Mormon county commissioner in Utah comes out as gay

In this July 4, 2018 photo Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie waves during the Freedom Festival's Grand Parade in Provo, Utah. The Republican lawmaker in a heavily-Mormon area of Utah has publicly come out as gay. Ivie said his announcement, Wednesday, May 22, 2019, was inspired in part by his work with families who have lost gay children to suicide. (Evan Cobb/The Daily Herald via AP)
FILE - In this June 14, 2018 file photo, Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie speaks as he holds the American flag during a news conference in Provo, Utah. Ivie, a Republican lawmaker in an area of Utah where many residents are member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has publicly come out as gay. Ivie said Wednesday, May 22, 2019, his announcement was inspired in part by his work with families who have lost gay children to suicide. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — Republican lawmaker Nathan Ivie says it took him more than 20 years to come to terms with his identity.

But on Wednesday morning the 40-year-old Utah County commissioner sat in front of his computer and publicly shared the secret that has caused him pain and confusion since he was nine years old: He is gay.

In a video posted to Facebook that has since been viewed more than 4,000 times, Ivie embraces his sexual orientation and recounts the difficult experience of growing up feeling at odds "spiritually and biologically." Ivie is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but he declined to comment on his faith. The Utah-based faith strictly opposes gay marriage and still considers same-sex relationships to be a serious transgression.

Many residents of Utah County, which is south of Salt Lake City and includes the church-owned Brigham Young University, are members of the church.

The confusion Ivie felt led to his attempted suicide at age 22, then attempts to "cure himself" of gay feelings, he said. The first-term commissioner said his announcement was inspired in part by his work with families who have lost LGBTQ children to suicide.

"That really makes you reevaluate your life, and what you're doing as a leader to prevent that kind of stuff," Ivie said.

Interacting with gay couples through his passion for the outdoors and photography helped Ivie accept himself, he said. He recently had the opportunity to photograph a same-sex couple for their wedding.

"The love they shared and the way they looked at each other was the same as any other couple," he said. "It helped me realize, 'Maybe I'm not broken.' "

Ivie choked up reflecting on the support he has received from family and friends since coming out since the announcement, which he said has only strengthened his relationships.

"It's been liberating, just a huge burden off of my shoulders," he said.

Jackie Biskupski, the first openly gay mayor of Salt Lake City, joined a chorus of local politicians who applauded Ivie's decision to come out: "All the best to you, I love how a simple act of love among strangers helped you find your truth and that you are being embraced by family and friends," she wrote to Ivie on Twitter.

Fellow Utah County Commissioner Tanner Ainge also tweeted his support.

"My instinct is just to embrace @IvieNathan. Today I stand with him as a friend, valued colleague, and fellow Republican. His story will provide strength and hope to those feeling the lonely despair that almost took his life and has taken too many in our community #HeartOfUtah," Ainge tweeted.

Though Ivie and his wife of thirteen years have decided to separate, they will co-parent their two young children. They recently spent Mother's Day together, and he still refers to her as his best friend.

Ivie said he hopes the announcement encourages other young people struggling with their identities to accept themselves.

"It's OK to be different, it's OK to live authentically," he said. "You can be gay and a Republican ... you need to trust that people will love you for who you really are."

Must Read

Icelandic budget airline WOW Air ceases operations

Mar 28, 2019

Icelandic budget airline WOW Air says it has ceased operations, stranding passengers across two...

Israel issues travel warning on Egypt's uprising...

Jan 25, 2017

Israel has warned citizens visiting the Sinai Peninsula to leave the area immediately and those...

Israel, the land of milk and honey _ and now...

Aug 11, 2017

Israel has been known as the land of milk and honey since Biblical times, but could it become the...

AP PHOTOS: In Israel, antique car collectors find...

Oct 6, 2017

AP PHOTOS: Each weekend Israeli car collectors gather with their beauties _ and take a step back in...

Roman theater uncovered at base of Jerusalem's...

Oct 16, 2017

Israeli archaeologists find 1,800-year-old Roman-era theater in Jerusalem's Old City abutting the...

Sign up now!

About Us

Walk To The Place offers travel news of popular destinations for travelers with the urge to explore these places.

Contact us: sales[at]walktotheplace.com

Subscribe Now!