Event organizer, 23-year-old BYU student Madison Tenney says that seeing the angels was an emotional moment for her. "When I saw the angels, to me, it was more than just angels,” she explains. “It was this way to physically embody and refute the claims that God hates gay people." It was a rare display of support for LGBTQ+ students at BYU, a conservative Christian college that has been unwelcoming to LGBTQ+ students in the past.
At a back-to-school LGBTQ+ pride event for Brigham Young University students, alumni and friends, a dozen people wearing large angel wings stood together to shield the attendees from protesters. At an off-campus gathering of BYU LGBTQ+ students, alumni and friends, dozens of protesters showed up, some openly carrying guns and others holding signs that read “God Hates Gays” and yelling “There are no gays in heaven.”
But soon, 12 “angels” arrived to shield the gathering from the protesters. Allies, alumni, and parents of queer BYU students wearing white gowns with large, three-foot wide white wings lined up, forming a wall and separating the event from the protesters.