Review: BELIEVER – A Documentary From Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) on HBO


I had the chance to sit down and watch BELIEVER on HBO this weekend and it was so good!

SYNOPSIS: Believer follows Mormon Dan Reynolds, frontman for the Grammy Award-winning band Imagine Dragons, as he takes on a new mission to explore how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.

Dan Reynolds (Imagine Dragons) grew up in the Mormon faith alongside his family and friends in Utah. The Mormon doctrine believes that homosexuality is a sin, and they’ve even been known to remove allies from their church. There have been some amendments to their policies over the years, but the astounding number of suicides among teenagers in the Mormon community is still rising.

This prompted Dan to team up with Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees lead singer & fellow Mormon) to look for ways to bring awareness to these situations within the Mormon community. They formed the LoveLoud Festival and this documentary follows their journey in getting the festival organized. One of my favorite parts in the documentary is when Dan’s wife, Aja, is explaining to their young daughter what it means to be gay/transgender. I explained it to my niece the exact same way when she was around the same age and I don’t regret it one bit. Because I did that when she was young, my niece has always been inclusive towards all human beings. Seeing a similar experience documented with their adorable daughter was very special.

It’s an interesting documentary, to say the least. With the help of Tyler, Aja, and several people who are a part of the Mormon community, they shed light on the things that need to change, and continue to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

I recommend watching it, without a doubt. As an ally to the LGBTQ community myself, I think it’s important to see how shunning a person due to their sexual orientation/preference can cause so much harm to that individual and their family. If we want to keep our brothers and sisters safe, we need to be inclusive and supportive. This documentary does a fantastic job of that.


I’ll leave you with this incredible tweet from Dan Reynolds via Twitter:

Why Adam Rippon & Gus Kenworthy’s Sexual Orientation Is Important


What’s up, everyone?

I have to preface this post by saying that it saddens me that this is even a discussion in 2018. The fact that members of the LGBTQ community have to “come out,” or explain anything in regards to their sexual orientation is beyond me. I mean, you do realize that all they want to do is be themselves, be happy and LOVE another person, right?

I want to share a little story with you. My niece, Briana, is about to turn fourteen. When she was 5 or 6, I was watching one of my old *NSYNC DVD’s with her. She pointed to Lance Bass and said, “Krissy, he’s cute!” I know she was young at the time, but something came over me and my immediate (nonchalant) response was, “You know, Lance is gay.” She paused the movie and asked me what that meant.


I explained to my young niece that it meant sometimes boys like boys and sometimes girls like girls. I reiterated that “the norm” in society is for boys and girls to like each other, but there are others who feel differently and that’s normal too. She responded with a simple, “Oh, ok.” and un-paused the video. From that moment on, she has accepted EVERYONE and never thought of anyone who is gay as “different.” If she ever thought they were different, it’s because she knows how fabulous they are!

Throughout this year’s’ Winter Olympics, we were graced with the presence of two GAY athletes representing the USA, Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy. Even as a straight woman, I actually felt so proud of these men for being honest and for simply being themselves . It wouldn’t have mattered to me whether they were gay or not. Being gay doesn’t mean they train less than other athletes, or that they’re weak. If anything, it makes them stronger because they deliver strong performances regardless of any negativity being directed towards them.


Yesterday, Kenworthy posted screenshots on his Twitter page of 4 complete strangers who posted extremely hateful comments on one of his YouTube videos. These people called him names and wished that he would get AIDS and die. Let that sink in for a moment . . . . . . . . . . . . Which leads me to the reason for this post. Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation shouldn’t matter to anyone. It’s their lives and, if they’re happy and are able to fully love another human being, it shouldn’t matter to ANYONE ELSE whether that other human being is a man or a woman.

The ONLY reason why their sexual orientation is important is because it opens doors for conversations between parents and their children. Children are taught to hate other people. If I had responded to my niece, at 5 years old, that being gay is gross and wrong, she would’ve grown up to believe that as true.  I know that many Christians do believe that to be true, but the hate starts with you as parents, not as Christians. Don’t teach your children to hate others simply because of something you don’t understand. I grew up Catholic, I have tattoos and I’ve had pre-marital sex. Those things don’t make me a bad person. They don’t mean I’m going straight to hell. Neither does being gay. Instead, teach your children that some people love different things, but we all love the same. Teach them that just because you have a certain belief, it doesn’t give anyone the right to make hurtful comments and, more specifically, to wish for someone’s death.

Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important because it shows that being gay doesn’t define you . . . your character does. The same way that being straight doesn’t define anyone else. Being straight doesn’t mean you’re a good person. It also doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. It’s the same with those who are gay, bi, transgender, etc. Rippon and Kenworthy are both strong AND graceful. They’re respectful. They’re hilarious. They’re kind to others. They’re using their platform to speak for that little kid who wants to lace up a pair of skates and glide gracefully across the ice, but is afraid to tell anyone. They’re speaking to that kid who is afraid that coming out as gay will make people think they’re weak and can’t nail flips on skis or snowboards. They’re speaking out to kids who don’t think that they can be themselves and still stand on an Olympic podium. They’re speaking to anyone who feels that their sexual orientation means they can’t chase their dream, regardless of what that dream is.

There are so many kids out there who are feeling things they don’t quite understand yet because their parents are afraid to actually talk to them about something that should be normalized at this point. THAT is why Rippon and Kenworthy’s sexual orientation is important. Speaking to your child about homosexuality won’t make them gay. What it will do is teach them to be accepting towards others and to embrace what they might be feeling themselves. So, to the parents out there . . . do your jobs. Don’t raise bullies and closed-minded people. Raise young men and women who know who they are and who can accept those who aren’t exactly like them.

