Dan Reynolds courtesy of HBO
Suicide rates in Utah have increased nearly 50% in the last decade, making it the fifth-highest in the nation. Why Utah? Rates are rising nationally too, and yet there still aren’t collective answers. Some have reached as far as “altitude” as a cause. In an open letter in Rolling Stone, Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds responds “the altitude hasn’t changed.”
It’s the Mormon Church’s views on sexuality that concerns him the most, teaching to “hate the sin but love the sinner.” Reynolds says that isn’t enough.
“Orthodox faith is contributing to increased suicide rates, depression and anxiety for our LGBTQ youth. This isn’t something up for debate.”
The Live Nations Productions’ documentary Believer follows Reynolds as he explores the ways the Mormon Church works with its LGBTQ members. It’s filmed in the year leading up to the first annual LoveLoud Festival in Orem, Utah, a music festival created explicitly for LGBTQ youth and benefits several gay rights organizations.
Frontman for Neon Trees and out Mormon musician Tyler Glenn appears in the documentary, among others. Hans Zimmer composes and contributes to one of two original songs Reynolds wrote for Believer.
“I don’t feel the need to denounce Mormonism,” says Reynolds during a radio interview in the opening of Believer. “I do feel the need as a Mormon to speak out against things I think are hurting people.”
The community I was raised with is Mormon. And I was always taught, if you want to make a difference in the world you have to start with your community.”
Believer is available to stream on HBO now.