At her Mormon church's Fast and Testimony meeting, a 12-year-old named Savannah got up and came out as gay in a powerful speech about embracing who you are, Queerty reports. "I believe that God wants us to treat each other with kindness, even if people are different," she said. "No part of me is a mistake. I do not choose to be this way, and it is not a fad. I cannot make someone else gay and being around me won’t make anyone else this way. I believe that God wants us to treat each other with kindness, even if people are different — especially if they are different."
Unfortunately, the elders didn't treat her with the kind of unconditional acceptance she was calling for. Just as she was talking about how sad it would be for her to spend her whole life hiding who she is, one of them cut her mic off and asked her to sit back down. The whole interaction was captured on video.
Fortunately, Savannah's mother Heather is more supportive than her church officials. When she told her mom a year ago that she had crushes on girls, she said there was nothing wrong with that. Savannah wanted to provide that same reassurance to other LGBTQ youth in her church by telling her own story.
"I’m proud of her, even now, she doesn’t want any of this to be about her, she wants it to be about protecting other LGBT kids," Heather told The Huffington Post. "She wants her story told so that this doesn’t happen to other kids."
Savannah may not have gotten to finish her speech, but she did have the chance to share her views on the podcast I Like to Look for Rainbows. "I was sad because I wanted to finish it, and I felt like what I was saying should’ve been heard by everybody else," she said. But, she added, "I was happy because I could finally get out to everyone, and show that gays aren’t weirdos."