It starts with you.

More Love. Less Hate. #PrayforOrlando #PrayforHumanity

pray_for_o1[1]I’ve refrained from mentioning anything on social media after this past weekend because I needed some time to gather my thoughts before doing so.  Even still, it’s hard to put my feelings into words…I’ve already rewritten this post three times.

Let me start by posting here what a good friend of mine, who happens to be gay, posted on Facebook this morning.  I could not have said it better myself:

“To even try and share my feelings on this past weekend tears me apart. I am beyond horrified with the events that have taken place in Orlando. How the hell did we get here? When did it become the norm to allow your beliefs to change the lives of others? I am appalled at the comments like “Finally someone is shooting perverts instead of innocent people”. How did we become a country that allows ourselves to persecute others!? I truly don’t give a shit that this guy was Muslim. I care that he felt it was ok to murder innocent people because of who they love! Hatred, bigotry, intolerance…THESE ARE THE ISSUES!! The man who I quoted above is a WHITE AMERICAN! Given the right tools- he is just as capable of committing a horrendous hate crime! So maybe ISIS would like to take credit for this mass shooting. But in the comments that A LOT of Americans have been making- they too are taking some sort of credit. Anyone who is not speaking out against this horrible crime is taking credit. How? Because it is them who opens the door for this kind of hatred to take over. Whether you have an issue with Muslims, LGBT people, Jews, Immigrants, people on welfare, etc.- spreading hate and disgust fuels the fire in people to rationalize their own hate. When it is normal for a person to persecute another based on differences- it becomes normal for these radical few to plan these acts of pure violence. There will always be people and things we have to be careful of… but this shit has got to stop!! It has become all too common for people to lose their lives over BULLSHIT!
I see story after story about all of the amazing people who have helped one way or another for these victims from the Pulse shooting. And I am trying my hardest to focus on those… because in my heart- I want to believe that is what the majority of our country is made of! A country full of loving, decent, kind human beings who truly want what’s best for our citizens as a whole… no matter your race, sexuality, religion, or beliefs. But in order to change the world- we have to change! We have to spread more love and acceptance to EVERYONE! Instead of trying to build walls- lets shatter them! Let us prove that this hatred and persecution will not bring us down… it will build us up! It will allow us to come together and make a stand. WE DESERVE BETTER, AMERICA!! Our children deserve better!! As far as our ancestors have brought us in this world… we are shitting on their graves with how we not only treat each other- but our planet as a whole. Be good to one another… love and accept all! That alone will make our world a better place!”


Now let me say that I am a straight woman who fully supports the LGBT community. I also support the security used at venues in order to keep our favorite musicians safe from harm. The past few years have been riddled with school shootings, movie theater shootings, mall shootings, concert shootings, club shootings, etc.  Keyword being “shootings.”  Orlando will no longer be known solely as the happiest place on Earth because of Disney World…it will be known as the city where the worst mass shooting in U.S. history occurred. It will be known as the place where a deranged fan walked in heavily armed and shot an incredibly talented musician, Christina Grimmie, as she signed autographs for fans after her set.

Our “Land of the Free” is no longer free.  Our kids are no longer completely safe wherever they go. We live in a country where hardworking people pay $200 a month for insurance that barely covers anything anymore.  Pharmaceutical companies no longer want to cover medications regardless of whether or not they’re prescribed. My father died a month after discovering he had liver cancer because the doctors are so busy expanding their practices to include Botox and Cool Sculpting rather than  detecting cancer in their current patients. Those who are not working, don’t have the money to afford private insurance.  Therein lies the issue of undiagnosed mental disorders.  Those with psychological issues are not being treated properly or in a timely manner.  Pair that with the ease of attaining assault weapons and firearms and you have a recipe for disaster. Why is it so difficult to attain health insurance, but it’s so easy for someone on the FBI watch list for the past 2 years to purchase an assault weapon?? Why is so easy for ANYONE to purchase a gun, period??

I spent all of Sunday in a state of disbelief. Thinking about the 100+ families that were waiting to hear if their child or sibling were one of the casualties, injured or survivors of the horrific shooting at Pulse nightclub. Imagining what those inside of the club experienced when they heard shots being fired. Wondering how this group of people could be targeted simply because of who they love. We’re talking LOVE here. They weren’t gathering to conspire against anyone.  They were celebrating being proud of who they are as HUMAN BEINGS.

It’s a scary world we live in at the moment. Kids are being brought up in a world where you don’t need to work hard, you just need to participate. They’re being ostracized for being different rather than being taught to embrace their uniqueness. They’re abusing the luxury of being able to communicate with their favorite actors/musicians/athletes on social media and using it to hurt them instead. Everything these days is fueled by hatred and ignorance.  You don’t have to understand why a person is gay, you just have to accept that they are.  It doesn’t make them a bad person, it makes YOU a bad person for thinking they deserve to be punished because of who they love.

I could go on and on about this issue for days, but I’ll end it here. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Christina Grimmie, and also to the numerous families of the victims at Pulse nightclub. Most of all…RIP to all of the lives lost this weekend.  Let us remain hopeful that gun laws will be amended, that healthcare will improve and be made more affordable so that those who do suffer from metal disorders can seek the help they need in order to help prevent things like this from continuing to happen.

As my friend said so perfectly…”We deserve better, America! Our children deserve better!”


***If you’re not in the Orlando area and are unable to donate blood, please visit the following link set up to help support the families of the victims