He's 23 and was born and raised in a polygamist family just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. He's been mostly home-schooled, but for the last few years he dreams of leaving the only world he has ever known, behind. He doesn't believe in the religion, he says, but leaving means he has to say goodbye to his family. Forever. Once he leaves, he will not be allowed to make contact with them. This is not an easy decision to make. Polygamy is a plural marriage practice found in the fundamentalist sect of the Mormon religion, often referred to as FLDS, Fundamental Latter Day Saints. In this culture, monogamy is not allowed, and each husband must have a minimum of two wives. But it's not all fun and games, members of the community are often quite isolated and bound by many rules, one of which prohibits them from having contact with the outside world.
The last time he tried to leave a few months ago, plans were botched by several family members trying to get him back. "They kept texting me to come back." He told me that he and his family members are allowed to go to school, and although he does attend the local community college, having friends outside of school is not allowed, therefor it is hard for him to build a community of friends, to build the support system he would need once he does decide to, and if he decides to, leave his family.
Should he leave in the next few months, he says he has a place to stay. And, as he currently works for the family he would most definitely need to find a job. And he would also like to continue going to school. But for now he says he's just figuring all the rest out. "All the rest?" I asked, "Yea," he says, "How I am going to live my life without my family."