by Hugo Salinas
We regret to announce the passing of Kerry Rutz, 53, who took his life in New York on February 25. Kerry grew up in an LDS family, but at age 24 he left the church.
Kerry was a talented artist and a landscape architect. His art has been featured in a number of galleries and projects, including “The World from a Gay Perspective” at Sacramento’s Michael Himovitz Gallery and “The Queer Widow Project,” which was part of the National Queer Arts Festival 2001 in San Francisco.
“He was one of the kindest, most giving, fun, engaging, inspiring, intelligent people I’ve ever met,” wrote a friend who met Kerry at an Evergreen event. “Kerry helped so many people. I’m saddened and sorry that he found himself in a place where nobody could help him.”
“As LGBT Mormons, we need to continue to talk to each other and to be supportive of each other,” says Affirmation Vice President John Gustav-Wrathall. “There are many resources for LGBT people who feel sad, alienated, or suicidal, including the Trevor Lifeline, the Kristin Brooks Hopeline, and the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Some of these resources, such as the Trevor Lifeline, are especially designed to help LGBT and questioning youth.”
“Do not cut yourself off from people who care about you,” John says. “If you feel depressed, please reach out to someone. If you have a friend who is suicidal or feels unhappy, please reach out to them.”