If you were looking at my friend Sam, you would see that he kind of glows. He’s handsome with blonde, streaky grey surfer hair, wide, kind eyes and a well-trimmed, hipster beard. Even though we both grew up in Seattle, Sam and I met in Berlin in 2012 after we were introduced by some mutual friends. Friends who I met in Istanbul, and he met in Saigon. It was worlds colliding and we immediately had a special bond. Sam and I have suffered with many of the same struggles—depression, addictions, and that same sense of wanderlust that drove us away from the U.S. but also made us long for a kind of homecoming, both spiritual, and literal.
As I came to know Sam, I learned more about his upbringing in the Mormon Church and his experience as one of the first openly gay students to graduate from Brigham Young University. This is a conversation I had with Sam about his crossroads with the Mormon Church and the life he’s built since he graduated from BYU nearly 20 years ago.
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One more episode caveat! I apologize for the low sound quality on this recording. It was my first live interview and I wasn’t able to remove the background noise. However, you can expect professional recording improvements in future episodes!
You can read more about Sam on his blog Carnivals of Affection.