Nathan Ivie, a Republican lawmaker from Utah, recently came out as gay in a video posted to Facebook.
Ivie, a Utah County commissioner, recorded a video posted to his Facebook, dedicated to friends, family and neighbors.
The 40 year-old Mormon lawmaker revealed that he is gay, a secret he has struggled with since he was a child.
In the video, he speaks of growing up confused and unsure of himself, which led to a suicide attempt at age 22. After that, he attempted to "cure" his homosexual feelings, due to the pressure he felt by being a part of the Mormon church.
The religion traditionally opposes gay marriage, but with so many young LGBTQ people committing suicide as of late, Ivie felt the need to take a stand.
"That really makes you re-evaluate your life, and what you're doing as a leader to prevent that kind of stuff," says Ivie in his video, which has now been viewed over 11,000 times.
"I understand the impact that my discoveries have had, and will have on others. Yet, I'm still the same person that I've always been."
He continues, talking about the interactions he's had with gay couples through his love for photography and the outdoors.
Ivie recently had the opportunity to photograph a same-sex wedding, an experience that changed the way he viewed himself.
"The love they shared and the way they looked at each other was the same as any other couple. It helped me realize, 'Maybe I'm not broken.'"
Ivie's story has gone viral on social media, with many commenting on his video. Almost all of the responses have been positive.
Nathan Ivie is a Republican elected official in Utah County, one of the most conservative counties in the nation. T… https://t.co/tVb1lBmVPa— Zach Bloxham (@Zach Bloxham)1558573974.0
When Provo Freedom Festival went all homophobic and refused entry to Encircle, I called Commissioner Ivie. He was a… https://t.co/hFiRd0D9cS— Jim Dabakis (@Jim Dabakis)1558554571.0
Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie soon after announcing he’s gay—saying he’s sharing story, because young people… https://t.co/eIUxDdcgB2— Brian Mullahy (@Brian Mullahy)1558566236.0
Ivie himself responded on Twitter to the internet's reaction.
WOW thank you for the ❤️. It’s already settling in and feels amazing. We have great people in this state. To live a… https://t.co/vY0rf0Wq2p— nathan ivie (@nathan ivie)1558559712.0
He thanked his parents for their support.
One thing I need to make super clear, I have the most amazing parents in the world. They have stood at my side with… https://t.co/uLG58G3xyd— nathan ivie (@nathan ivie)1558648475.0
Ivie continued, leaving Twitter with some very positive and hopeful words.
The sum of the labels placed on us will never equal the value of who we are as individuals. The individual is the g… https://t.co/vtpZOKMY7j— nathan ivie (@nathan ivie)1558719450.0
Ivie's community has shown him nothing but support. Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake City's first openly gay mayor, echoed other politicians' well wishes.
All the best to you @IvieNathan! I ❤️ how a simple act of love among strangers helped you find your truth & that yo… https://t.co/OlUEtOaqFU— Mayor Jackie Biskupski (@Mayor Jackie Biskupski)1558552068.0
Despite Ivie and his wife separating, they decided to co-parent their children and still remain close friends.
"One thing's for certain," Ivie concluded. "Tomorrow is a new day."
"The sun will come up again, and we'll all have work and responsibilities, things to do. Who I am, it doesn't change any of that."