Comments

  1. Robbie says

    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!

  2. AJ says

    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.

  3. Matt26 says

    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.

  4. ratbastard says

    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.

  5. Jay says

    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.

  6. DAN says

    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.

  7. Ted says

    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.

  8. DAN says

    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.

  9. AJ says

    @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.

  10. kodiak says

    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.

  11. jleo71 says

    @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. 😉

  12. says

    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.
    😉

  13. says

    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.

  14. Gigi says

    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.

  15. DAN says

    @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.

  16. Sam says

    You folks splitting hairs over the his use of “LGBT” must be a blast at parties.

    Oh, who am I kidding….you are more likely the person everyone spots across the room and tries to avoid because they will suck the life out of a conversation.

  17. Bryan says

    I most definitely admire this kid, particularly since the most courageous thing I ever did in high school (almost 48 years ago at Provine in Jackson, Mississippi) was to exit through the center front doors, which, at that time, meant you were queer.

  18. Jeremy says

    The level of negativity on Towleroad threads never ceases to amaze me. A teenager just came out in front of his entire school (something I highly doubt any of you have done) and we’re analyzing his terminology and whether, because he’s an actor, people already knew.

    The only stereotypes being perpetuated here are of bitchy old faggots by bitchy old faggots. It’s actually depressing.

  19. AJ says

    @DAN: Oh bite me, troll. It goes without saying that he is brave to stand up in front of 300 students and do that. I still find his wording clunky and the overwhelming feeling I got watching it was from his group of peers that gave him a standing ovation. I have always found LGBT GLBT BLGTQ or whatever it is now weird and clunky-sounding. And I will continue to do so.

  20. says

    the “people probably already knew” thing makes no sense, either. you think it’s easy being a Visible Target in highschool? it isn’t. it wasn’t. being “visible” or “obvious” (via perceptions or stereo/archetypes) only means you take your lumps harder, and earlier. in many cases it toughens you up faster. in most cases it makes it very clear that you have a choice: either work harder on your “act”, or stop caring. this dude stopped caring, and his entire school will benefit.

    well met.

  21. DAN says

    “It goes without saying”. Well AJ, it goes without saying that it’s brave that somebody goes on a stage in front of a thousand of her peers and umpteen millions watching on TV to talk about being a lesbian is brave. But because she didn’t say the two words “I’m gay” the b*tchy high school girls on this site don’t think she really came out and go on like she is the worst person in the world! It also goes without saying that Jodie Foster is a lesbian.

    You are the one that goes on a website and instead of just congratulating this high school kid for doing a great thing, you poke holes in his speech because it offends your senses. Who is the troll?

  22. Hank says

    Wow. A kid comes out, and a bunch of people behind computer screens – who may or may not be out themselves – lump on him for the verbiage he used. Give me a break.

    Well done, Scott.

  23. Stefan says

    This kid is amazing. Think for a second about the bravery needed to do this, in public, and in front of peers and their parents. And think about the strong, empowering rhetoric he used. It took balls to do what he did.

    To the people who quibble about him saying gay versus LGBT: does it matter? Being “not straight” is what makes coming out brave, whether you’re L, G, B, T, or something else that isn’t sexually “straight” or gender conformist. Using the term “LGBT teen” is, to me, a way of making his coming out less about himself and more about everyone in his position. Every coming out has meaning for all of us in the community, and we need to start realizing that.

  24. AJ says

    I can assure you, @LITTLE KIWI I am out. I came out when I was 17 back in 1992. Did I do it on stage back in 92? No. I stated previously that I feel I would have been chased with torches and pitchforks if I did. It took me several years to be comfortable telling strangers.

    He’s a brave kid for doing that on stage in High School. We all know that. I think now and will ALWAYS think the words “I AM LGBT” are weird and clunky-sounding no matter the context. It’s like saying “I am ADHD.” It sounds weird and impersonal. I am not attacking him personally, just making a comment. Calm down.

    And this is the third time I am saying this: I was PERSONALLY more effected by the crowd’s response than by what he said or how he said it. We have seen LOADS of coming out videos on here, but never have I seen one on a High School stage where a kid gets a roaring standing ovation from his peers. THAT is the part that affected me. Yes HE IS BRAVE BRAVE BRAVE but it’s the overwhelming crowd response that got me to tear up.

