We hear all the time that a performer is an “ally” and wants to support our little rainbow family. The thoughts run through our head from AWESOME! we need all the support we can get … too … they probably just want our gay money … and everywhere inbetween. Some of are 100% loving and some of us are jaded.
It was in 2018 when Instinct was front and center to see the power and beauty of the LOVELOUD Music Festival held in Salt Lake City Utah. In its second year at the time, the concert was a big production of stars and celebrities and all there for one cause.
WHY WE ARE HERE
LGBTQ+ youth in unaccepting homes and communities are 8 times more likely to die by suicide and 3 times more likely to engage in risky drug use.
These stats need to change.
ORGINS OF LOVELOUD
Founded in 2017 by Dan Reynolds, the LOVELOUD Foundation, is a catalyst to bring communities and families together to help ignite the vital conversation about what it means to unconditionally love our LGBTQ+ youth. LOVELOUD offers hope to young people, letting them know they’re not alone and encouraging acceptance in the home and community.
It all begins with talking about, sharing and showing the realities of what LGBTQ+ teens face daily. – loveloudfest.com
We had an amazing time with all the talent there and it was all for a great cause. The attention and commitment Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds showed for the event and its success was palpable.
Not only has Reynolds been the driving force for LOVELOUD, he has now taken to help another charity in Utah.
Encircle is the grassroots organization, started by the wonderful Stephanie Larsen. Encircle bought a house in Provo Utah, the epicenter of Mormonism, Home to Brigham Young University, and the Mormon Missionary Training Center. In recent moves by the LDS Church to exclude, shame, and marginalize the LGBTQ community, this county has the highest amount of depression, and instability within the community. Suicides are all too common, and the intolerance and homophobia seems to be at vicious levels.
Stephanie Larsen decided to create a safe space for these children. If parents kick children out of the house for being gay, disown them, or even if a teenager is frightened, and is unsure about themselves, or unable to come out, The Encircle house is a safe place, just for these children to go, feel loved, and be provided for. Resources are there to help these kids, and welcome them, where they can’t find it anywhere else.
They have as much available as a no budget non profit can pull together. What they have accomplished is nothing short of extraordinary. Whenever there is a crisis, or announcement from the LDS Church that marginalizes the LGBTQ community, the doors are open, pizzas are ordered, and it is a gathering place for the youth, and anyone who wants to help. All involved were inspired out of a pure Christ like love for everyone, at Encircle no one is invited, all are welcome.
So how can someone help Encircle? How about donating a home. Reynolds as donated his childhood home in Las Vegas to the cause, a donation worth about $1 million.
The gift is part of the “$8 Million, 8 Houses” Encircle campaign, which is based in Utah, but is looking to build centers not only in Utah (currently 3 and one more currently under construction), but also in Arizona, Idaho, and Nevada.
Reynolds added during an appearance on Good Morning America: “I’ve watched throughout my life the difficult path that LGBTQ youth have, especially coming from homes of faith.
This five minute clip from GMA is inspiring and a must see. We know Apple CEO Tim Cook is one of us and his dedication is so wonderful and welcome and the Apple name behind his efforts is phenomenal, but to also see a jock and a rock star giving their time and energy, we so welcome it, love it, and embrace it.
“This is why I came out. I was getting notes from kids. Kids who were contemplating suicide, kids that and being bullied. I wanted to share a part of my life, and being involved with this with Dan and Ryan—and taking it to a new level—is what it’s all about.” – Tim Cook
Also donating to the campaign is Ryan Smith, owner of the Utah Jazz basketball team.
Bravo men and bravo Encircle. We thank you for your efforts to make this world a safer place.