Image credit: Matty Easton’s Twitter (@easton_matty)
Brigham Young University — which has a less-than-stellar record with LGBTQ students — now has an out gay valedictorian.
Matty Easton, a political science major, came out during his valedictory speech at the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences. In front of friends, family, and fellow students, Easton talked about the journey he went through before coming to this point.
“As I’m sure many of you have felt, I recall countless times here at BY where I have battled and fought in prayer with my maker,” he said. “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 went on to say, “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. I am not broken. I am loved and important in the plan of our great creator. Each of us are.”
Watch the video below:
On his Twitter account, Easton thanked Brigham Young University for allowing him the opportunity to do this on stage.
I am grateful to @byu_fhss for allowing me to share my authentic and vulnerable self to so many in our college.— Matty Easton (@easton_matty) April 27, 2019
All that said, Brigham Young University has often been hostile towards its LGBTQ students. The university’s strict honor code once prohibited LGBTQ students from stating their sexual orientation, a rule that was only changed in 2007. A section of the honor code that banned “the advocacy of homosexual behavior” was only removed in 2010. The Salt Lake Tribune also reported in 2016 that rather than side with LGBTQ assault survivors, the honor code often chose the side of those who sexually assaulted LGBTQ people instead.
To any of our Adam4Adam blog readers do you feel this is the start of bigger change at Brigham Young University? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.