Many of you might have heard that Neon Trees' lead singer Tyler Glenn decided to distance himself from the Church—and he decided to do so in a public way, with a solo video he titled "Trash."
In 2014 when Glenn first came out publicly as a gay Mormon, he was equally proud of both of those identities. But now, Glenn no longer sees himself as Mormon.
Many members of the Church have been affected by those with a story similar to Glenn's. We've watched close friends and family members endure difficult faith crises, and we ourselves have had moments of oppressive doubt and struggle. And while our first response might be to distance ourselves from those who now attack the beliefs they once professed or to distance ourselves from the Church when we feel hurt or betrayed, neither bring us any closer to Christ and the heart of the gospel he preached: love and charity.
In response to Tyler Glenn's controversial video, his mother Deb Glenn posted this heartfelt and beautiful response, demonstrating how we can love and accept those who disagree with us while still standing strong in our faith.
The following is NOT up for debate: please read carefully.
I have waited a few days to respond to my son Tyler's new video. I viewed it and don't like it. I find it sacrilegious. I find it upsetting. I find it dark. I love my son.
I tried changing the perspective. What is it that he is saying, why this depiction, why this imagery? I know Tyler, I know his heart. I have seen and felt the marginalization of the LGBT+.
I've been on this journey since he came out to me personally nearly 3 years ago. Our conversations have been deep, revealing, life-changing. Since the November 5th LDS policy, we have talked, shared thought deeper, and seen first-hand his personal pain. The man in the video drew upon some very serious pain, a lifetime of pain. It's not pretty.
This is NOT about me or my personal faith in God or my belief in the Church. It's about a young man who in the public eye has discovered himself and doing something with the pain that is real.
I do not want to justify his action turned into what he feels is art. But I do say as my faith has taught me is to love one another. To find fault, to finger point, to hate, to loathe, to judge without understanding is wrong.
The scripture in D&C 121:
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;
Everyone has an opinion on this subject. But I choose to follow the prompting of this scripture. I am a woman of faith who will not turn my back on a friend or loved one no matter what they think or how they act.
I choose to act on my faith in God and seek ways to understand, lift, and love. Tyler knows that my husband and I stand with him at the ready to carry him if necessary.
All my love,
A few days after this moving letter was posted, Tyler Glenn sent out this tweet: