Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox identified himself as "a balding, youngish, middle-aged, straight, white, male Republican politician."
He admitted being mean to gay kids growing up in a small rural town.
But, he says, "my heart has changed."
Cox delivered a heartfelt address at the vigil held in Salt Lake City on Monday to remember the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., having been invited by state Sen. Jim Dabakis, a leader in the state's gay community.
Cox's nine-minute speech is now getting nationwide attention for his willingness to embrace the gay community and his challenge for more straight people to do the same.
He said there are two questions everyone should answer:
"How did you feel when you heard that 49 people had been gunned down by a self-proclaimed terrorist? That's the easy question. Here's the hard one: Did that feeling change when you found out the shooting was at a gay bar at 2 a.m. in the morning? If that feeling changed, then we're doing something wrong."
The lieutenant governor called for less demagoguery and more unity.
"Today we need fewer Republicans and fewer Democrats," he said, "and more Americans."