LGBT high school senior comes out during class awards ceremony - watch
At the ceremony for the senior class awards, Jacob Rudolph received the award for Class Actor. During his acceptance speech, he made an announcement. Rudolph says:
Sure I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, I've been acting every single day of my life. You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not. Most of you see me every day. You see me acting the part of 'straight' Jacob, when I am in fact LGBT.
Unlike millions of other LGBT teens who have had to act every day to avoid verbal harassment and physical violence, I'm not going to do it anymore. It's time to end the hate in our society and accept the people for who they are regardless of their sex, race, orientation, or whatever else may be holding back love and friendship. So take me leave me or move me out of the way. Because I am what I am, and that's how I'm going to act from now on.
As you can see in the video, Rudolph receives a standing ovation. But it wasn't just his classmates who were supportive. Rudolph's father Jonathan posted the video on YouTube and Rudolph tells NJ.com that his father helped him with his speech, after Jacob came out to him a couple months ago. Jacob says that he's "blessed to have some of the best parents [he] could ask for."
His dad says on the video that Jacob's coming out "took more guts to do than anything [he's] ever attempted in [his] life."
"It felt like this immense weight was gone. I'd been carrying it around with me for years. It affected me academically, emotionally, socially," adds Jacob. "The more leaders who pop up in the LGBT community, the more it inspires others. It just becomes a whole domino effect."