For Immediate Release:
The Tyler Clementi Foundation congratulates Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons, on the release of his documentary, Believer, which premiered January 20th at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Through showing the harm caused by anti-LGBTQ religious teachings and bullying, the documentary will change the hearts and minds of Mormons across Utah. The Tyler Clementi Foundation recognizes Dan Reynolds as an Upstander, a leader using his platform to save lives.
“When I met with Senator Orrin Hatch and Dan Reynolds back in October 2017 to discuss the rising LGBTQ youth suicide rates in Utah, I was impressed to hear him state that being gay is not a sin,” said Mitchell Gold, Tyler Clementi Foundation board member. “At the meeting, which was recorded for the documentary Believer, we discussed the importance of the leadership of the Mormon church in combatting Utah’s suicide epidemic. Mormon Church President Russell Nelson needs to understand that if the church does not stop bullying and rejecting its LGBTQ children, these preventable, tragic deaths will continue.”
“As the mother of Tyler Clementi, the most upsetting thing to me was that when Tyler came out, he felt that he could not be Christian and gay,” added Jane Clementi, co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation. “Youth must know that they are not broken or worthless or separated from God because of who God created them to love. We cannot keep preaching this way.”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation‘s mission is to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities. Founded in 2011 by the Clementi family in memory of Tyler – a son, brother, and friend – the foundation’s flagship bullying-prevention and education program is #Day1. Other programs include the Upstander Pledge, Upstander Speaker Series, Tyler’s Suite, Workplace Training, and True Faith Doesn’t Bully, a public education campaign that fights religious bullying. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Act, introduced in Congress in 2016, would require colleges and universities receiving federal funding to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.