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In Believer, Imagine Dragons’ frontman Dan Reynolds takes an unflinching look at the how the Mormon community treats its LGBTQ members.
Described as a “deeply personal and equally moving,” the film follows Reynolds as he examines the bigotry within the Mormon community that’s lead to in an increased teen suicide rate in Utah.
Growing up in the Mormon faith, Reynolds was raised to believe that homosexuality was an immoral sin—a belief that he always questioned. As an atypical Mormon himself (a rock star who married a non-Mormon woman), growing up Reynolds experienced first-hand how it felt to be shamed by the Mormon community. Specifically, the singer recounts the time he was expelled from his Mormon college for having sexual intercourse with his then-girlfriend.
Though he identifies as a straight white male, Reynolds was inspired to create Believer after reflecting on his experience as an untraditional Mormon and how it must feel for those LGBTQ members who feel hostility within the community they were raised in.
“Feeling a little bit of shame in my life over something I shouldn’t have been shamed about helped me to kind of identify to some degree with what our LGBTQ youth face all the time in orthodox religion,” the Imagine Dragons star said during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres. “Which is feeling guilt and shame over something that is beautiful and perfect and normal.”
Though Reynolds sees many flaws within his religion, he does not see the benefit in renouncing his religion.
“I really think, first and foremost, if you ever want to make real change within your community, your religion, your family, you have to be a part of it,” Reynolds said. “When you feel attacked, you shut your door and you don’t listen, even if there’s truth to be had there.
With the goal of spreading love and acceptance, Reynolds uses Believer to uplift LGBTQ youth and ignite a conversation of change amongst the orthodox Mormon Church.
Believer is available for streaming now on TMN GO.