Very Cavallari's Justin Anderson Says Coming Out Made It Easier for His Family to Leave Mormonism

The celebrity hairstylist said he is ultimately "thankful" for his Mormon upbringing because it instilled core values like honesty, kindness and the importance of family in him at a young age

People/December 16, 2020

By Hanna Flanagan

In a revealing new episode of the podcast, Scissoring Isn't a Thing, celebrity hairstylist and Very Cavallari star Justin Anderson shared his emotional coming out story and explained how his sexuality made his family reconsider their Mormon beliefs.

“When I fully came out of the closet to my parents and we started having real conversations, my parents just really started thinking about the church and just like what have we been doing all these years. Why have we been faking it?” Anderson, a close friend of Kristin Cavallari, told podcast hosts Daryn Carp and Liz Culley.

Soon after, Anderson’s family left Mormonism behind and started attending a nondenominational Christian church instead. The reality star was working as a hairstylist in West Hollywood at the time but said he would drive to Pasadena every Sunday to join them. “I loved it. I love having some sort of faith, you know,” Anderson shared.

But as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, the hair pro admitted he “has a difficult time with religion."

“I don’t know why religion is brought into all this stuff,” he said of the debate surrounding gay marriage. “I hate talking about politics, so I don’t want to go down that path. But I just don’t understand how we’re confusing all those things…I just have a difficult time with religion.”

Reflecting on his family’s decision to leave the Mormon church, Anderson (who came out his junior year of college) said, “I feel like in religion when one of your kids comes out and you love that kid, it’s like you got to support them, and it makes you question a lot of things about religion in general.”

"My dad’s this big burley guy but he is the sweetest teddy bear in the world. And I remember when I told him that I was gay, first I told my mom and my mom’s like, 'Oh wait ‘til you tell your dad.' And so, I told my dad and my dad gave me the biggest hug. He literally said to me, 'Justin you have always made everyone in your family, your cousins and everyone, so happy and feel accepted and everyone loves you. And if anyone doesn’t give that back to you, they’re not worth your time. You need to always be exactly who you are because you set yourself up for this.' He was so sweet about it."

Anderson said he is ultimately “thankful” for his Mormon upbringing because of the core values it instilled in him.

"You know, it’s honesty, being kind, loving your neighbors. So, I have all that stuff in me," he said. "But I feel like as you get older and you realize how the world works, I just can’t imagine being an adult and believing in that stuff [Mormon beliefs]. I’ll leave it there."

During the podcast episode, Anderson also got deep when he dropped a bombshell: his high school girlfriend got pregnant when she visited Anderson during his freshman year of college. Since they both came from Mormon households, Anderson said "there was no talk of abortion" when they found out the news.

"So we found this beautiful couple. It was an open adoption. We had our son Tyler. I was in the hospital room. I’m 18 by the way. We hand our baby over to the family. And I drive back to college by myself and life goes on," Anderson said.

For the next 19 years, Anderson remained out of contact with his biological son, until he received a direct message on Instagram. "Three years ago I am sitting on the couch and I get a direct message from my son literally saying hey," Anderson said. "I go, 'This kid's cute. Why is this kid writing for me?' I write back, 'Hey what’s up?' and he says, 'Do you know who this is?' Boom. So then the whole thing happened."

Anderson and his biological son "started talking on Instagram" and soon enough, they decided to reconnect in person. "My family, his family, we all meet up for dinner. He has the most beautiful, sweetest, kindest family. They raised him so well," Anderson said.

The hair pro and his son have kept in touch over "phone calls, texts and that kind of stuff." Anderson added, "We'll see where it ends up going."

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