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Several Mormon university students have created an ”It Gets Better” video in support of their LGBT peers.
The students, who attend Brigham Young University (BYU), an institution owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are members of Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (USGA), an unofficial student group at the university.
According to students speaking in the video, there are more than 1,800 LGBT students attending BYU, and of those 74 percent have considered suicide, and 24 percent have attempted suicide.
The BYU student code of conduct ”requires all members of the university community to manifest a strict commitment to the law of chastity. … Homosexual behavior and/or advocacy of homosexual behavior are inappropriate and violate the Honor Code.”
According to the video, the Princeton Review has ”consistently ranked” BYU as one of the most unfriendly college campuses for LGBT students in the country.
Adam White, a sophomore featured in the video, told the Associated Press that he struggled with his sexual orientation during his first year at BYU.
“It was a very dark time for me because I was just feeling so confused,” he said. “The ‘It Gets Better’ message is we can be open, this is not something we have to fix or change about ourselves. This is something we can celebrate.”
A research study set to be published later this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, will reveal that people who seem homophobic tend to feel same-sex attractions themselves, the Huffington Post reports.
The study, completed by researchers at the University of Rochester, the University of Essex and the University of California at Santa Barbara, adds evidence to what has been speculated.
The research study consisted of four experiments involving 160 college students. In one session, researchers tested what the students said about themselves and how they reacted when asked to identify words as either ”gay” or ”straight” in a fast-paced manner, Science Daily reported.
“Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves,” Netta Weinstein, the study’s lead author told Science Daily.
“We laugh at or make fun of such blatant hypocrisy, but in a real way, these people may often themselves be victims of repression and experience exaggerated feelings of threat,” Richard Ryan, a co-author of the study, told Science Daily. “Homophobia is not a laughing matter. It can sometimes have tragic consequences.”