Valedictorian At Mormon University Comes Out In Moving Graduation Speech: ‘I’m Proud To Be A Gay Son Of God’

A valedictorian at Brigham Young University came out as gay during his graduation speech on Friday.

Matt Easton, a political science whiz, slam poet, practicing Mormon, and, in the words of his faculty advisor, John Holbein, “a gem of a human being,” addressed a packed assembly hall: “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,” he said.

As the audience broke forth into cheers, he continued: “Four years ago, it would have been impossible for me to imagine that I would come out to my entire college. It is a phenomenal feeling. And it is a victory for me in and of itself.”

Easton later took to Twitter to share that he had come out to his closest family and friends over the last couple years, but had not been “out” publicly prior to his speech. He praised the college for having given him the foundation to tackle challenges both spiritual and secular, as well as for supporting his faith.

Though openly LGBT students may attend BYU, its restrictive honor code forbids “homosexual behavior” and “all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.”

Acting on these feelings can, and often does, result in expulsion from BYU.