Scholar Class – 2012
Cary Crall was born into a devout Mormon family in Temecula, CA. His activism for the LGBTQ community began at age three when he announced to his playgroup “I don’t want to be a boy, I want to be a girl so I can wear nail polish.” He then painted his nails bright red. Cary values his religious tradition for teaching him to serve others as a way to find happiness. However, as he became more confident in his sexual identity, Cary often felt the strain of a religious organization that failed to validate some of the most important aspects of his humanity. The Mormon Church’s involvement in California’s Proposition 8 served as a turning point for Cary as he transitioned to become an advocate for LGBTQ rights within his religious community and then nationally.
While a student at Brigham Young University, Cary risked being kicked out of school by submitting an opinion piece to the school’s newspaper challenging the Mormon Church’s support of Proposition 8. The letter drew national media attention after it was censored and removed from the newspaper’s archives. For his efforts in writing and then defending his letter, Cary was named one of the “Forty Under 40” by The Advocate magazine. Cary has continued his efforts in LGBTQ activism by fighting for non‐discrimination ordinances in his conservative Utah community and helping to make BYU more safe and supportive to its LGBTQ students. He is currently co‐president of Harvard Medical School’s LGBT student group, where he has initiated curriculum reform focused on improving health care disparities affecting LGBTQ people and other disadvantaged groups.