Cosmo first started gaining national recognition when he performed alongside the Cougarettes dance squad in a 2017 college football game against Boise State at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
BYU Mascot's Viral Dance Routine
Dancing to the popular song "Rolex" by Ayo & Teo, BYU's cougar mascot Cosmo took the field alongside the dance team and broke out some otherworldly dance moves, hitting each step in stride next to the BYU football cheerleaders.
Social media ignited with videos of the hip hop dance, making Cosmo go viral for the first time. His dance moves rocked Provo, Utah, and made him an instant hit on campus, and even landed him a dance-off with Puddles, the beloved mascot of the Oregon Ducks, at ESPN's College Football Awards.
Cosmo would follow up his halftime dance moves with some elaborate stunts during a BYU basketball game. The athletic mascot was launched into the air and performed some spectacular dunks, including one in which he was launched from the three-point line.
Additionally, he went viral again for a hilarious Star Wars-themed halftime performance during which he wielded a lightsaber.
?Since graduating, I?ve taken off both of the masks I used to wear. I miss being Cosmo... [but] my newfound comfort with coming out to those around me has freed me from... shame and embarrassment? - Charlie Bird, for @DNewsOpinion #BYU #CosmotheCougar
— Sports Media LGBT+ (@SportsMediaLGBT) February 27, 2019
The man behind the mask is actually Charlie Bird, who admitted the costume helped him feel "invincible" despite being a gay student at BYU, a largely Mormon NCAA member school with policies which targeted LGBTQ individuals.
Bird discussed how growing up as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints made him feel his sexuality was a sin, and claimed that those beliefs were reinforced at the school. He ended up coming out after his time as Cosmo came to a close, no longer feeling the need to hide his identity and sexual orientation.
"I was doing it alone and and believing, honestly believing, that I was the only person like me," Bird told Utah's KTVX. But now, "I don't feel like I have to be either religious or gay, I feel like I'm Charlie and I'm religious and I'm also gay."
Cosmo was clearly much more than a costume for Bird, and while he entertained millions of college sports fans with his picture perfect dance moves, he also inspired confidence in himself.
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