  25. Stefan says

    Jacob also brings up something really important in that speech: the toll on LGBT youth (and many adults) of having to act different every day. At school, at work, at home–everywhere. Every time I hear idiots say that LGBT people exist in the same civil rights space as everyone else, I want to tell them that you can’t possibly pursue your life, liberty, and happiness in the same way when you live in a world that urges you to sublimate an integral part of who you are. Hopefully Jacob will be able to have a much fuller and freer life now.

  26. Sonne says

    Epic win for the coming out. Minor fail for using bogus “LGBT” instead of saying what he is, which is gay. He isn’t a transsexual or a crossdresser and at some point someone lied to him and told him that those 2 things are the same or closely related. They aren’t.

  27. AJ says

    Really LITTLE KIWI? I can assure you I am neither closeted (as stated above) or a fkng Repugnican. Because a few of us bristle at being lumped into a weird, fluid acronym that changes every few years whenever GLAAD and the rest of them feel like it? I remember back when it was GLBT, then I was cursed out by saying it wrong because someone changed it to LGBT for some reason. Now it’s LGBTQ. I’m sorry, but I will never be comfortable having a bunch of letters describe me or my community. What is the weird acronym for straight people? Latinos? African Americans?

  28. Rich says

    @Kiwi:

    Law enforcement was notified about your comment earlier this week concerning bombing Fox News. Towleroad left the comment up, so I assume that it approves of your call to violence.

  29. says

    again, gay men who embrace the inclusivity of LGBT, and stand alongside their brother and sisters, tend to be a lot more empowered and, yeah, OUT.

    nobody lied to him and told them they’re the same. he’s confident enough and compassionate enough to see that we’re all in it together. and unlike many a gay coward, he doesn’t need to *couch* his coming out as gay with some distancing from the LGBT communities.

    and remember, y’all are free to be just as confident and empowered and show your own youtube video where you put a face to what Gay is, to you. 😉

  30. says

    His dad is AWESOME! First, that he had provided his kid a home in which he felt safe, loved, and supported; second, that he proudly recorded his son’s speech and is using it to send an uplifting message to others; and lastly, that he brought in an adult gay friend when his son needed advice about coming out. How great is it that dad already had at least one gay friend in his social circle who was close enough to his family to offer the benefit of his own experience?

    Jacob is a lucky kid.

  31. Benjamin says

    @AJ:

    The big problem with LGBT is just that it is “clunky.” The problem is that it is a damnable lie.

    “LGB” is somewhat clunky to say, but it is a perfectly legitimate concept because it is describing a group of people who all share and are defined by a common characteristic, namely their same-sex orientation. “LGBT” is clunky, but far more importantly, it also fundamentally deceptive. It deliberately misrepresents 2 or more groups of people as if they were one. “T” is itself an umbrella term which encompasses people with very different characteristics (intersexed vs. transsexual vs. crossdresser), most of whom are not gay. Many Ts don’t even think T is a legitimate concept to describe them because it shoehorns so many different groups into one false one. I have no view on that, but it is very clear that adding “T” to LGB misrepresents to the world what it means to be gay. Unfortunately, this young man misinformed his whole class that he is definitionally linked to transsexuals. If they now consider him as something other than a man, it may be because they listened to how he described himself. Words matter.

  32. says

    i dunno. i, as a gay man, am pretty darn aware that in the grand scheme of things “my struggle” is farther along that that of my transgendered and transitioning brothers and sisters.

    i don’t care if it sounds clunky. it also sounds inclusive.

    why? because more of us are coming out and stepping up to be identified. it’s not just “gay” or “lesbian”.

    our brothers and sister, folks. bisexuals. transitioned/transitioning members. queer. questioning. intersex.

    while one may think the wording sounds “clunky” – it sure sounds to me like a bright young man whose empathy and compassion extend far beyond petty worries of “clunkiness”

    and there’s no need to “weird acronyms” for straight people because, unless you hadn’t heard, heterosexuality isn’t exactly under threat, under fire, or a discriminated against class or group of people.

    duh.

    i suppose it comes down to what you personally value most: being inclusive and showing solidarity, or trying “not to sound clunky”

  33. ratbastard says

    @jleo71,

    Yes, I know they are. Same with most artist, art school students, musicians, etc. I know it’s a stereotype. In fact many guys involved in entertainment, music, art, are very sensitive to it, are even homophobic themselves.

  34. Derrick from Philly says

    “What is the weird acronym for straight people? Latinos? African Americans?”

