LoveLoud organizers: making progress, but still work to do

Jul 30, 2018, 8:12 AM
AT&T Pacific Region President Ken McNeely, Trevor Project CEO Amit Paley, Tegan & Sara singer Tegan...
AT&T Pacific Region President Ken McNeely, Trevor Project CEO Amit Paley, Tegan & Sara singer Tegan Quin, Imagine Dragons singer and LoveLoud Founder Dan Reynolds, LoveLoud Executive Director Lance Lowry, and Encircle CEO Stephanie Larsen hold press conference morning of LoveLoud Festival (Photo: Nick Wyatt, KSL NewsRadio)
(Photo: Nick Wyatt, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Is the LoveLoud Festival, aimed at supporting LGBTQ youth and reducing suicide rates, achieving its goal? Festival organizers believe it is.


Nevermind that this year’s LoveLoud attendance nearly doubled from last year, those involved with the festival feel their efforts are making an impact.

LoveLoud Executive Director Lance Lowry explains how the festival and foundation have started a conversation.

“It’s not something that’s being ignored anymore,” says Lowry. “We’re actually talking about it and that is one big step.”

Imagine Dragons frontman and LoveLoud founder Dan Reynolds says his advocacy for the LGBTQ community has put a strain on his relationships with friends and family. Reynolds’ parents planned to attend this year’s LoveLoud, and he says a recent conversation with them before the festival exhibits the progress being made.

“My dad said, ‘you know, we’re old and a lot of these things are new for us, and we’re learning. We have our faith, and our testimony, but we’re here because we feel like we need to be here,'” explains Reynolds. “That’s everything to me for a first step.”

Stephanie Larsen, CEO of Encircle, a Utah-based LGBTQ family resource center, says last year’s LoveLoud was the beginning of real change.

“People were so touched in Utah Valley by those messages of love and inclusion, and what real Christianity is,” says Larsen. “We have bishops showing up to go through volunteer training. Relief Society presidents saying ‘we need to understand this, we can do better.'”

Despite the progress, LoveLoud organizers say there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Reynolds says, “I want to see the headline ‘The most Mormon state in America is now the lowest suicide rate for LGBTQ youth, is now the most accepting, is now the place to be.'”

The impassioned musician wants to be clear about LoveLoud’s approach. He wants to make an impact on all religious communities across the country.

“This is not a Mormon problem,” explains Reynolds. “This is an orthodox religion issue. One of the root problems of stigmatizing what it is to be LGBTQ and putting the shame on these children, really comes from orthodox religion.”

Reynolds looks forward to a day when LoveLoud is no longer needed.

If you, or someone you know, are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK. Both offer 24/7 support.

Today’s Top Stories


The Book of Mormon Art Catalog offers users a variety of ways to conduct specific searches and to b...
Devin Oldroyd

Book of Mormon digital visual art catalog launches Monday

A digital catalog of visual art inspired by the Book of Mormon became available on Oct. 3. It features more than 2,000 pieces.
2 days ago
Temple Square...
Devin Oldroyd

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announces the construction of 18 new temples

President Russell M. Nelson of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the construction of 18 new temples.
3 days ago
The new monuments at This is the place heritage park....
Devin Oldroyd

Progress in 175 years: Discovering new stories of Utah’s pioneers

Mary Richards with the Church News returns to KSL NewsRadio to celebrate lesser-known stories of Utah Pioneers
3 days ago
first freedoms first...
Boyd Matheson

First freedoms: The interconnectedness of First Amendment rights

If all Americans do not put the first freedoms first KSL NewsRadio host Boyd Matheson says we will not have a sustainable, lasting republic.  
3 days ago
Sister Tracy Y. Browning, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, speaks during the Sat...
Waverly Golden

Saturday morning conference session makes history

During the Saturday morning session of the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sister Tracy Y. Browning became the first Black woman to ever speak at a general conference.
4 days ago
Firefighter Fred Woods assesses damages at Tragedy Springs (Jonathan Pierce Calfire)...
Dan Bammes

The sad history of Tragedy Spring

The Mormon Battalion historic site, high in the Sierras is in sad shape after windstorms and wildfires.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
LoveLoud organizers: making progress, but still work to do