Dan Reynolds of Imagine Dragons performs onstage during the 2022 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 20, 2022 in Los Angeles, California Source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Imagine Dragons Frontman Dan Reynolds Speaks about 'Harmful' Mormon Tropes,'Especially to Our Gay Youth'

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 2 MIN.

Dan Reynolds – the frontman for Imagine Dragons – is the definition of allyship. He's a straight man who rejects rationales for homophobic bigotry. He puts his principles and values into action, most strikingly in having established the LOVELOUD Foundation, which seeks to foster "the vital conversation about what it means to unconditionally love, understand, support, accept, and celebrate our LGBTQ+ friends and family."

Standing by his values meant walking away from the Mormon church – but not from family members who remain committed to the faith. Still, Reynolds didn't hold back when talking to People Magazine about the church he was once part of, and why he parted ways from it.

"There's obviously parts of the Mormon religion that I feel pretty strongly are harmful, especially to our gay youth," Reynolds noted in his remarks to the publication.

Confiding that he had been "angry" with the faith as a younger man – he said he felt "duped" – Reynolds didn't write off those he loved because they adhered to the faith, themselves.

The singer said he "saw a lot of the harm that came from it for me personally, but it also seemed to work incredibly well for my family, and they're all healthy, happy individuals."

Reynolds went on to articulate something that many queer individuals might wish anti-LGBTQ+ people could grasp: "If something works for someone, that's really wonderful and rare, and I don't want to mess with it."

Part and parcel of accepting the faith of his family members is Reynolds' choice to consciously stand out of the way of his four children and let them forge their own faith journeys.

"My greatest goal every day is to not manipulate my kids," Reynolds told People Mag. "I really don't want to try to tell them what their spiritual path should be."

"I give them my thoughts and obviously try to protect them and take care of them," the recording artist added, "while also making sure they have freedom and agency to choose whatever they want."

Imagine Dragons have a new album, "Loom," which has already garnered critical acclaim.

"We're already in rehearsals for this tour," said the 36-year-old singer, who has been known to shuck his shirt on stage to show off his buff build, "and I just know – we've done this long enough that I'm like, 'Oh, this is going to be a party, but it's also going to be cathartic.'"

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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