    That’s easy, AJ. They’re SLAA people…like Victor Cruz or Celia Cruz.

    “I am BLT.”

    I bet you are, David: Built, Latin, Trade. Oh, goody.

  35. ratbastard says

    You whiners bitching about posters who commented on the LGBT angle DO THE EXACT SAME THING. Pot, meet kettle.

    I never said he wasn’t brave and I sincerely congratulated him. My comment regarding LGBT doesn’t detract from it. I do think it sounds awkward from someone to call themselves LGBT…I understand the ‘advocates’ want to control language used, and their shills and true believers on here naturally jumped on the bandwagon.

    And I’m a blast at parties. I’ve been told many times in my life that I should do stand up comedy and I was gonna try it once, but I’m basically a shy person, don’t like being the center of attention.

  36. DAN says

    “I do think it sounds awkward from someone to call themselves LGBT…I understand the ‘advocates’ want to control language used, and their shills and true believers on here naturally jumped on the bandwagon.”

    OH for crying out loud the kid is all of 17!! He used awkward phrasing and you perfectionists had to make a point and create a stink about it. Get lives already.

    As for people telling you that you should do stand up comedy. I think you missed their point RATBASTARD. They were laughing at your silly ramblings and were being sarcastic about you doing stand up. Did they walk away from you real fast as soon as they said it?

  37. Margi says

    Well, I think this kid is marvelous. Good for him. Using LGBT was silly, but he is only 17 and has plenty of time to learn about made-up politically correct nonsense and to proudly identify himself as gay.

  38. ratbastard says

    @Dan

    Are,noooo…boss, I do in fact have a very good sense of humor. And yeah, I was aware before and after posting that comment the abuse that it would reap. Thanks for confirming.

  39. Derrick from Philly says

    “…and to proudly identify himself as gay.”

    Yes, and what do you say to some Transwomen who’ve called themselves “Gay” since the 1970s and still do.

    This separatism used to surprise me, now it just irks me. What about Quentin Crisp or Sylvester or Love B. Scott? Those divas were/are both Transgender and Gay (male to male type Gay). Oh, I’m so weary of this .

  40. ratbastard says

    And Dan,

    Yes, he’s a nervous kid; the constant brainwashing used by advertisers who market and sell products, politics, ideologies, what language is appropriate, what isn’t…that’s what really interests me regarding his use of LGBT instead of gay or homosexual.

  41. says

    Derrick – don’t fret too much. The anti-LGBT complainers are, let’s be real here, the same closeted cowardly homosexual man who just comes on here to complain that everyone is capable of doing something that he himself isn’t.

    there are people who are overjoyed when others Come Out.
    and there are people who are angry because it reminds them that they’re being left behind, and alone, in their own self-exile.

    he said LGBT because he’s not one of those gay male cowards who only feels safe as a gay man by distancing himself from his LGBT brothers and sisters.
    and that’s what’s irked the complainers.

    they don’t like it when a teen does what they cannot yet do as a fully-grown adult.

  42. AZEZPAT says

    Read the “News” first; noted the article on criticism of Jodie Foster’s coming out as not good enough and how that might discourage others from coming out. Let’s hope this young man never visits Towleroad and never reads the criticism of his choice of words. Let’s hope others who haven’t come out yet avoid this site as well. You people eat your own, and not in the good way.

  43. Jeff says

    This is wonderful – hopefully one day he’ll live in a world where he won’t have to face any fear of prejudice for being an openly LGBT person.

    Unfortunately, he’ll always have to face the stigma and shame of being from New Jersey.

  44. says

    I’ve said and still to this day say “I’m part of the LGBT” and I AM and I’m PROUD of that. LGBT ARE in fact tied in history, and historical experiences. Our leaders and LGBT brothers and sisters worked together hand in hand for generations. For me and many others, there’s a link there. One I refuse to ever apologize for. If that upsets you, ask yourself why seeing a galvanized LGBT community is bothersome to you. The answer may even surprise yourself. Sometimes we’re not tapped into our own ignorance.

  45. Carlos says

    Lol some of these commentators below are notorious for changing the point of the pro gay angle of the story and going in to an irrelevant tirade against some gays. They do it in a calculating attempt to rain on any and all feel-good gay related stories.

    How this INCREDIBLY positive article got turned into a PMS-fest by a few is perfect reason why SOOOO many previous visitors and contributors on this blog have moved on to other gay oriented blogs.

