Mr. White said he constantly thinks about transferring to a less conservative school but hopes he can accomplish more for students like him by sharing his story.
“The ‘It Gets Better’ message is we can be open, this is not something we have to fix or change about ourselves,” Mr. White said. “This is something we can celebrate.”
Some gay activists are celebrating the video as the latest sign that the church is becoming more open to their community.
In the 1990s, LDS leaders openly fought same-sex marriage legislation nationwide and, in 2006, joined other religious denominations in asking Congress for a marriage amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Gay church members often were sent to rehabilitative therapy to “get fixed.”
But gay activists said they have made strides in recent years. A conference for LGBT Mormons was held in Salt Lake City last year and is scheduled to reconvene later this month in Washington. At the meeting, gay leaders plan to unveil an “It Gets Better” video featuring Mormon adults.
“I was afraid it was going to be, ‘Oh, you can deny your sexuality,’” he said. “But watching, they don’t make judgments about that. They are saying: ‘There are other people out there. You are not alone.’”
Randall Thacker, 39, said he “was completely closeted, completely ashamed” about his attraction to men when he graduated from BYU in 1997. A church leader sent him to therapy to change his sexual orientation.
“To see the video gives me so much incredible hope for the future,” said Mr. Thacker, a gay activist in Washington. “It seems like a miracle.”