You might know him as Cosmo, ESPN’s #1 Mascot, a podcast host, author, mentor and advocate. Charlie Bird’s most famous moments came while wearing a Cosmo mask in viral videos with the Cougarettes. But Chapter 2 of Charlie’s life is summed up in his recent book title: “Without the Mask: Coming out and Coming into God’s Light.” He became one of the first authors to publish a book with Deseret Book that presents a faith-filled approach to same-sex attraction. Charlie is passionate about changing cultural norms and bringing “taboo” subjects into the open. His podcast, “Questions from the Closet,” inspires LGBTQ+ and their allies to feel loved and understood — especially within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Charlie is all about building bridges and sharing insights as an openly gay LDS public figure.
Rickety Ride “It is very difficult to have people disparage, demean, or try to give me advice on how to change my sexual-orientation. This is part of my identity and literally shapes who I am and how I view the world. It has been difficult to overcome the internal shame I grew up with. I’m trying to unlearn all of my unhealthy coping mechanisms. I’ve found community in overcoming shame.”
Merry-Go-Round Moment “Dancing at the ‘Love Loud’ concert was one of the first times I danced without the Cosmo mask on. A full-circle moment for me was our collective group prayer right before we went on to perform. I loved celebrating the fact that the best you is the most authentic you.”
Top of the Ferris Wheel “Seeing my book on the shelf.”
Grand Prize “Back flips. No joke.”
On Stilts “My little brother. He is always happy for other people’s successes. He surrounds himself with incredible people and is so wholly excited when good things happen to other people.”
Firework Finish “In the next five years, I’d like to see myself on the cover of Utah Valley Magazine. Yeah, you can print that.” (Laughing)