What is BYU virgin? Pro-LGBTQ Utah club wants to make virginity cool again: 'Modest is hottest'
A Utah-based "virginity club" is making waves on social media as it looks to make abstinence cool again in its battle against "harmful messaging in modern media".
The Brigham Young Virginity Club, which is gaining popularity on social media, is "dedicated to preserving and promoting virginity on college campuses." The account has been posting since September, and while many are convinced of the club's legitimacy, others have deemed it an elaborate satire of conservative church culture.
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A recent post from the account, which goes by the handle @byuvirgin on Instagram, asks, “What does the Bible say about Hot Girl Summer?” It acknowledges that sex may seem appealing after a year and a half of social distancing and quarantine, but “the Bible warns us against the sinful nature of Hot Girl Summer," and so the club offers an alternative, “Pious Girl Summer”.
“A summer full of scriptures, sun, and self-improvement through religious purity, ” the post continues. “And remember: modest is hottest!”
According to the Daily Dot, the virginity club's name and teachings come from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, popularly known as the Mormon church. And while it may appear to be affiliated with Brigham Young University (BYU) — a private school in Provo, Utah — the club is not part of the school or "sanctioned by the university in any way," the account admin, a BYU student, told the outlet on condition of anonymity.
However, the admin insisted that the account is definitely not satire. “There’s definitely been a lot of speculation,” they told the Daily Dot. “But at a certain point, there’s only so many times we can say [the account is not satire].”
On social media, the club argues that "virgins are unfairly stigmatized in modern society.” One post addressing the "butthole loophole" highlights that “traditional definitions of Virginity are outdated and heteronormative," pointing out that many people do not have penetrative sex. In the caption, the Virginity Club writes, "Stop it with the anal sex!!!”
Going against conservative norms, the club has openly declared support for the LGBTQ community. In one post, admins instruct followers about "coming out" about their virginity with a friend or partner. “This post is not meant to compare Virginity stigma to the stigma faced by LGBTQ individuals,” the caption clarifies. “We support the LGBTQ community at BYU and around the world!”
The majority of the club's posts have to do with ending the “stigma or unfair treatment” toward virgins that have made them a marginalized group. Speaking to the Dot, the admin differentiated the stigma faced by virgins from other stigmas, such as racial stigma. “But it’s not a zero-sum game,” the admin said. “Some stigmas are going to be worse than others.”
The club's reach on Instagram is rapidly growing. The account had over 16,000 followers on July 14. At the time of writing, that number had already crossed 27,000. Meanwhile, its merchandise is completely sold out. The admin said the exponential growth has only strengthened their resolve.
“Many of [the followers are] young people coming to our account for inspiration, for uplifting messages to help them stay strong and stay true to their values,” they told the Dot. “We feel like there’s a line you can walk where you can promote chastity and destigmatization and rigidity, while simultaneously being inclusive of people of all kinds,” they added. “Even if they’ve maybe had sex in the past.”