Mormon college student flashes rainbow flag during graduation

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Jillian Orr in her BYU rainbow graduation gown. (TikTok/Jillianoreo)

A Mormon Brigham Young University (BYU) student has made a bold rainbow statement as she graduates from the anti-LGBT+ college.

Jillian Orr, 28, majored in psychology at BYU in Utah, which belongs to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), commonly known as the Mormon Church.

The university has strict anti-LGBT+ policies enshrined in its honor code, which students can be expelled for violating. For example, requiring them to “live a chaste and virtuous life, including abstaining from sexual relations outside of marriage between a man and a woman”, and even prohibiting “homosexual love behavior” because they do not “lead to eternal marriage.” ”.

Halfway through her journey, Orr, who was raised a Mormon, realized she was bisexual. Although Orr felt uncomfortable and alone in such a hostile environment, she “realized that this was who I was and it was beautiful,” she said. Today.

However, she decided to stay because of low tuition, a well-respected psychology department, and the fact that her credits for the many Mormon religion courses required by BYU would not be transferable to another university.

Before her graduation ceremony, her little sister suggested she make a statement on stage and offered to sew a Pride flag inside her dress.

In the now viral TikTok, Orr showed off the inside of her dress to the audience as she walked across the stage.

@jillianoreo Luckily I didn’t have to rely on my sewing skills for this. #byugraduation #byu #lgbtq #lgbt🌈 #pride2022 #justice #sistersarethebest #collegegraduate #exmo #exmormon ♬ How you like that – BLACKPINK

The text of his TikTok reads: “At BYU, it is against the code of honor to be in a same-sex relationship. If it is discovered that you are dating or just holding hands, the consequences are serious.

“They are threatening to withdraw your diploma and expel you from the university. The students are afraid of who they are, so they hide in fear until they come out.

“I will not hide. I will be seen. In front of the whole school.

orr said Today that after she left the auditorium, another BYU graduate approached her to tell her that his girlfriend had seen the colorful statement on TV and was so proud.

“I had an impact on another grad who just graduated…who felt like she had to hide,” she said.

Explaining her message to fellow LGBT+ Mormons, she added, “I hope they recognize that the sooner they live their lives authentically, the sooner they can tap into true happiness. The sooner you do the scary thing, the sooner you can be free.

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