Matthew Easton

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Matthew Easton is a teaching and research assistant with a background in political science. He got a lot of press coverage for coming out during his graduation speech. [1]

Education

Easton was a valedictorian at Brigham Young University where he graduated with a Bachelor's in political science. He majored in international, comparative, and American politics and minored in professional writing and rhetoric. While at school he managed Pi Sigma Alpha, was involved with Sigma Iota Rho, Political Affairs Society, Women in Politics, the Informed Club and he was a CSED Research Fellow.


In 2013 Easton traveled to Sydney, Australia on a volunteer mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spent half his time in the Korean community, learning Korean and teaching about his beliefs. Easton was also president of the BYU Political Affairs Society, a role that had him organizing events and coordinating with the national society. He was student lead for decorations at 2018's BYU Hunger Banquet.


His aptitude earned him accolades at school. He was the recipient of the Mary Lou Fulton Grant, the Marilyn Roberts and Family Grant, and was a Garth Jones Outstanding Scholar. [1]

Career

In 2016 Easton spent a few months as an audio visual support technician at the BYU Office of Information Technology, performing routine maintenance and helping professors with technical problems. His next gig was at the Romney for Utah campaign where he worked for a few months as lead intern, coordinating campaign and canvassing efforts in Mitt Romney's 2018 run for Utah senate.


Afterwards, Easton snagged an internship at the United States Department of State. As an official intern Easton represented the U.S. to the Human Rights Council, Syria-Ceasefire Taskforce, and Conference on Disarmament. He also emphasized research on Non-governmental organization and IO efforts in the realm of human rights and wrote and edited summaries and reports for the State Department in Washington, D.C..


He's also worked at Brigham Young University since 2016 in various teaching and research assistant roles and is the primary editor of the Sigma Student Journal. [1]

Media

Matthew Easton has received a lot of public attention and support for coming out at his graduation speech at Brigham Young University. He's been covered by publications like The Washington Post and the New York Post. Coming out at the historically Mormon college is significant because, up until 2019 same-sex marriage had been considered a serious transgression and could result in excommunication from the church. Not only that, but the school itself has an "honor code" that states: [2] [3]

Homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates the Honor Code. Homosexual behavior includes not only sexual relations between members of the same sex, but all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings.

Easton was inspired by South Bend, Indiana, mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who has often spoke openly about the relationship between his homosexuality and his Christian faith. [2]


Some standout quotes from Easton's speech include:

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. 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.

And:

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

Youtube Video
Matthew Easton's speech
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