After spending 17 years at BYU as a producer for BYUTV and an adjunct instructor in the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, Kendall came out as a gay man and created an impressive collection of videos in which LGBT Mormons, as well as supportive family and friends, talk about their experiences which can be found at FarBetweenMovie.com.
Kendall’s “It Gets Better at Brigham Young University” video, made at the request of BYU’s Understanding Same-Gender Attraction (USGA) group, has been watched almost 450,000 times since it was posted on YouTube last April.
“Tears are dripping on my keyboard,” wrote Mormon commentator Joanna Brooks after watching the video.
“I proudly posted [your video] on my own page and will do all that I can to ensure my coworkers see it,” wrote one of the counselors at The Trevor Project. “Thank you for doing this daring work, for raw honest truth, for promoting the [Trevor] Lifeline, and for all that you do.”
Stories about Kendall’s BYU video and the coming out of BYU students who embrace their gay identity have appeared at the CNN Belief Blog, NPR, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, Advocate.com, the Associated Press, and media outlets in the U.K., France, and Taiwan.
Kendall grew up in Chico, California, and served an LDS mission in Barcelona, Spain. After earning a degree at BYU and teaching at the MTC for five years, he joined the staff of BYUTV, where he produced documentaries, talk shows, and reality-based series.
One of Kendall’s current projects is the making of a film entitled “Far Between,” in which he documents his journey to find a place between a faith that demands a life of celibacy and a culture that urges him to reject his religion.
Kendall has put together a development team that is pursuing grants, foundations, private donors and investors to help fund the making of “Far Between.” He has also created a nonprofit organization, Empathy First Initiative, to help create a habit and culture of empathy and invite all to be a part of the larger empathy dialogue happening around the world.
"We are at a positive tipping point that so many members of the LDS community have been hoping for," Kendall says. "There are so many closeted, loving and kind [straight] Mormons who are dying for their culture to shift just enough that they can come out and say they love and support their homosexual brothers and sisters.”
Stories about Kendall’s work have appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune and other media outlets. Podcast interviews have been recorded by Mormon Stories and The Cultural Hall.