JUSTIN YODER

June 2, 2017

“I can tell you it is harder to try to please your family than it is just to be you and free even though it may cause bigger problems with your family.”

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INSTAGRAM: @justinyoderstudios

1. Where are you from and where do you live now?

I am from Garden City, MO and currently live in Dallas, TX.

2. Tell me a little bit about what you spend most of your days doing.

I am a full time wedding photographer and videographer so most of my days are filled up with meetings, editing, promoting, etc, but when I do get free days I love the outdoors…kayaking, fishing, camping trips, you name it! I also am very active with my church and the missions department there.

3. Give us a little insight into your backstory/upbringing…

I was raised Mennonite, not Amish, although my dad was raised Amish! I did love going to church, but after my first missions trip to Guatemala when I was 16 I realized there was more to God than I was getting at my church. I started seeking out other churches and my parents were ok with that as long as I was in church on Sunday morning. In 2005, I moved to Dallas to attend Christ for the Nations Institute and got married, to a girl…it didn’t last. I also started a non-profit in 2001 helping kids in Africa with AIDS/HIV, however, when my board found out I was gay in 2009 I had it taken away from me and it shut down.

In 2010, I started dating a guy, which I said I would never do. Amazingly, he is the only guy I have ever dated and we are actually getting married later this month!

4. What is your religious background?

Christianity/Protestant

5. On a scale of 1 – 5 how supportive was your family when you came out.

1

6. Do you have a message to kids out there who come out and might not have the support of their families/friends?
I can tell you it is harder to try to please your family than it is just to be you and free even though it may cause bigger problems with your family.

7. Why do you feel that the simple message of the Promote Love Movement is important?
Because one of the greatest pains in life is being a prisoner to yourself, your family or your friends. You can’t truly live until you are free to be you!

8. What kind of person do you want to be remembered as when you die?

One who truly lived.

9. How do you feel like growing up in church played a part in shaping who you are?

I never turned from God even though my church taught gay people would burn in hell. My relationship with God was solid, but I of course went through the “why are you letting this happen to me” phase. It taught be a lot about my faith and God, but it also taught me what I didn’t want to be like. My faith has changed a lot over the years, which could be a book by itself, but my faith is more about Jesus now…how Jesus lived His life, how Jesus treated other and trying to reflect His live.

10. Do you still attend church/religious gatherings?

YES

#gay #LGBT #LGBTQ #Mennonite #promote love #Religion #RELIGIOUS #SEXUALITY #Texas

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