"Pride Flag in Front of Trees" by Pndbnt / CC BY-SA 4.0

Young Life says it’s for “every kid, everywhere.” Ex-participants in LGBTQ community say that’s never been true.

Jul 21, 2020

By Sam Tabachnik

In the summer of 2017, Joshua Truitt was summoned for a chat over a presentation he was set to make to his campers at the Crooked Creek Ranch camp in Fraser.

The camp was run by Young Life — an international Christian ministry based in Colorado Springs — and had a tradition called cardboard testimonies, in which leaders present to their teen mentees something they struggled with before God entered their lives.

Truitt wanted to do his about being gay, a message that might let younger queer participants know they weren’t alone.

Three staffers waited for him at a red picnic table, the Rocky Mountains towering before them. The conversation quickly turned from small talk to a more serious tone about Truitt’s testimony topic — and his future in the organization.

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