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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 16
22 year-old Gay Mormon activist dies by suicide
Section One
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22 year-old Gay Mormon activist dies by suicide

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Lincoln Parkin, 22, a well-liked and respected LGBTQ activist and Utah-based youth advocate and environmentalist was found dead on April 6.

As medical examiners investigate the case, the consensus is that Parkin's death was self-inflicted. The young man who inspired so many sadly died by suicide.

'I think he got out of balance physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially,' said Brent Parkin, Lincoln's father. '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.'

'He was always talking about not wasting food, recycling, being respectful to animals,' says Bob Hunter, president of the United Way of Northern Utah, who talked about how Parkin promoted responsibility towards the environment. '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.'

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,' that he'd stopped being an active member as he grew older.

'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. He being Gay was his chemistry, and we embraced it. Our family was behind him 100 percent,' said his father.

According to family and friends, Parkin had been battling depressing for well over a decade.

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