22-year-old gay Mormon activist commits suicide

LGBT Nation/April 12, 2016

A well-liked and respected LGBTQ activist has committed suicide.

22-year-old Lincoln Parkin was a Utah-based youth advocate and environmentalist. He was found dead on April 6.

As medical examiners investigate the case, the consensus is that Parkin’s death was self-inflicted.

Brent Parkin, Lincoln’s father, says: “I think he got out of balance physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially. He got pretty extreme with his diet, he got to the point where he felt like God wasn’t there for him, and he isolated himself.”

Julie Van Orden, the former adviser of Weber High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance club, says Parkin was instrumental in making the club flourish.

“It’s this big vibrant group now,” she says. “And that’s in large part due to what Lincoln did while he was there.”

“He was just a very bighearted kid. I’m a better person for having known Lincoln. He wanted to change the world, and I think he did just that.”

The president of the United Way of Northern Utah talked about how he promoted responsibility towards the environment.

“He was always talking about not wasting food, recycling, being respectful to animals,” says Bob Hunter. “He was never pushy, but he was insistent enough that we paid attention to it.”

“He inspired us to be better to the Earth. He was just so kind and thoughtful. He was a very special young man.”

According to Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of OUTreach Resourche Centers of Ogden, “[He was] not shy about helping and publicly advocating for those who were lonely and isolated.

“He lived everything he cared about. He lived his convictions. This is a devastating loss. There’s a lot of us shedding a lot of tears.”

When he was younger, Parkin was actively involved with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to his father, he was “so conflicted” about his sexuality because “it was contrary to our religion and to things he thought were true for years.”

“My wife and I told him we loved him whether he was gay or straight. He’s our son, and if he’s gay, he’s our son even more. Him being gay was his chemistry, and we embraced it. Our family was behind him 100 percent.”

Parkin had been battling depressing for well over a decade.

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