Savannah Ward boldly came out as a lesbian to her Mormon church in Utah before she was asked to leave the stage in a moment captured on video.
“I believe I am a child of heavenly parents. I don’t know if they talk to us, but I feel in my heart that they made me and that they love me. I believe I was made the way I am, all parts of me, by my heavenly parents,” Ward begins her testimony.
“They did not mess up when they gave me brown eyes, or when I was born bald. They did not mess up when they gave me freckles or they made me to be gay. God loves me just this way because I believe that he loves all his creations,” Ward continues. “No part of me is a mistake. I do not choose to be this way and it is not a fad. I cannot make someone else gay and being around me won’t make anyone else this way.
Ward went on that she is hopeful that she will go on dates, go to school dances, find a partner and get married.
“I know I can have all of these things as a lesbian and be happy. I believe that if God is there, he knows I’m perfect just the way I am, and would never ask me to live my life alone or with someone I am not attracted to,” Ward says.
Ward’s speech is cut soon after and she is asked to leave the stage. A man takes her place to tell the group, “Brothers and sisters, I ask you to recognize that we are all children of God, we are loved by our Heavenly Father. ”
Ward was able to finish her thoughts on the podcast “I Like to Look for Rainbows.”
“I was sad because I wanted to finish it, and I felt like what I was saying should’ve been heard by everybody else,” Ward says. “I was happy because I could finally get out to everyone, and show that gays aren’t weirdos.”
The Huffington Post spoke with Ward’s mother, Heather, who says she has been accepting of her daughter’s sexuality and is glad she was able to share her story.
“I’m proud of her, even now, she doesn’t want any of this to be about her, she wants it to be about protecting other LGBT kids,” Heather says. “She wants her story told so that this doesn’t happen to other kids.”