LoveLoud Music Festival
July 29, 2018 2:49 PM   Subscribe

HBO recently released Believer [trailer], a documentary about Imagine Dragons' lead singer's journey of becoming a Mormon straight ally for the LGBTQ community. Yesterday (Sat, July 28) was the second annual LoveLoud music festival in Salt Lake City focussed on creating community and building self-worth in the LGBTQ Mormon (and outside) population. 8+ hours of quality music!

The line-up includes A.W., Vagabon, Tyler Glenn, Grace Vanderwaal, Mike Shinoda, Zedd, and Imagine Dragons.
posted by hippybear (12 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The first LoveLoud (as mentioned in the documentary,) was in Provo. Having the second in SLC doesn't lessen the Church's bigotry one bit.
So as the focus shifts from a national celebration to a state event, is Salt Lake City’s Days of ‘47 parade ready to accept an LGBTQ-affirming entry from Mormons Building Bridges? Can they show the community goodwill that the Freedom Festival had?

Sadly, the answer is no. Once again, MBB’s float design, “Build Bridges of Understanding” has been rejected by the Days of ‘47. The organizing committee has consistently refused to even meet with Mormons Building Bridges.

Every year (this is MBB’s fifth attempt) the rejection sounds more and more absurd. That Mormons Building Bridges is ineligible because it is an “advocacy group” rings hollow. What parade entries, from humanitarian organizations to the 20-some floats from stakes of the LDS church, are not advocates for many good causes?


The role of the Mormon church in this parade further complicates the situation. While a private non-profit, the Days of ‘47 Inc. is inextricably linked to the LDS hierarchy. The church is the biggest donor, a member of the First Presidency always leads the parade, volunteers are called by their stake presidents to build floats. How can observers not connect this LGBTQ exclusion to the power the church wields in our community? Despite church leaders’ discernible change in tone around many aspects of the LGBTQ experience, despite their support for suicide prevention initiatives, when it comes to this parade, gay and trans people are not wanted. Their pioneer stories — some of the most inspiring among us — don’t count.
posted by Catblack at 4:52 PM on July 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

Seems like if you want to be a good ally, the first step might be ditching the massive hate group you've inexplicably shackled yourself to.
posted by kafziel at 5:57 PM on July 29, 2018 [21 favorites]

I'm not sure that being raised in a religion is really that inexplicable, but perhaps your life works differently.
posted by hippybear at 6:48 PM on July 29, 2018 [16 favorites]

I'm not a Mormon--or any other kind of religious, anymore, but I wasn't raised Mormon. I am queer. I've seen how much influence the LDS church has. If straight people with empathy and sense want to actually try to talk to people about this and change minds... well, there's this notion that your privilege is something that you didn't earn so you should spend it on the people who need helping. I would never suggest that I think it's a good idea for queer and trans people to stay in organizations that treat LGBT people poorly, but you know, at one point, there were pretty much no organized Christian groups that supported us. The ones that have changed, they changed because some people stayed and made them change.

I don't think convincing everyone who is raised in a conservative religious group to both be more supportive AND give up religion is a thing that's actually achievable, and I would rather not wait for some hypothetical atheist future to actually be safe living in my own country.
posted by Sequence at 7:44 PM on July 29, 2018 [8 favorites]

In public, I agree that building bridges is the way to advance human rights in all spheres. In private, the logical contortions that one has to go through to find the one aspect of the orthodoxy to be in need of revising while holding the other to be still inviolable strikes me as a hot load of bullshit. There is no basis on which to impute some separable, divine core to a belief system that has traditionally advocated hatred towards some marginalized group of people: if that core is as suitably marshaled in favor of hatred as it is in favor of inclusiveness, then it's probably fucking garbage.
posted by invitapriore at 8:09 PM on July 29, 2018 [1 favorite]

I think mostly he's wanting for LGBTQ queer young people not to kill themselves because of the religion they were raised in. This can be taken far afield from that as a discussion topic, but I truly think that's his motivation with this effort in the sphere he can act it with these music festivals.

Looking farther out than that is something I don't think he's doing.
posted by hippybear at 8:34 PM on July 29, 2018 [5 favorites]

Dan Reynolds has made an estimated $10-15 million off of his music. Last year Imagine Dragons put out their third studio album, at Billboard #2, with a world tour to promote it. The Mormon Church takes a 10% tithe of his income, and spends that on hate.

Convincing "everyone who is raised in a conservative religious group" is one thing, but I think the guy who claims to be pro-LGBTQ but has donated literally a million dollars to an organization that spends it to destroy our rights and our lives is someone we can tell to get the fuck out of it, if he means a word he's saying.

Religious groups that have changed their tone on social issues didn't do it in response to internal pressure. They did it in response to external pressure. They did it because they saw too many people giving them up, because their dogma was increasingly archaic and intolerable, so they changed what God's word was to try to stop the bleeding. The Mormon church has done it before with some of their horrifically racist stuff, and it wasn't because the Mormons who found none of that to be a dealbreaker cried for change.
posted by kafziel at 12:20 AM on July 30, 2018 [12 favorites]

I saw this documentary and maybe it's just me, but it did feel a bit like the guy was patting himself on the back for hosting a music festival to accomplish something that it did not accomplish. It's good to want to help the youth not commit suicide. It seemed very self-serving to me, why did we need to see a documentary about this guy learning to be an ally? Because he's famous? Meh.

And some people who watch this think that he did something to change the church. I literally had a convo with my mom about this about a week after I saw it and she was totally convinced that now the church is all A-OK with LGBTQ persons. (She doesn't follow what the mormon church does closely, neither do I except for the contributions of mormon members here at MeFi)

If the goal of the documentary was to highlight the long way the church still has to go, then it definitely failed with people who's only exposure to the church's stance was this documentary.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:55 AM on July 30, 2018 [6 favorites]

I'm not Mormon, but I used to be religious and I saw people beat themselves up while trying to fit their feelings and views with the religion of their choice. They might have been raised Christian, but in college they chose to start or continue as Christians, yet part of what they chose to believe caused them serious angst. I don't know if anyone told them that there was nothing wrong with what they felt, but we did a lot of "we'll pray for/with you."

I'm sure there are plenty of people who were raised Mormon and either have a hard time separating themselves from that because it's the community they know or because the frame of reference they have for their world. And I'm sure there are plenty of people who are happy as Mormons, but haven't really thought much about what it's like to be LGBTQ. For those people, this could be a very good thing - showing them that there are Mormons who don't hate them, but support them. Mormons who don't fear or hate LGBTQ people.

Religion is complicated, and trying to separate yourself from religion can be very hard for many reasons. Will Imagine Dragons change the Church? Not immediately. Can they end the Church? No way. But can they shift perceptions that shift the stance of the church? Maybe. Can they make life better for some people? Definitely.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:01 AM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

You: What's your favorite music?
Me: Imagine dragons.
You: Cool.
Me: Now imagine them playing banjos with their claws.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:54 AM on July 30, 2018 [4 favorites]

They'd fookin' shred. it. up.

\m/ 🐉\m/
posted by filthy light thief at 8:52 AM on July 30, 2018 [2 favorites]

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