Former BYU mascot (2015-2018) Charlie Bird recently came out as gay in an op-ed released by the Deseret News. The first-person narrative was written by Bird on Feb. 26 and described the struggles and triumphs he faced while attending BYU.
The news went viral, rallying support across the nation as Bird opened up to the public. The topic was covered by a plethora of news organizations and other online outlets including Fox 13 and ABC News 4.
Classmates and other fellow community members shared their support for Bird and his announcement on Twitter.
Charlie Bird was in my Spanish class last year and I don’t think he knows he played a key role in helping me get involved with the LGBTQ community at BYU. What a great guy. https://t.co/jnDfW116cO
— Stephen Gubler (@steps_goobs) February 26, 2019
An insightful essay by Charlie Bird, who played BYU's mascot Cosmo for a few years recently. Let's love our neighbor whether their masks are on or off.https://t.co/EBa5Z3u4R4
— Adam Brown (@poliARB) February 26, 2019
After the article was published, Bird returned to Deseret News to share his opinion on the article’s impact on gay students and community members or anyone who feels they do not belong.
Fans of Bird continue to comment on Twitter, showing their support in response to his op-ed.
Former Cosmo reports being supported by BYU before and after the recent article in this interview:https://t.co/03V05l42Xn
— Mars #ThisIsFine (@eldermars) March 3, 2019
An op-ed by BYU's Cosmo mascot took the internet by storm. Here is more from Charlie Bird.https://t.co/2iBz6mBZbN
— Doug Wilks (@DWilksnews) March 3, 2019
Other news outlets such as HuffPost and BYU-Idaho Scroll commented on the impact Bird’s story has had on the community.
Bird said he has seen barriers broken and less “black and white thinking” as he has shared his story.
People on Twitter have shown their support for Bird beyond his coming out and have praised him for being a great talent and asset to the BYU community. A video of him as Cosmo the Cougar went viral with over 4.5 million views on YouTube.
Thank you Charlie Bird. Every story told improves my understanding, awareness and sensitivity.
You are a great person. And a phenomenal athlete and talent. https://t.co/SiD8sMhjYp
— Levi B (@Popelocks) February 26, 2019
Can your mascot do this… https://t.co/R0oMiWtBf5
— Patrice Brazil (@pbrazil99) February 28, 2019
Bird said he now finds himself standing as a beacon of sorts for other members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who find themselves struggling with their sexual orientation.
Apart from this, Bird also said his story could be helpful to any group of people who find themselves demeaned in any way.