‘I was wrong.’ Will play ‘Love Loud’ music festival in Provo, Aug 26.
Pointing at a teleprompter, “Well I had this whole thing up here that I was going to read and that’s why I put on my glasses cause I’m really blind, but honestly I feel like I just want to speak from the heart, so I’m gonna take them off,” opened Dan Reynolds, lead singer of Imagine Dragons, at the 2017 TrevorLIVE gala on June 19 in New York City.
Accepting the Trevor Project’s Hero Award, which honors an individual who works to increase visibility and understanding of the LGBT community, Reynolds’ 10 and a half minute speech, though occasionally awkward, and including a moment in which he becomes visibly broken up, inspired the room.
The seventh of eight brothers and one sister, Reynolds grew up Mormon in Las Vegas. He admitted in his acceptance speech that he struggled with his faith from an early age and that he “wanted to believe in God.”
After being kicked out of Brigham Young University for confessing intimate relations with his high school girlfriend, Reynolds decided to go on a mission. “I felt dirty, I felt sinful, so I went on a mission,” Reynolds admitted.
He served a two-year mission in Omaha, Neb., at which he joked, “You’re this geeky, stupid-looking dude with a name badge, and you get Slurpee’s thrown at you.” He went on to say “I knocked on thousands of doors” and told people that being gay is a sin. “But I never felt it in my heart.”
In 2011, Reynolds married Aja Volkman and they have three daughters: Arrow Eve, 4 years old, and fraternal twins Gia and Coco Rae, 4 months old. “My wife was my missionary,” he said. “[She taught me] to be gay is beautiful, it’s perfect.”
“I wish I could re-knock [on] all those doors and them that I was wrong,” he said.
During the gala event, the band played stripped down versions of their hits including “Radioactive” and new singles “Believer” and “Whatever It Takes,” and announced a new music festival called “Love Loud” that will take place Aug. 26 in Provo, Utah to support LGBTQ charities including The Trevor Project and GLAAD.
“I know, I know, I know there are Mormons and people of orthodox religion all around the world that feel the exact same as me. We are going to invite them to come out to listen to music. We are going to have speakers talk about how a family has to accept their child in the home. If Mormons are educated about it, if people of different faiths are educated about it, I think they will change their hearts, they will accept their children,” Reynolds said.