Portrait by Spencer Ruiz

Portrait by Spencer Ruiz

Jonathan W

BA Communication, Advertising ('12)

Describe your BYU experience

I chose to attend BYU because it was the highest ranking, least expensive university near my family. I also chose to go to BYU because I thought it would save me from becoming gay.

My first few semesters at BYU were very typical, very sterile, and for the most part pretty happy. I made friends, went to parties, joined student government, and volunteered at the Prop 8 phone bank.

As I came out and dissociated myself from the Church, I became very depressed, which lasted throughout my university experience.

Toward the end of my time at BYU I found people experiencing similar life changes. These people saved me and gave me hope, or at least distracted me enough to keep going. I am still friends with many of them and am very grateful.

Describe your post-BYU experience

I quit (resigned from) Mormonism in 2015 after the church banned the baptism of children living with same-sex couples. 

I currently live in New York City with my boyfriend and our dog Archie.

What advice or wisdom would you share with a current LGBTQ+ BYU student?

Transfer to another university. If you're not able to do that, find people that are like you and support you, and hold on tight.

Posted May 2018