Gay Mormon Students Discuss Struggles With Suicide in 'It Gets Better' Video

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BYU Ranked One of the Most Unfriendly Campuses for LGBT Students

BYU, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Chris of Latter-day saints, is consistently ranked as one of the most unfriendly campuses for LGBT students in the country, according to the Princeton Review. There are about 1,800 LGBT students at BYU, according to the video.

Despite the restrictions, homosexual Mormons are reluctant to leave the church because Mormonism plays a significant role in the formation of a person's identity, said Kendall Wilcox, the former BYU student and faculty member who produced the video.

"Your Mormon identity comes first and then all the other categories like nationality or even sexual orientation," Wilcox told ABC News. "So by the time a homosexual Mormon comes into their sexual maturity, they have already 'found themselves' comfortably within the Mormon identity. So to then consider giving up that identity and faith, even though the principles of that faith may seem diabolically against you and cause you to severely question your self-worth and status before God, it can be equally traumatizing to consider oneself outside the Mormon identity and experience."

Until 2007, BYU students could risk expulsion for discussing their sexual orientation, under the school's honor code. In 2007, the honor code was changed to, "One's stated sexual orientation is not an Honor Code issue."

All BYU students are prohibited from having premarital sex, but heterosexual students can show affection in public. Homosexual students cannot.

The BYU 2011 Honor Code states, "Brigham Young University will respond to homosexual behavior rather than to feelings or attraction and welcomes as full members of the university community all whose behavior meets university standards."

In 2010, a gay-straight alliance group called Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (USGA) was founded on the BYU campus. On its Facebook page, the group clarified, "Please note that USGA meets outside of any sponsorship, endorsement, or support by BYU."

The students interviewed in the video, who are members of the USGA, hope to make other gay Mormons realize that they are not alone.

One student who identified himself as Mark said, "I know what it's like when your father condemns you. I know what it's like when people won't talk to you or tell you not to come around, and it hurts.

"A couple years ago, my sister told me she would never let a gay man watch her children because she said they were deviant, and more likely to molest them," Mark said in the video. "Today she's my strongest advocate and I know she loves me, and she tells me it gets better."

If you are considering suicide or need help, call the Trevor Project at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386).

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