  46. Real Talk says

    Really? The three bitter old war horses on here are upset this brave kid said LGBT? He has more courage in one of his testicles than you’ll have in your entire creepy body…. You mad?

    Go on boy! Be the change you want to see. And say LGBT as often as you desire.

  47. says

    THIS. This is what inspires true change and creates a mental shift in society. Not introducing your same sex significant other as your “roommate” to people. Not saying “I’m proud to be straight ACTING” and not waiting for heterosexual elected officials to create positive change for our community. But actually doing the dirty work and showcasing that we exist in society; it’s that exposure and willingess to put ourselves out there that enables progress. Thanks to brave teens like this young man.

  48. Caliban says

    I just want to say how brave and admirable Jacob is and commend his father (parents) for the support they’ve given him.

    I’m not going to quibble about the words he used, but it’s moronic to say that he’s been “duped” by some nefarious league of gay activists when those gay activists are in part responsible for him being able to give that speech and that he received applause for it instead of catcalls and boos.

    When the most important thing you get out of watching that video is a gripe about a single phrase…. well, you might want to rethink your priorities. Better yet, make a similar public statement and demonstrate how it “should” be done. Then post it on YouTube, offer it up so others like you can pick at it to find fault.

  49. Jordan K. says

    So proud of this guy! So proud of the LGBT community who have endured great discrimination and prejudice, but still muster up the strength to face the world and be proud of who they inherently were born to be.
    Never be shamed in who you are and who you love.

  50. Sonne says

    @Real Talk:

    Nice ageism. Too bad you are wrong. I am 23. “LGBT” was created by a bunch of middle aged urban white men in the 90s. The term itself is as dated as you are. Young gay people laugh at that term but use it on formal occasions like this one because they feel pressure from older folk – like you – to do so. Note that Pres. Obama used “gay” yesterday in the inaugural address, not LGBT. You can be certain that his team looked very carefully at which term was rising and which term was declining in use.

  51. Sonne says

    @Derrick from Philly:

    “Yes, and what do you say to some Transwomen who’ve called themselves “Gay” since the 1970s and still do.”

    Um, if they are gay, then they are gay. What do you want us to say to them?

    Look, Derick, it isn’t that hard. Some trans people are gay. Some citizens of China are gay. Some people whose names start with the letter D are gay. That doesn’t mean that gay people are “one people” with every person who is trans, the entire population of China, or everyone whose name starts with a D.

    Yet you sit there, all “weary” and complain that because there are a few people who are members of both groups, that means that all gay people have no choice but to declare themselves “one people” with heterosexual hermaphrodites and crossdressers and anyone who disagrees is a “separatist”. You are either dumb or nuts or both.

  52. Heh says

    There’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m LGBT.” It’s the 21st-century equivalent of saying “I’m queer.”

    The label-enforcement queens annoy me. No doubt they’d have chafed at some guy in the 1970s saying “I’m gay” and responded “no, no, you’re a homophile.”

  53. DudeInTX says

    LGBT will never go away or go out of style. The same people who resent the term LGBT are *always* the same ones who resent the phrase gay community. See a pattern? They don’t like any notion of community for our people. They see the threat of a galvanized community of people coming togethe as one. You can bet your bottom dollar, the same peeps complaining about LGBT are the SAME exact ones who complain about the term “gay community”
    They want to project their self hate on all of us. And it looks like no one’s buying the bull they’re selling.

  54. Scott Johansen says

    I find it VERY telling that the same people (problem the same person actually) who resent the word LGBT also seem to harbor hate for gay activism. You do realize it’s those activists who are pushing for gay rights and gay progress, not your asses sitting on the sidelines benefitting from that change. I owe so much to those gay activists.

  55. says

    @ Scott Johansen
    The type of gays who bash gay activism and gay communities work for advocating are the same types of gays who ignorantly spew right wing talking points like:
    “I dont wear my sexuality on my sleeve”
    “Gay pride parades are disgusting!”
    “Why do gays flaunt their sexuality?”
    “I’m straight acting and only surround myself with the same”

    They hate anything idebtifiably gay and LGBT, as it’s a reminder of who they aren’t and the courage they don’t have. They want to drag us all down to their misery because they are too fearful to live an authentic life. They don’t like identifiable gay men standing up and speaking up for our rights & respect.

