Valedictorian Matt Easton came out during his graduation speech and was cheered for, despite his school’s policies on “homosexual behavior.”
“I’m coming to terms not with who I thought I should be but who the Lord has made me be,” he stated in his speech. “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.”
Easton was speaking at Brigham Young University, which is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints more commonly known as the Mormon Church. The 24-year-old college senior was the 2019 valedictorian of the political science department at the university. He was chosen to speak at graduation in front of approximately 10,000 people, including some family members who reportedly didn’t know he was gay.
“Four years ago, it would have been impossible for me to imagine that I would come out to my entire college,” he said. “It is a phenomenal feeling. And it is a victory for me in and of itself.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has historically forbidden “homosexual behavior.” Despite this, Easton decided graduation was his time to come out. The dean’s office read and approved Easton’s speech in advance.