Austin Swink came out to his Mormon father and his reaction was surprisingly sweet.
In anticipation of his first mission trip with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Austin knew he wanted to share his sexuality with his father, Vaughn.
“I was about to leave on my mission for my church, and I got this feeling that I just needed to get it off my chest before I left,” he told USA Today. The two have “always been pretty close” but the Mormon church’s history with the LGBTQ+ community is… complicated to say the least. “It was weighing on me for so long, not saying anything.”
“I’m gay,” Austin tearfully told his dad.
Vaughn reached across to his son. “Austin, I don’t care. I don’t care!” As he burst into tears, Vaughn continued, “Austin, listen, look at me. I don’t care. You’re okay! Are you a child of God?”
Austin affirmed he was. “OK, that’s fine!” Vaughn replied.
Austin is living out loud now with his boyfriend, Jason, and hopes his coming out video can inspire others in the Mormon church and beyond.
“If you’re going through something like that, if you feel that you can’t be yourself, if you feel that your parents won’t love you anymore, I just want you to know that there are so many other people in this world that do love you,” he explained.
“You’ll make it through, we all will make it through together. So don’t give up!”
Check out the original story here: PRIDE.
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