Gay Mormon Republican Nathan Ivie (NBC News)

Mormon and Republican lawmaker Nathan Ivie has said he finally feels “free” after coming out as gay in an emotional video last month.

The 40-year-old Utah county commissioner went viral last month when he posted a video online in which he spoke of his struggle in coming to terms with his sexuality.

Speaking to NBC News a month after he posted the video online, Ivie said coming out was conflicting, as he was surrounded by everything he loved. He said he saw his sexuality as “a dark secret that battles inside of you” and said he feared that—if people found out he was gay—he would lose everything.

Gay Republican lawmaker Nathan Ivie said he had to ‘keep going’

He also spoke about his attempted suicide at the age of 22 and said that—when the gun “didn’t work”—he took it as a sign.

“Your life is spared because you have a purpose, you have some reason to keep going.”

Ivie later married a woman called Stephanie and had two children and tried to bury his sexual orientation. However, one day, when he saw two men walking on a path holding hands, his perspective started to change.

“That was probably the first time in my life that I fundamentally looked at myself different and said, ‘You know, maybe I’m not broken.’”

Ivie also said that he believes coming out as gay will not affect his chances of being re-elected by his Republican and Mormon supporters. He said that the community will judge him by the job he does rather than by his sexual orientation.

He came out to his wife earlier this year, and they have since separated

He came out to his wife, Stephanie, earlier this year, and said he knew it would be OK as they loved each other.

Speaking to NBC News, Stephanie said: “I made a decision that—no matter what happened—I was not going to allow hate to become a part of our relationship or our family.”

“That was probably the first time in my life that I fundamentally looked at myself different and said, ‘You know, maybe I’m not broken.’”

– Nathan Ivie

In the viral video uploaded to Facebook last month, Ivie said that he would “continue to serve my county as Utah County commissioner with all of my heart.

“I know there are haters in every area of our lives, but we cannot let that be what defines us as a community.

“It’s OK to be different, it’s OK to live authentically. You can be gay and a Republican… You need to trust that people will love you for who you really are.”

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Check out the original story here: Pink News.

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