The first episode of the Revry Original docu-series Room to Grow features Utah teen Savannah sharing how she came out to her family, friends, and Mormon church. She and her mother, Heather Kester, were also seen in HBO's Believer documentary, spearheaded by Imagine Dragons front man Dan Reynolds. In this clip, Savannah steps onto her church stage to tell her story of self-identification. "I believe I was made the way I am, all parts of me, by my heavenly parents," the 13-year-old shared. "They did not mess up when they gave me freckles or when they made me to be gay. God loves me just this way because I believe that he loves all of his creations." Midway through her heartfelt testimony, the church leader shut off her microphone and asked her to sit down.
He has not spoken to Savannah since. He did, however, speak for the entire ward and said they did not accept Savannah for who she is. The fear and shame that his actions have instilled in Savannah are palpable.
Her family members have since resigned from the church and have changed the way they practice their Mormon faith.
Savannah says she hopes that "one day the church is going to notice how much pain they're inflicting on others and are going to change the way they think."