A Mormon man who served his mission in the ’80 alongside a companion who turned out to be gay revealed he outed and bullied the man in a street interview with Humans of Salt Lake City, a shoot-off blog inspired by the Humans of New York project.
The man, who was photographed below the waist as he chose to remain anonymous, said, “I’m not brave enough to show my face but I’m brave enough to speak up about something I live every day to try to fix, even though it’s too late.”
In his accompanying interview, the man admitted how he filed a complaint with the church about his gay companion because he equated gay men with predators, and how he subsequently made up and spread rumors about the man trying to seduce him.
“I reported him and had him sent home. I disowned him and tossed his friendship into the garbage,” the man said. “I lied about him…I told stories about what he said he wanted and how I had to fight him to keep him away from me. None of that was true.”
It wasn’t until years later, after the man had a family of his own, that he heard his former gay companion had killed himself. Changed by years of life experience and the fact that his own son recently came out as gay, the man said his perspective on the former relationship has changed completely.
Said the man:
“If he were alive today, I’d tell him how wrong and sorry I was and am. To this day, I don’t really know why he killed himself. But, to show that there really is justice in this world, my son has just told me that he’s gay and all the old ghosts have come up again. I will not disown him and I’ll never throw him away…he’s my son and I love him more than anything. But, it just goes to show that old sins sometimes come home to haunt. I pray every day that my old companion will somehow forgive me even though I know I don’t deserve it.”
You can read the man’s full heartbreaking interview below.