A speaker at Brigham Young University’s (BYU) commencement ceremony on Friday came out as gay midway through the speech, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Political science valedictorian Matt Easton, laying out his personal achievements and experiences leading up to the graduation, said that he is "proud to be a gay son of God."
While coming to terms with his identity, Easton said, he frequently found himself conflicted and in prayer, comparing his experience to that of Enos, a prophet who appears in the Book of Mormon.
"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," Easton 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."
Coming out, Easton said to applause, was "a phenomenal feeling, and it is a victory for me in and of itself."
In a series of follow-up tweets, Easton said he had gradually come out to some family members and trusted friends during his time at the university but had not come out publicly before the commencement speech.
During my time at BYU, I have slowly come out to my closest family members and friends. However, this is the first time I have publicly declared it. I felt it was important to share both for myself and for the LGBTQ+ community at BYU.— Matty Easton (@easton_matty) April 27, 2019
The speech came the same month that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the university, reversed its policy deeming married gay couples "apostates" and barring their children from baptism in most cases.