Now here’s a little sunshine on a rainy day (at least where I am situated). A high school student named Jacob Rudolph, a high school senior in Parsippany, New Jersey was delivering his acceptance speech for “Class Actor” when he decided to come out publically as gay to the 300+ students that were gathered there. Here’s what he said:
“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.”
Okay, my eyes welled up when he said that last part and they did again when I typed it out. Such a brave kid and clearly an indication that progress is being made. The standing ovation he received at the end of his speech is a great example of that. I was the valedictorian of my high school graduating class and certainly didn’t have it on my mind nor was I at all prepared for such a brave speech at that time. That was a little over ten years ago. If I was graduating today, I might consider it, given that so many have paved the way over the last ten years. Obviously, I can’t say for sure. I have never really thought about that until watching this. What is for sure is that this kid is awesome. Watch the touching and inspiring video below.