LGBTQ Pride Month

Courageous Mormon Girl Comes Out To Entire Congregation — Only To Be Cut Off By Church Officials

Twelve-year-old Savannah is speaking out after video of her testimony has gone viral.

A young Mormon girl is being celebrated for her courage and her heartfelt words after she bravely came out to her congregation via a public speech last month. However, Savannah was unable to complete her planned speech, when, with only a few paragraphs left, the 12-year-old had her microphone cut and was asked to sit down by church officials. 

Since the beginning of this year, Savannah has been asking her parents if she could share her testimony with her Mormon congregation at their monthly Fast and Testimony meeting. When they finally said yes, Savannah worked through a couple rough drafts before standing up in front of her church last month to talk about herself, her faith and her sexuality.  

"I believe I was made the way I am, all parts of me, by my heavenly parents," she said. "They didn't mess up when they gave me brown eyes or when I was born bald. They didn't mess up when they gave me freckles or when I was made to be gay."

She continued:

"God loves me just this way because he loves all of his creations. I believe he made me this way because he loves all of his creations. I believe he made me this way on purpose. No part of me is a mistake."

Savannah told the LGBT-focused Mormon podcast I Like To Look For Rainbows that she knew she was gay in the sixth grade when she realized that when she saw boys, she never imagined what it would be like the kiss them. Not like how it was with girls. After a period during which she said she tried to forced herself to like boys. she came out last summer to her mom.

"She is brave and courageous," her mom Heather told The Huffington Post. "I would have been terrified to get up and say something so close to my heart for fear of what people think. I'm proud of her, even now, she doesn't want any of this to be about her, she wants it to be about protecting other LGBT kids. She wants her story told so that this doesn't happen to other kids."

Savannah said that when her microphone stopped working during her testimony, at first she thought it was a technical issue. She turned around to the official seated behind the podium to ask about the mic, only to be told that she needed to sit down. Afterward, it was stated that only Christ-like testimonies were allowed. 

It was how her congregation has treated members of the LGBTQ community in the past that made Savannah want to share her story publicly. 

"I felt like people weren't being very supportive or nice to gays for who they are, and that's how God made them," Savannah told I Like To Look For Rainbows. "They were just being super rude to everyone, and children would start coming up to their kids, and they would say mean things to them, and I found that really offensive. So, I wanted to be people's voice."

At the time of publication, a YouTube video of Savannah's testimony has been viewed over 200,000 times. She says that in the future, she's looking forward to normal teenage stuff: finding someone, holding hands and falling in love. 

"I believe that if God is there, he knows I am perfect just the way I am and wouldn't never ask me to live my life alone or with someone I'm not attracted to," she said during her testimony. "He would want me to be happy. I want to be happy."

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