By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com February 20 2013 3:22 PM ET
Jimmy Lee Hales, a Mormon student at Brigham Young University, is finally coming out as gay to his friends and family — and catching the whole experience on camera.
In a lengthy blog post announcing the news, Hales describes coming to terms with his sexuality slowly, as his friends coupled up with opposite-sex partners.
Hales writes he first acknowledged his "same-gender attraction" with his bishop, who replied, simply, "That sucks."
"It was exactly what I needed to hear," wrote Hales. "I needed empathy. I need empathy. He didn't make the mistake and tell me to have hope, or that one day I still might get married. Either one of those approaches would have thrust me out the door. My bishop is a man of God. The topic was relatively new to him and I feel he did well with it. He is a man of God, with the gift of discernment that I haven't seen before."
RELATED: Hales tells Current TV that he's prepared to live a celibate, "horrible, lonely" life as an out gay Mormon.
Encouraged by his bishop's reaction, Hales eventually came out to his best friend in 2012, according to his blog. After her surprised but supportive reaction, Hales decided to begin documenting his coming out process on video.
Hales hopes that by documenting his experiences, he can help demonstrate that not all Mormons are gay-hating.
"I believe, with time, it won't as big a deal to all members of the church either," writes Hales. "They just need opportunity to think about it, so here I am posting about it. Every Mormon I've come out to has been awesome. Soon enough, gay people will be able to come out and not be as afraid to do so."
Watch Hales come out to his friends and family in the video below.