10:09 pm - 04/24/2014

Neon Trees Singer Gets Support From Mormon Community After Coming Out As Gay

When Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees announced last month that he's gay, the bigger headline behind his revelation was that he is one of the few publicly out Mormons.

The reaction he got wasn't what he was expecting.

"I was surprised at how many Mormon church leaders wrote me messages saying, 'This is great that you're doing this,'" the 30-year-old lead singer said in a recent interview. "That really was cool."

Glenn said he is looking forward to speaking up about gay acceptance in his religious culture and assisting young adults who face some of the hardships that he experienced.

"On the level of being a role model for kids or LGBT Mormon youth, I'm totally down because I come from that background and I would be able to speak to them honestly," he said.

Glenn has performed with the Provo, Utah-based Neon Trees for nearly a decade. All members of the alternative band are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Neon Trees, which also includes Elaine Bradley, Chris Allen and Branden Campbell, achieved platinum-selling hits with 2009's "Animals" and 2011's "Everybody Talks."

The alternative band released its third album, "Pop Psychology," on Tuesday.

Glenn said his recent revelation isn't a reflection of the entire band.

"I was also really clear to my bandmates, we're not a gay band all of a sudden; this doesn't typecast us," he said. "I'm a gay man and it's fine, and our shows aren't going to become a gay show."

"It's really cool that the media has created an environment where someone can come out and be honest about such things," said Allen, the band's guitarist.

Glenn said he hopes members of the Mormon church will continue to become more understanding and accepting of homosexuality and gay marriage.

"It's terrible some of the things that have been said by church leaders, but I also feel like there's a lot of strides that have been made even since the Prop 8 debacle years ago," he said, referring to the Mormon church's opposition to California's Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage in 2008.

Some gay Mormons say they are now being welcomed back to the church even though they remain in same-sex relationships. And there is a growing movement to push church leaders to be more accepting and compassionate.

Yet church leaders continue to emphasize that the faith opposes gay marriage and that homosexuality is a sin.

"I consider myself Mormon, I believe in Mormonism, I believe in the Book of Mormon and I try to follow the teachings ... I don't always attend church on Sunday, but I wasn't going to throw away my faith," Glenn said.

Neon Trees will launch a U.S. tour May 12 in Nashville, Tenn. The tour will end July 13 in Washington, D.C.

Glenn said the band's new album explores his "identity crisis and figuring out who I am and finding love."

He is the only member of the band who isn't married.

"I'm like, 'What do I do?' I hate gay apps. I don't know if I should embrace them or not. I just don't want to hook up, I want to find someone. I also want to have love," he said.

What would his online profile say?

"I like the color cobalt blue. I like sashimi, not sushi. I gave up Diet Coke a year ago so I'm pretty clean. That was like my last vice," he said, laughing. "And I like men with meat on their bones."

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minajatwah 25th-Apr-2014 02:12 am (UTC)
partyonyourhead 25th-Apr-2014 02:13 am (UTC)
WHAT. Must be because he's semi famous. Has to be.
luvthatdrtywata 25th-Apr-2014 02:15 am (UTC)
from what i have heard, many mormons didn't have a huge issue with homosexuality, they are, after all, the religion of sister wives so they are actually sometimes pretty open. a group of them definitely had a hand in prop 8 but not all. and while there are definitely detractors, generally mormons are just raised to be incredibly kind and loving to everyone.
giant_totoro 25th-Apr-2014 02:23 am (UTC)
not exactly the religion of the sister wives tho. they separated off way back when and prefer not to be associated with each other
ophiodeiros 25th-Apr-2014 03:01 am (UTC)
no they don't want to be associated with the polygamous christians at all.
breadprincess 25th-Apr-2014 02:35 am (UTC)
I'm a MoHo and people are surprisingly okay about it, especially outside the Mormon corridor
backtoblack 25th-Apr-2014 02:57 am (UTC)
The religion is growing fast and I feel like there is a more progressive front with that - obviously not the entire religion but it's being a lot more flexible as more people join.
luvthatdrtywata 25th-Apr-2014 02:13 am (UTC)
just here to say sleeping with a friend is slaying me right now.
aeroplanefire 25th-Apr-2014 02:46 am (UTC)
Hope you're ok sis *hug*
aeroplanefire 25th-Apr-2014 02:56 am (UTC)
Okay you meant the song...OOP at me
kiki3291 25th-Apr-2014 02:58 am (UTC)
lmao I thought the same tho
katebishops 25th-Apr-2014 02:13 am (UTC)
gorlplz 25th-Apr-2014 02:15 am (UTC)
omg mormon sistren, CONVERT HA
giant_totoro 25th-Apr-2014 02:19 am (UTC)
giant_totoro 25th-Apr-2014 02:18 am (UTC)
know plenty of mormon people cool with it. there are always extremists tho~
harukakamiya 25th-Apr-2014 02:18 am (UTC)
This is actually quite encouraging news to hear for me personally, that members of the church are being accepting and loving, like Christians actually should be. And yeah it might be because he's famous and the Mormons don't want to get a bad rap or anything, but it's still nice to read that he's being accepted by a good number of people.

