find their way to change their interpretation on social issues. Because after all, church is just a company ran by men and they only answer to the growth of customers and sales.

  36. I know many many Christians who are accepting and decent but every time I see something like this all I can think is how thankful I am that my mom was an atheist and my dad an agnostic.

    My e was raised in a VERY religious family and he was unable to be both a Christian AND sexually active gay guy.

  37. thank you thank you thank you thank you. for sharing the story of these amazing people. thank you. thank you to those mama dragons for making lgbt people feel like they're worth it. thank you.

  38. As a Mormon and having a gay sibling who came out in the 80s, this touches me deeply. I think in the future, the gospel will become more accepting of LGBTQ people. Even if members can't embrace that part of the person, we should always love and support an LGBTQ person and not ostracize them. That is not what Jesus would do.

  39. This really hit close to home. A movement like this really gave me a tiny glimmer of hope for humanity… Especially since I almost find a new reason everyday to give up on it. This is so nice…

  40. So, will you quit the Mormon religion if they don’t accept your son marrying another man? Will you do that?

  41. It's just all about the love to your people. Things have to be cleared up and it's time to change.

    Bless you Mormon Dragons for helping others and keep them alive.
    God loves LGBT, you just have to believe in it 🙏🏻❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

  42. I wish I had this when I was a teenager, this truly is a God send and its incredible the work that these women are doing

  43. The first step is to stop thinking of same sex and transgenderism as genetic, but rather learned behavioral attractions. They are not something by mere choice, but learned behavior and through processes. Secondly, they need to stop with all their moralphobia. Acknowledge there are moral absolutes that transcend, defy and defy how one feels about self and others.

  44. My rule is always respect first. To me, it never mattered if I agree with you, but I am going to respect your choice as long as you are safe. My friends have come to me and asked me like "how are going to react if I start practicing this belief, etc." And I always tell them that I will continue to respect them and their decisions.

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