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Video: Affirmation LIVE Virtual Fireside with Charlie Bird and Savannah Stevenson

by Affirmation

June 1, 2020

The very first of our monthly virtual firesides! This month, we’re thrilled to have Charlie Bird as our guest speaker with musical performances by Savannah Stevenson.

Charlie Bird was Brigham Young University’s mascot, Cosmo the Cougar, from 2016 to 2018. He received national acclaim for his multiple dance performances with the BYU Cougarettes and performed on stages across the country, including the ESPN College Football Awards. NBC Sports dubbed 2017–18 the “Year of the Mascot” in honor of Cosmo’s character and performance. Charlie was born and raised in Southwest Missouri and served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Redlands, California. He graduated from BYU in 2018 with degrees in global supply chain management and Spanish studies, then moved to New York City to work in the global investment and consulting sector. Charlie is an active LBGTQ advocate and is involved with multiple nonprofit LGBTQ organizations across Utah and nationwide. His book, Without the Mask: Coming Out and Coming Into God’s Light, is set for publication by Deseret Book later this year.

Savannah Stevenson is an established West End leading lady best known for playing Glinda in Wicked. Other theatre credits include Guenevere in Camelot at the London Palladium, Sybil Evers in Chariots of Fire at the Gielgud Theatre, and the original cast of Mary Poppins. Her television and film appearances include Emmerdale (ITV), My Dinner with Hervé (HBO), Holby City (BBC) and Doctors (BBC). Savannah plays Mary, Mother of Jesus in the Bible Video series for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


This article was submitted by an Affirmation community member. The opinions expressed are wholly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Affirmation, our leadership, or our staff. Affirmation welcomes the submission of articles by community members in accordance with our mission, which includes promoting the understanding, acceptance, and self-determination of individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and our vision for Affirmation to be a refuge to land, heal, share, and be authentic.


  1. David Johnson on June 1, 2020 at 8:45 AM

    I anticipated something else and found myself cringing through the first 15 minutes so much so that I just had to drop-out. I get wanting to have an opening prayer, but it was so cookie-cutter Mormon with stale phrases. And singing I Am A Child of God?? Really? — there wasn’t a more uplifting, non-secular song that could have been chosen that would have been so much more inspiring and uplifting? It felt much too creepy for me — sad, gripping memories of my youth within the LDS confines than an uplifting fun talent show and “fireside” by Affirmation. You don’t have to replicate LDS culture to honor that we have all come from there. Not interested in attending further such events.

  2. Betsy Shepherd on June 28, 2020 at 8:10 AM

    Great fireside and beautiful music. I loved your msg. So true. You have a lot of talent. I am glad you are who you are, Charlie.

  3. Dean Snelling on July 8, 2020 at 8:19 PM

    As an excommunicated Latter-day Saint who attends Church each week, I was thrilled with the fireside. In contradiction with David Johnson above, I found it refreshing to have a fireside that could be enjoyed by those who are non-members, members, active or not active, that left me with warm spot when it was over. I would have enjoyed putting it on Facebook but alas, it did not open properly when I tried to put it there. In spite of that I still had 4 people who liked it. I was glad that there was nothing in the fireside that was confrontational to anyone, yet it had a wonderful message that should have been welcoming to all. Since Affirmation is for anyone who has an LDS background, I would think that even non-believers – those who feel at odds with the Church would not, or should not feel offended by such a beautiful fireside.

  4. Araújo on July, 31, 2023 on August 2, 2023 at 5:57 PM

    Congratulations, Charlie! As a psychologist and a father, I was deeply touched by your message and testimony. I assure that our Heavenly Father loves you just the way you are. keep being this fearless and courageous person defending what is most important in the world – the essence of the human being – Be happy!

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