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NJ High School Senior Comes Out as Gay to His Entire Class, Gets Standing Ovation: VIDEO

Rudolph

Our reader Scott Hester-Johnson sent us this clip of Jacob Rudolph, a high school senior in Parsippany, New Jersey, who came out to his entire class at their awards ceremony (Class Clown, Most Likely to Succeed, etc.) on January 18.

Says Jacob in the clip, as he accepted the award for Best Actor (my transcript):

"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."

Writes Scott: "As I am a gay friend of his dad's, he sought out my advice before taking the plunge, but the decision was all his. The best part of the video is when he gets a standing ovation after he comes out. This is an amazingly courageous kid and I hope he gets the props he deserves."

Watch the amazing, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Hey, Jodie Foster, take a look at that young man. Jacob is someone who has courage and carries no shame. That was a brave speech with a clear message. Bravo!

    Posted by: Robbie | Jan 23, 2013 2:04:15 PM


  2. Very inspiring and the schools response was a testament to how this next generation supports LGBT rights and sees us as equal.

    Posted by: RONTEX | Jan 23, 2013 2:05:10 PM


  3. Inspiring. And how awesome of his dad to be so supportive.

    Posted by: Asher | Jan 23, 2013 2:08:53 PM


  4. The school's response got me. But his wording was awkward: "I am LGBT." Huh? This is about progress, tho. I think I would have had to start running from the torches and pitchforks if I did that back in 1993.

    Posted by: AJ | Jan 23, 2013 2:10:06 PM


  5. Wow! Brave guy, at his age I couldn't have done it. Absolutely not. Standing ovations, very nice. All the best to this young man, may he find love and happiness.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jan 23, 2013 2:11:08 PM


  6. Excellent! Just a quibble, though: you're gay, not "LGBT."

    Posted by: Rich F. | Jan 23, 2013 2:13:30 PM


  7. Wow. I can only imagine how this would have felt back in 1984! Congrats to this kid!

    Posted by: AriesMatt | Jan 23, 2013 2:14:22 PM


  8. @AJ @Rich F, he actually said "I am an LGBT teen" which is correct. A little awkward sounding, but I think he was just trying to be inclusive.

    Posted by: Gregus | Jan 23, 2013 2:19:32 PM


  9. LGBT..I see some 'LGBT' enforcer got to him and offered advice on the 'appropriate' language to use. It's like a black person calling themselves a 'person of color'. Yes, it's awkward and contrived.

    And I congratulate Jacob, but if he was in a 'few musicals and plays' I'm sure many guessed he was gay.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 23, 2013 2:20:45 PM


  10. Actually, Rich...do you really know he is gay...or are you assuming. There is a possibility he is bisexual. And either way, there is the possibility he is transgender.

    Not trying to be argumentative but...no need to quibble about how someone identifies himself publicly...

    unless they identify as straight, get elected to office, hypocritically advocate for actions against any L...G...B...T...or any other individual they can possibly identify with...and then...get caught trading meth for a blow job or toe tapping in an airport head.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 23, 2013 2:23:21 PM


  11. RICH and AJ: cut him some slack, he was nervous. His point may have been he is part of the LGBT community. There are always a couple of people who have to make an issue with something. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of your high school peers and come out. Did you two? Hope you two feel better making your point.

    Posted by: DAN | Jan 23, 2013 2:23:28 PM


  12. WHat a wonderful day it is when a high school student can do this! I happen to be in Parsippany today, and I got chills reading the article. Thanks once again Andy for providing so much positive material.

    Posted by: Ted | Jan 23, 2013 2:25:32 PM


  13. I look forward to the day we see Ratbastard's coming out video....oh wait. Well, maybe we will see the video of him admitting to being a obnoxious idiot blowhard.

    Posted by: DAN | Jan 23, 2013 2:26:57 PM


  14. Wow, I couldn't have even imagined doing this in my senior year of high school. 1957.

    Posted by: jleo71 | Jan 23, 2013 2:29:19 PM


  15. It was hard to feel really good for him when half the room was talking during the whole speech...It appears that most of them heard him, but this definitely did not make me miss high school assembly nonsense.

    Posted by: Michael Graye | Jan 23, 2013 2:31:41 PM


  16. kudos young vanguard!!!

    this is so beautiful my heart can barely stand it.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 23, 2013 2:32:19 PM


  17. @DAN: Calm down. I admitted he is brave and I could never have done that. I stand by my right to believe his wording was awkward-sounding. That doesn't make him any less brave.

    Posted by: AJ | Jan 23, 2013 2:32:27 PM


  18. The "LGBT" comment was inclusive. It didn't bother me. He's part of something bigger than himself. There's no 'right' way to come out.
    The act of doing it is courageous, whether it's telling your closest
    friend or the nation.

    Posted by: kodiak | Jan 23, 2013 2:33:08 PM


  19. @ratbastard: You think that furthering that stereotype is acceptable? Having done lots of theater,and yes, even musicals, I can assure you that most of the men are straight. Unfortunately. ;-)

    Posted by: jleo71 | Jan 23, 2013 2:33:09 PM


  20. It's a shame to see how rude and cynical some of the previous commenters have been. Have a heart.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jan 23, 2013 2:34:06 PM


  21. Great, but typical high school response that sounded like half of the kids weren't even paying attention.

    Posted by: Jim | Jan 23, 2013 2:38:29 PM


  22. i like that he said LGBT, personally. it shows pride and solidarity. because, whether some gay folks like it or not, we're all in this together. and it's worth noting that those who embrace LGBT as an inclusively broad label tend to be a heck of a lot more empowered and confident in themselves than the...well...y'all know what i'm talking about.
    ;-)

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 23, 2013 2:40:21 PM


  23. Yes, congratulations....it was exceptionally courageous.

    If I had done that, I would have been burned at the stake.

    And I do and want to continue to believe that the young generation will sweep aside the hatred and viciousness of the Bachmans, the Family Research Council and all the animated closet cases who are so virulent in their bigotry.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jan 23, 2013 2:40:54 PM


  24. What a brave guy. This really made my day!

    Reading the bitchy comments from some of the bitches here made me wanna scream but, hey, some bitches just can't help themselves.

    Posted by: Gigi | Jan 23, 2013 2:43:00 PM


  25. @AJ says: "I admitted he is brave."

    You did?

    "The school's response got me. But his wording was awkward: "I am LGBT." Huh? This is about progress, tho. I think I would have had to start running from the torches and pitchforks if I did that back in 1993."

    Doesn't sound like you said he was brave. You could have just said that and been done with it. But no, you had to make an LGBT point. If it makes you feel better to rain on his parade.

    Posted by: DAN | Jan 23, 2013 2:51:18 PM


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