With ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Brigham Young University has faced its share of social criticism.
The LDS-owned school is particularly known for reports of its rigid code of conduct. Some have denounced its designation of LGBT individuals as “apostates” — a policy BYU recently ended.
Matt Easton, this year’s valedictorian, brought the issue to the forefront in his recent commencement address. The political science student used the ceremony to come out as gay.
He started by revealing a few other personal struggles including an injury and illness in his family.
“It was in these quiet moments of pain and confusion that I felt another triumph — that of coming to terms, not with who I thought I should be but who the Lord has made me,” he said. “As such, I stand before my family, friends and graduating class today to say that I am proud to be a gay son of God.”
Thank you everyone for your love and support today ❤️ I feel so so lucky to have had a chance to share some of my story with so many people. If you didn’t get the chance, you can check out some clips of my speech below 🙂 pic.twitter.com/qW3hh6bYC8
— Matty Easton (@easton_matty) April 27, 2019
Easton received applause after his announcement and widespread support online after his remarks spread.