Charlie Bird’s life changed forever in February 2019 after his guest opinion piece was published in the Deseret News.

Bird was the man behind the mask of the BYU mascot when a video of Cosmo dancing with the Cougarettes went viral in 2017. In the guest opinion piece, Bird “simultaneously came out to the world as gay and revealed his identity as BYU’s beloved mascot from 2015–18,” according to a recent article from LDS Living,

“I definitely was freaking out,” said Bird, who was in Egypt at the time. “I guess the best word I can use to describe it is ‘surreal.’ It was so funny that ... my life was blowing up — like, the biggest thing that’s ever happened to me — and I was on the opposite side of the world in a completely different situation where I couldn’t dig into that. It was just so surreal.”

Bird has written a new book, titled “Without the Mask: Coming Out and Coming Into God’s Light,” which was released by Deseret Book Monday.

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