About a year ago, I met this rocker-type photographer at LOVELOUD music festival. I hit it off with a great many people there as we were all present for LOVELOUD and were in the same mindset: great music, bring attention to the high suicide rate among LGBT youth in Utah and the nation, and show that talented LGBT artists are out there and need to be heard just as much as their straight counterparts.
So this guy, Jeremy Hinks, was this no nonsense, music loving, straight guy. He’s married, three daughters, Mormon, and a music photographer. We had so much in common! Not at all.
But what Jeremy had and HAS is a love of people, a hope that he can lessen some of the pain LGBT youth experience in Utah, a dislike of how the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) has treated LGBT youth and what they teach and preach about us homosexuals.
I’ll get texts from Jeremy and I never know if they are from him just getting done covering a concert or if it is him needing to vent about Utah, the LDS, or both. A couple of his heartbreaking texts have started off:
“We lost another one” – where he tells me about how the parents are trying to hide the fact that their LGBT daughter committed suicide because of the pressures to NOT be LGBT.
Dealing with a father who is telling his newly out son that gays who commit suicide are better off because they won’t be able to sin anymore.
You can tell that he, as a father of two girls, a Mormon, and a son of a gay man, he cares sooo much about these kids. In my travels, I’m not sure I have personally met a stronger ally for us, someone who obviously cares and takes action, but is not doing it for the attention. It’s almost like it’s his calling to share his big heart with others, to show reaffirm love is love, to shock people that this straight Mormon dad cares so much about our community and those that are hurting because they were born that way and are not being accepted.
Instinct has actually adopted him as an honorary gay for the purposes of tapping into his love of music and his drive to help our community. You can do a search on Instinct (or click here) to see what artists he has interviewed for us, artists that may not be as well know, some that are new, old, LGBT, and strong LGBT allies.
But the reason for me sharing my thoughts on Jeremy tonight, as I wipe my teary eyes, is for something he did this past weekend, something he did because he is just who he is. Below are his words from his Facebook post on June 2nd after he attended the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake City and then walked back to his car.
Among other things, Jeremy’s current project is being involved / acting in the film City of Salt (Utah LGBT Health Under Microscope in ‘City of Salt’).
Thanks as always Jeremy. Your kids are lucky, your wife is lucky, and we are lucky to have you. You are an inspiration for members of our community to follow and may you inspire others to be strong allies like yourself. We need you. We need you all.