In a beautiful act of defiance, BYU's LGBT students lit up 'Y Mountain' in rainbow colors
via Ken Lund / Flickr

The dark mountains that overlook Provo, Utah were illuminated by a beautiful rainbow-colored "Y" on Thursday night just before 8 pm. The 380-foot-tall "Y" overlooks the campus of Brigham Young University, a private college owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), commonly known as Mormons.

The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

"One change to the Honor Code language that has raised questions was the removal of a section on 'Homosexual Behavior.' The moral standards of the Church did not change with the recent release of the General Handbook or the updated Honor Code, " the school's statement read.


"Same-sex romantic behavior cannot lead to eternal marriage and is therefore not compatible with the principles included in the Honor Code," it continued.

The clarification to the Honor Code came after a section banning "all forms of physical intimacy that give expression to homosexual feelings" was removed. LGBT students saw it as a signal that the university was softening its strict anti-LGBT policies. The removal inspired many to take photos of same-sex kisses in front of university landmarks and others to come out of the closet because they believed they were safe.

"That day felt like a betrayal for a lot of LGBTQ students," Bradley Talbot, a gay student who organized the event, said according to the Salt Lake City Tribune. "It was traumatic. So this was a day for us to reclaim that and try to turn it into something positive."



"If BYU won't show their love to us, we're going to make sure our love is visible to them," Danny Niemann, a senior and gay student at the school, said before climbing the hill to light up the "Y."

After the group of LGBT students turned off the lights and headed back down the mountain, they were met by police cars from the university, but no arrests were made. On the trailhead they were greeted by supporters who blasted "Born This Way" and "I Kissed a Girl" from their car speakers.

The university wasn't impressed by the display.

The LDS Church has a long history of being anti-LGBT. All homosexual or same-sex sexual activity is forbidden by The Church and it believes that god doesn't approve of same-sex marriage.

Therefore, all homosexual members are presented with three unhealthy lifestyle options. They can either attempt to change their sexual orientation, marry someone of the opposite sexual orientation or live a celibate lifestyle.

The lighting of the "Y" was applauded by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds, a former BYU student and member of the LDS Church. Reynolds has a long history of supporting pro-LGBT causes.

The church has softened some of its anti-LGBT positions over the last few years. In 2019, it reversed a 2015 decision that classified people in same-sex marriages as "apostates." It also allowed children from LGBT marriages to be baptized.

The LDS Church has a long history of bigotry, but LGBT members should find some solace that it has changed with the times, albeit decades too late. From the mid-1800s until 1978 it prevented most Black men from being ordained to the church's lay priesthood, barred Black men and women from participating in the ordinances of its temples, and opposed interracial marriage.

The priesthood is bestowed upon "worthy" males and allows them to perform the work of god.

In 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball, received a "revelation" that allowed Black men to be part of the priesthood.

In 2013, the Church admitted its stances were motivated by bigotry.

Maybe the church can have a similar revelation that mirrors the times and will allow LGBT people the same rights as straight Mormons.

True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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