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BYU graduate talks about how his Valedictorian speech, in which he came out as gay, has gone viral

Posted at 10:26 PM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 00:26:42-04

PROVO, Utah -- "I stand before my family, friends, and graduating class today to say I`m proud to be a gay son of god cheers"

In just a few days,  Matt Easton's commencement speech has received attention from around the country.

"I`m not broken," Easton said. "I`m loved and important in the plan of our great creator. Each of us are."

Easton was the political science valedictorian at Brigham Young University last Friday.

He told Fox 13 he was partly motivated by a speech from presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, who recently spoke publicly about being both Christian and a gay man.

"I just felt so inspired and I thought, 'you know, I could really take this, or use this opportunity to share my story and hopefully inspire other people,'" Easton said.

Buttigieg and his husband are just two of the people showing support for Easton on social media.

While while much of the reaction to Easton's speech has focused on his "coming out," he said he wanted to highlight challenges everyone faces at BYU.

"I really tried to focus on taking the opportunity to celebrate a lot of people and groups on campus who don't always have their voices heard."

Easton said his words were approved by his college's dean.

"I was actually quite surprised when they emailed me back and said, 'you know this is great, it's right in line with what we want you to say, so go for it,'" Easton said.