64578_10151256966680047_1564319888_n“When the ban on gay marriage in Utah was struck down (for a few days), I got down on one knee and proposed to my boyfriend–who bust up laughing because he knew I was joking. We’d only been dating two months.

It’s been over two years since I filmed my spot, and that little story illustrates the approach I’ve tried to take since that time: slow and steady. It’s a weird thing to come out and to leave the LDS church. It’s important to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I find myself very grateful for two principles I learned in the Church–temperance and hard work–they’ve truly helped me be a better partner in my relationship.

And that is why I still love the Church. I left it because I believe it’s “either all in or all out,” and my faith had changed. Nevertheless, I believe the church is mostly good–especially its members. To many of them, their membership in the Church is a critical part of their identity. As a gay man, I can definitely understand that.

After almost a year together, my boyfriend and I moved in together. Maybe we’ll get married someday. Maybe we’ll break up. (Don’t tell him I said that.) Either way, I feel strongly that I’ll be fine. I have good friends. I harbor no negative feelings with regards to the time I spent in the church.”

“Not every little boy who plays with Barbie’s turns out to be gay, but. . . if while playing with Barbies you have Ken break-up with Barbie so he can spend more time with his best friend–your chances go up.” Craig points to such childhood memories, as one of many ways he perceived his differences from his male peers. On the other hand he fit in well with the other young men–he played basketball, went camping, and did all the normal “guy things.” While grateful that his church upbringing did not overexpose him to sexuality or sexual themes, Craig says that it was because of such an upbringing that he did not recognize his attraction to men for what it was until after his mission. Recognition brought relief to Craig, having suffered with self-esteem and insecurities issues for reasons he could not identify. Putting a name to his attractions strengthened Craig. He is grateful that this journey has developed a more rigorous intellect and empathetic outlook.

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