Monday, May 9, 2016

I Understand You, Tyler Glenn

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been sort of inactive on social media due to a smorgasbord of personal issues, one of those being the biggest faith crisis I have ever experienced. After the policy change and Elder Bednar's remarks on homosexuality in the church, I haven't really been the same.

About a month ago (just before I stopped attending church) was when my emotions started to reach a climax. My mental health was completely off-kilter. I would vacillate from being happy, to debilitatingly depressed, to peaceful, to angry, and then even to a state of psychosis. Thoughts of suicide ravaged my brain because all I could think was, "Well, if I stay in the church, I'll feel guilty for pursuing relationships in men. If I leave, I'll feel guilty about not living God's standards. If I stay and not date men I'll forever be alone and without a companion. What's the point? If I die, I'll finally feel the happiness that God promises us. I'll no longer have this pain of living."

In one of these bouts of emotional stress I wrote a poem in reaction to the hymn "Be Still my Soul" as I was searching fruitlessly for comfort:

My soul isn't still.
The hour is hastening on,
When fire and brimstone
Will consume my flesh at last.

Disappointment, grief, and fear,
Sorrows are there.
Love's purest joys are lost.

My soul isn't still.
When change and tears are past,
I'll be long gone,
Cursed, forgotten, and lost.

My soul isn't still.
God guides the future as he has the past,
His servants receiving salvation,
While butchering His black sheep.

My soul isn't still.
But my Brother and friend understands,
I hope He will
Lead me to joy in the end.

As I read it now that my emotions have settled and I'm much healthier, I realize how distorted my perception of reality became. Though this may not seem very morbid or even necessarily that angry, it was and is for me. But I love it because it's my raw emotion.

For this reason, my taste of suicidal, bitter anger, I understand the feelings that Tyler Glenn displays in his new music video "Trash"(I will post a link below). The Mormon community has been up in arms about the disrespect and anger that he displays in that video, which I personally agree with. It was disrespectful and angry. But wasn't that exactly what he was going for?

I think that because Tyler Glenn is a celebrity, there is a disconnect to reality that the audience (Mormons) feels. The audience (Mormons) feel that it's disrespectful and angry, but they don't realize the raw emotion and the humanity of it until they hear these same angry emotions from a person they really know. A friend. A person that used to sit next to you in class. Someone you would run into on the street and recognize. I've felt those emotions that Tyler Glenn shows. Imagine how hurt he is to feel so angry. That is a very real feeling. And many LGBTQ Mormons feel that. Many feel so desperate emotionally that they have to lash out because they hurt so bad.

For this reason, I don't blame Tyler Glenn or think any less of him because of  the video. I've felt that same thing, and because of that, I am no better or worse than he is. I hope that we all can search for a greater sense of empathy towards him and other LGBTQ people that feel the same emotions. We are a community of people that are hurting right now. And we need love now even more than before.

Tyler Glenn's "Trash":


  1. Totally agree. I'm older now. I can reconcile the church and my being. It is all good. The church is still true, though it is run with imperfect people. I've done my rebellion, and finally made my way back. Not because I was unhappy, but because I found the church to be true, despite all the contrary evidence against it. It is my hope that the church will make a way and gladly accept its gay brothers and sisters.

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  3. Love your thoughts and feel your pain, Trevor. You wrote that your emotions have settled and you realize your perception was distorted. Why did your emotions settle? How did your perceptions change?

    1. Hi Oisin,

      I wrote that poem in a fit of rage and clouded emotion, and I was able to calm down in the respective personal ways I've learned how to cope with emotions over the years (going on a walk, spending time with friends, etc...).

      My perception changed in the sense that when I wasn't angry or in an emotional state, I really do recognize how the church really has so much good. The morals of charity, love of God, and service truly are what is supposed to be the focus of the church, not the folly of man. I hope that makes sense :)

  4. It makes total sense--believe me. I was wondering just now why it takes so much work for me (even when calm) to focus on the good parts when they are so obvious. It reminds me of growing up and finally realizing that my parents are not perfect, but that I still love them and am grateful for all they've done. In a strange way, our emotional maturity means we become the parents of our parents.

    1. (And the leaders of our church leaders.)