  56. T.J says

    I’d rather surround myself with an LGBT declaring, gay activist than a twisted, jaded, bitter fool who takes every opportunity to criticize gay people and the LGBT community because of their own self loathing. Be gone. No one wants to be around your miserable souls.

  57. Klien says

    When I read the bashing of gay activists I knew all these anti LGBT posts were coming from the same link: Ratbastard and his many variations and anonymous screenames. LOL so transparent at this point!

  58. 2 Dads says

    LGBT is an inspired community and those who mouth off on LGBT, the community, and throw around the world liberal and gay activist as though it’s an insult are nothing short of the GOProud-Log Cabin klan. These types truly hate anything to do with our community and are obsessed with heterosexuals. Follow the pattern of their posts an you’ll see it. They do zero for advancing LGBT rights, yet have the nerve to be so opinionated about the many people who do. Nothing but comic relief, these guys.

  59. Max says

    I’m confused because he didn’t specifically said “I’m gay”. Why did he have to be so oblique? Why couldn’t he simply have… oh wait, he’s a very good looking, very brave, nice young man! Unlike that coward Jodie Foster, who’s useless to us anyway.

    Just like conservative evangelical Christians admonish more liberal, accepting Christians for not being “true” Christians, we should follow in their example.

  60. Booker says

    Jacob Rudolph’s speech was amazing, so dignified, proud, and brave.

    And the video would have been even more moving without that audience of ADHD patients in need of their meds. They couldn’t ruin the moment, but they did their best.

    But what an incredible young man–who seems to have an equally great father, thank God.

  61. Amir says

    its amusing to me te word – gay activist- is thrown around like a pejorative by some. ya gotta love the types who take 40 years to come out to their closest friends. who are deeply closeted in the work place. who are too fearful to introduce their boyfriends as their boyfriends. And these clowns having nerve to jugge those in the front lines making change happen. if only we could all be as “str8 acting” as you cowards.

  62. BETTY says

    So true Max! When Matt Dallas and Victor Garber came out recently without saying the words “I’m gay” there was NO outrage from the mean girls on this site. When Jodie Foster did it they acted like she lit an orphanage on fire on Christmas eve! When the two guys did it they couldn’t welcome them to their little club fast enough! Hypocrites.

  63. DudeINTX says

    Betty/Max
    The post I made above about some of you hijacking anperfectly positive gay story to twist it and turn it into a platform to bash on fellow gays applies to you. Go do some soul searching and ask yourself why you hat the gay community so much. Because we won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. I’m damn proud to be part of this amazing community. But I assure you, harboring so much anomosity for us is just going to age you. Gays are here to stay baby.

  64. Kyle says

    Hahahaha lol I knew the closet cases would latch on to this!

    They can’t come out the closet and are floating their way through life, and clearly miserable at it, and demand all us be like them.
    Good for this proud, courageous, amazing LGBT member of mu community! You are more man than any closet case can dream to be.

  65. Greg-Cali says

    Why do I get the sneaking suspecion that the same few who criticize him for saying LGBT community would also criticize him for saying gay community? In other words, they just wante an excuse to let out steam on a fantastic young gay man? We’re on to you haters. We know your tactics loud & clear by now.

  66. Observer says

    I love how people think a majority of these posts bashing this kid aren’t coming from the same source: Ratbastard: AKA: Rick, Jason, UFFDA, AJ, etc.
    How many times do we have to go over this? The same loon has about 30 different handles on here, making the same exact bitter comments in rotate form.

  67. BamaMan says

    If you saw this clip and your initial response was to badger this amazing kid for saying LGBT, you need to go off yourself. You’re of no value to society and Debbie Downer looks like a cheerleader next to you. Get the f-ck outta here.

  68. Lazerlight says

    LOL @ him getting slamed for daring say he’s part of LGBT (which he is)
    It wouldn’t be towleroad without the vile, bitter c/nts with something to complain about. Their just angry this kid seems well adjusted and they are living in Momie’s basement telling her they’ll eventually marry a women.
    “ah promise ah willll mama! Lords gonna saveeee me!!!”

  69. Cortiz says

    Good going Jacob! You are now liberated to live the life you were meant to, as opposed to watching your life pass before your eyes. You can LIVE it. Congrats! And best wishes!

