A 12-year-old girl who bravely stood before her Mormon Church community to deliver a speech about her sexuality, was stopped and asked to sit down mid-way after she told the crowd she was gay.
Savannah, who said she identifies as a lesbian, told the audience that she believed God intended to make her that way.
Before she was interrupted the young girl shared a powerful personal story about her sexuality.
“God loves me just this way, because I believe that he loves all his creations,” she said.
“I do believe he made me this way on purpose… no part of me is a mistake.
“I do not choose to be this way and it is not a fad.
“I cannot make someone else gay and being around me won’t make anyone else this way.
During her speech Savannah said she felt she was not a “horrible sinner for being who I am”.
“I believe God would tell me if I was wrong,” she told the audience.
She said she hoped to find a partner and have a family one day.
“I know I can have all of these things as a lesbian and be happy,” she said.
After this the young girl was pulled aside mid-sentence and asked “can you sit down?” in an attempt to silence her.
Savannah’s mother Heather told Huffington Post that her daughter came out in June 2016 and that she fully supported her.
She said she responded by telling her daughter that she loved her and assured her she was perfect the way she was.
She said Savannah had asked to share her story in front of the church in an attempt to let other closeted members know they weren’t alone.
Heather said she was in “awe” of her “brave and courageous” daughter.
“I would have been terrified to get up and say something so close to my heart for fear of what people think. I’m proud of her, even now, she doesn’t want any of this to be about her, she wants it to be about protecting other LGBT kids. She wants her story told so that this doesn’t happen to other kids,” Heather told HuffPost.
She hoped the church was receptive to her daughter’s message.
“I want the Mormon Church to know that gay people are beautiful, they are just as good and whole as everyone else, and they deserve life long love,” she said.