idk for me as a bitter ex-Catholic and total agnostic, I always like hearing about Christians actually practicing love and acceptance.
holdmedownxx 25th-Apr-2014 02:38 am (UTC)
a lot of the Mormons I know are actually some of the friendliest/nicest people I know. They get a shit rep online.

It's the fundamentalist mormons you gotta look out for.
harukakamiya 25th-Apr-2014 03:17 am (UTC)
oh yeah I knew some really nice Mormon people and I was always in the camp of those in the religion being really nice, but yeah I was mainly speaking about the fundies that are super vocal and get all the attention haha
dumpweeds 25th-Apr-2014 02:19 am (UTC)
probably hoping since he's in a successful band he'll just pay more to the church if they're nice to him
kknee13 25th-Apr-2014 02:31 am (UTC)
That's something I find really sketchy with Mormonism... Your hierarchy in the church can really depend on how much money you make and can give to the church
fadeawaybabe 26th-Apr-2014 12:55 am (UTC)
You are exactly right. I am an ex-mormon. If mormons are nice its because they want you to join the religion. The reason why they like this guy above is he is good for PR. However, they would never want him to be in a relationship and practice being gay. This is something they also did to Brandon Flowers.

Mormons also built a 3 billion dollar mall in SLC, among other things. My Husband has even been told the more he donates to the church the gates of heaven will open more for him.
cageyb 25th-Apr-2014 02:22 am (UTC)
I love all their albums but I'm always shocked to see that they keep getting hits because I feel like they totally are one of those bands that you imagine only ever have one hit song, but after Animal, Everybody Talks was everywhere and Sleeping With A Friend is climbing on radio.
sensualcoco 25th-Apr-2014 02:22 am (UTC)
What are mormons? Like what's the gist of what they believe?
h0tfuss 25th-Apr-2014 02:30 am (UTC)
Their actual beliefs are Christian, but because at one time pretty much the whole group lived together communally, the weird counterculture practices they developed kind of stuck around in the public imagination.
vanishingbee 25th-Apr-2014 02:42 am (UTC)
watch the south park episode on it
aeroplanefire 25th-Apr-2014 02:47 am (UTC)
sensualcoco 25th-Apr-2014 02:47 am (UTC)
i'm sure that was accurate
bungalowtick 25th-Apr-2014 02:47 am (UTC)
think christianity. afaik, a major difference b/w mormonism and christianity is that mormons believe god was once human and then became god by following certain gospels and scriptures that later would become the book of mormon - written by an american by the name of joseph smith.

they're also really fucking nice.
backtoblack 25th-Apr-2014 03:00 am (UTC)
Based in Christianity with a newer set of prophets/scriptures via Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. There's some mystical elements to Mormonism too.
ohtheglorious 25th-Apr-2014 04:58 am (UTC)
Magic underwear, getting your own planet when you die, women can't show shoulders, posthumous conversion of family members to Mormonism, secret handshakes
razetora 25th-Apr-2014 02:24 am (UTC)
I'm listening to pop psychology and its p good. i like the album art too.
sunredskyblue 25th-Apr-2014 02:24 am (UTC)
I really like his voice. It's Freddie Mercury-esque
theactualworst 25th-Apr-2014 02:24 am (UTC)
kknee13 25th-Apr-2014 02:26 am (UTC)
I didn't know Brandon flowers from the killers was a Mormon til I saw a video of him on the Mormon channel under my "videos to watch" section on YouTube
bungalowtick 25th-Apr-2014 02:53 am (UTC)
i remember an interview where he was getting grilled for it when battle born came out...i think it was richard dawkins?
workbitch 25th-Apr-2014 02:32 am (UTC)
This album was errythang tbh
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