12-Year-Old Girl Comes Out to Entire Mormon Congregation

Savannah had the full support of her family, who walked her through the potential good and bad of coming out.

June 20, 2017 2:47 pm

One 12-year-old girl in Utah is making headlines after publicly coming out as lesbian to in front of her entire Mormon congregation.

“I had a feeling like I should come out to the church,” Savannah, whose last name has been withheld, told CNN. “I came out to all of my family and I just wanted to do something more.”

The outlet reports that both parents were supportive of Savannah, and “felt strongly” that they didn’t have the right to prevent her from sharing her sexual orientation with anyone.

“We came to the conclusion it wasn’t our place; we couldn’t silence her,” her mother Heather said. “It would be giving her a bigger message that she wasn’t allowed to speak or there was something wrong with her.”

Her father, Josh, said that when it came to coming out at church, he was “mostly nervous for her and where this would take her as a 12-year-old girl,” but noted that he felt it was Savannah’s decision to make.

“We let her make that decision, not us,” Josh told CNN. “I had nothing to do with … coercing her or anything.”

A 2015 Mormon church policy considers members in same-sex marriages as apostates whose children can’t be baptized or join the church unless they disavow same-sex partnerships, CNN reports. Savannah wanted to be a “positive” voice for people in the church.

“I want them to know that I’m an ally. That they’re safe with me. I want them to know that it’s OK to be Mormon and be gay,” Heather recalled Savannah saying.

Just how it was received in the church remains a mystery: Recorded video of Savannah’s speech shows her mic being suddenly cut off.

CNN reports it’s “unclear” exactly what happened, and repeated requests to the church, the bishops, and headquarters, they did not explain why Savannah’s mic ceased to work.

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