In a vulnerable social media post, former Studio C member Stacey Harkey told his followers he is gay and shared an important plea to help struggling LGBTQ youth.
“I debated for quite some time if this was an announcement I should make publicly or if I should just quietly live my life and let it be,” Harkey wrote, noting the high likelihood of criticism, backlash, and pain. However, he wanted to let LGBTQ youth know they are not alone, especially in the Utah community Harkey lives in where suicide rates are high.
“I’m coming out because I have a unique position in this community and no matter how much criticism comes my way it will be worth it if just one person avoids suicide or just feels better about themself.”
Harkey invited anyone to contact him if they were struggling. “If you need/want to talk Please text me/call me/message me. No matter if you’re gay or straight come talk to me if you have any questions and it’ll stay between us.”
“A little while back I found myself at an ultimate low, praying and begging God for answers, pleading for direction and guidance. In that moment I felt so much peace and love. I instantly felt like this part of myself that I’ve grown to demonize is an integral part of who I am. This part of myself that I’ve spent my whole life fighting isn’t my enemy. This part of myself that I’ve shoved into a dark dungeon deserves light. It was the sweetest feeling and it taught me that God expects me to be who he made me to be and expects me to develop myself and magnify who I am.”
Responses to the post were overwhelmingly positive and members of the Studio C family were no exception.
“I just love you so much! So proud to be your friend!” wrote Natalie Madsen. Mallory Everton shared the post, writing, “So proud of my friend for joyfully being himself and using his voice in such a beautiful, positive way! LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU, STACE!”
“I love you so, Stace. You’re opening an important dialogue for a lot of people. But most importantly, you’re just an awesome person and I’m grateful we’re friends. Love you, Stace,” said Whitney Call Meek.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes same-sex attraction is a “complex reality and part of the human experience.” The gospel topic essay on the subject states, “People who experience same-sex attraction or identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual can make and keep covenants with God and fully and worthily participate in the Church. Identifying as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or experiencing same-sex attraction is not a sin and does not prohibit one from participating in the Church, holding callings, or attending the temple.”
Harkey has long been a favorite for his worn on Studio C, a family-friendly sketch comedy show on BYUtv. This past summer, the original castmates formed JK! Studios, a new comedy network, JK! Studios.