by Hugo Salinas
A gay Mormon from Utah is one of the people featured in Get the Fire! Young Mormon Missionaries Abroad. The documentary follows the life of three Utah elders as they proselytize across southern Germany. The depiction of missionary life is juxtaposed with accounts by returned missionaries, most of whom have since abandoned the Church.
A brief segment of the film includes comments by Adam Bass, a gay Mormon from Utah who served in Chile for only three weeks. After confessing his homosexuality, Adam Bass was sent home by the mission president in order to “resolve” his sexual orientation and was told to begin psychiatric therapy. He is no longer a practicing Mormon.
“I was highly pressured to go on my mission [by] my local clergy and colleagues in political circles,” said Adam in an interview with the filmmaker. “At the time I received my mission call I was serving as the youngest person to hold elective office in Utah. It was highly recommended to me that the future of my political career was based in me completing a mission.”
A transcript of the interview with Adam, as well as additional information about this documentary, can be found at www.pbs.org/independentlens/getthefire/adam.html.