A student has come out in the most public way possible at his Christian university. Reid Arthur attends Oregon’s George Fox University. He and his friends took part in a university lip-sync competition over the weekend.
The friends chose to do a mash-up of Taylor Swift’s songs “You Need To Calm Down” and “…Ready For It”.
Swift’s video for “You Need To Calm Down” was a celebration of her LGBTQ fans and a call for equality. Swift has been a longterm ally of the community and has donated over $100,000 to the Tennessee Equality Project, as well as encouraging her fans to sign petitions demanding equal rights.
The lip-sync routine included a particularly eye-catching segment. Arthur takes center stage and his friends grab the sleeves of his sequined jacket. They pull on them to reveal a white top with rainbow ribbons hanging from the sleeves – to the delight of the audience who give a huge cheer.
Re-tweeting a video of the moment, one of those involved, Allie Schluchter (@AllieSchluchter) said: “Tonight I helped one of my favorite people come out, and the love and joy that surrounded this moment is going to stick with me for the rest of my life. I’m so proud of you @reidoburrito95.”
The entire performance has been uploaded to YouTube. Watch below.
The video has prompted appreciative comments from all around the world.
“Reid. You are so brave and I love all of the ways that this represents you and who you are and what you love. Performing and Taylor and friendship and support and love. This is such a special way to show ALL parts of who you are with the world,” commented Kacy Hughson.
“This is AMAZING!,” said Kelley Marchant. “Reid Arthur, you are an AMAZING young man and I’m so glad you had the strength, bravery, and support to do this!”
Not only did the routine receive a big cheer from the crowd, but Reid and his friends went on to win the lip-sync competition. According to one person on Twitter, Arthur is to donate $500 prize to GLAAD and the Trevor Project.
This man just came out to our entire private christian university at a lip sync battle to @taylorswift13 You Need To Calm Down, won 500$ and is donating all of it to @glaad & @TrevorProject #ThisIsProgress #LGBTQrights #LoveWins pic.twitter.com/veoAghMbGK
— k???? (@honeyh0neyy) November 17, 2019
The routine caught the attention of the campaigning organization GLAAD, who re-shared the video with the message: “This is EVERYTHING. Thank you, @reidoburrito95! Legendary performance.”
— GLAAD (@glaad) November 18, 2019
Others said the performance and the reaction it got from the audience should not be ignored by the University’s authorities – who publicly support the idea that marriage only exists between man and woman.
Queerty has reached out to Arthur for comment.