20 years ago today - Feb 22, 2000

Three days before his suicide, Stuart Matis wrote a letter to the student newspaper at Brigham Young University, from which he graduated in 1994, urging students to harbor more tolerance toward gays.

"I am gay. I am also LDS. I realized the significance of my sexuality when I was around 13, and for the next two decades, I traveled down a tortuous path of internalized homophobia, immense self-hatred, depression and suicidal thoughts. Despite the calluses on my knees, frequent trips to the temple, fasts and devotion to my mission and church callings such as Elders' Quorum president, I continually failed to attenuate my homosexuality," Matis wrote. " . . . I read a recent letter to the editor with great regret. The author compared my friends and me to murderers, satanists, prostitutes and pedophiles. Imagine having to live with this rhetoric constantly being spewed at you."

[Timeline of Mormon Thinking About Homosexuality, http://rationalfaiths.com/timeline-of-mormon-thinking-about-homosexuality/]

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