What a beautiful moment, what a beautiful story, and what a beautiful video.
Austin Swink was raised in the Mormon faith. In fact, at the age of 19, he went on his first mission as a member of the church. But before going off to complete that mission, Swink wanted to reveal a lifelong truth to his father. As reported by USA Today, Austin Swink decided to come out as gay to his dad. Plus, he also decided to record the moment on video.
“I was about to leave on my mission for my church, and I got this feeling that I just needed to get it off my chest before I left, because it was weighing on me for so long, not saying anything,” Austin Swink shared while sitting next to his father.
He then added, “I think we’ve always been pretty close. We go on walks almost every single day and have conversations about our day and about life.”
In the coming out video, we see an upwards shot of a ceiling. We then hear a sigh from Austin before he nervously utters the words, “I’m gay.”
Thankfully, Austin’s father Vaughn was accepting the entire time. His immediate response was to ask Austin if he felt worthy of going on his mission. He then made sure Austin knew that he was loved unconditionally.
“I don’t care. I don’t care,” Vaughn Swink insisted. “Austin, listen. Look at me. I don’t care. You’re ok. Are you a child of God? Ok. That’s fine.”
While talking to USA Today’s “Humankind,” a subsection dedicated to sharing good news, Vaughn said, “It just makes sense for someone to be happy and not have to hide and not say anything about how they’re really feeling. Almost like they have to lie to themselves and to others for the rest of their lives? That’s not right. For him to come out is to be happy.”
We’re thankful that Austin Swink came out to his father. Not only did Austin gain the attention of USA Today with his initial posting of the video, but it was spread to over a million people. Swink shared the beautiful moment with the world, and he created representation for more teens/kids like him.
As he explained, “I got a lot of comments on my video and direct messages from kids that were anywhere from the sixth grade to in their 30s. They expressed to me that they felt like they could never come out to their parents who either were from a Mormon or just in a Christian household. They would express to me that they got hope from my video.”
Nowadays, Austin Swink is a recent dental hygiene school graduate and boyfriend to a man named Jason. Meanwhile, he and his father Vaughn are still incredibly close.
Source: USA Today,