  70. Sonne says

    Aw, look. The deranged Kiwi has posted 6 different identical comments under different names. You are so confident that you are in the majority that you have to resort to such tactics. Hee! Can’t wait for the police to come and interview you about your comments about bombing Fox News, Kiwi! Don’t drop the soap.

    Not that reality impacts you at all, but no one here has attacked gay people or gay rights or anything gay at all. We are proudly and openly gay. We are neither old (well, I’m not) or bitter.

    Also, we have no problem with LGB, because that term also accurately describes reality.

    We have pointed out that LGBT is fake and contrived. It doesn’t describe reality. It tells the world that gay people are “one people” with heterosexual transsexuals, transvestites and hermaphrodites. That is false.

    Coming out is a time for truth-telling, not a time to repeat politically correct lies. I note that President Obama understands which way the wind is blowing. At the inaugural, he very pointedly talked about our gay brothers and sisters, not about “LGBT”. President Obama FTW!

  71. says

    actually, i haven’t. i understand that your crazy @ss is upset because you’re the only one making arguments for “your side”

    how about you prove us all wrong by making your OWN video?

    or keep proving us right by making more anonymous names to comment with.

  72. BETTY says

    Hey DUDE, the people “hijacking” this thread are the petty Ratbastard’s and AJ’s of this board who are quibbling over the use of the term “LGBT”. Max’s point is that these same people get their undewear in a bunch and hijack the Jodie Foster thread when she came out without saying the words “I’m gay”. If you are so peeved about hijacking, where is your outrage at Ratbastard, et al? Get over yourself.

  73. Rich F. says

    @ Kiwi et al:

    My issue with his wording is this: LGBT is perfectly fine for describing a group that includes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals. An individual, however, cannot be “all of the above;” at most, he or she can be two of the letters (specifically, L,G, OR B, AND/OR T). It’s basically the difference between saying “I am a bassoon player” and “I am a whole bloody orchestra.”

    Do I think he’s a brave kid? Absolutely. Do I think his class’s reaction to his coming out was amazing? Incredibly so… dog knows I wouldn’t have gotten a standing ovation if I had come out during a public assembly in high school.

  74. says

    i’m over the Foster issue myself, Betty, but I’d say this, if you’re gonna compare:

    this was a 17 year old coming out and refusing to hide or act any longer, and stated his firm solidarity with being a part of the LGBT community, and how important it is to be accepted. Foster was a 50 year old multi-millionaire who gave a speech about why she shouln’t have to come out as a lesbian, as she mentioned her partner back in 2007, and the only people who didn’t know where probably the same people who didn’t know about anderson cooper.

    those people who, it should be said, couldn’t put a face to the names “Victor Garber” and “Matt Dallas” if you mentioned them.

    nuance, baby.

    *end scene*

    here’s what should be taken from this:
    17 year old gay kid with a rad-awesome father comes out to his entire school and identifies as a member of the LGBT community.

    only a miserable adult closet case who refuses to come out, ever, would complain about any of that.

  75. Anthony says

    There were 2 openly gay teachers and at least 10 openly gay students in my high school (a small public school of about 200 students in Philadelphia) when I was in high school from 1977-1981. I didn’t figure myself out till the year after I graduated but because of that experience being closeted just wasn’t an option -even though it wasn’t easy or that safe to be out. I guess that’s why everyone reacting so strongly to this is a bit odd for me.

  76. Corey NY says

    Sonne,
    I would have been more willing to reason with your point had it not been for some of the phrases you throw around, which I find ‘suspect’
    “don’t drop the soap”? Really? I’m not kiwi and you can search my posts to see that for yourself, but slapping on sophmoric and homophobic gay slang and jokes to elevate your point toward a gay audience isn’t really cute or clever. The last person I heard say “don’t drop the soap” was a bully in 11 th grade in our Omaha high school who made the life of a fellow gay classmate hell, and that classmate comitted suicide during Spring break that year. Words do mean something. Carelessly inserting something like that in your speech can be enough to make some of us overlook everything else you wrote in it, as valid as it may have been.

  77. Rich F. says

    @ Kiwi: Perhaps, but Gwen Verdon was the exception that proved the rule…

    I stand by my initial comment from several hours ago (which, for some reason, you attributed to that misogynist closet-case RICK): he’s not an LGBT teen. He’s a gay teen, and a member of the LGBT community (or, if you prefer Larry Kramer’s formulation, a member of the LGBT population).

  78. says

    Gee Sone, I can’t imagine why anyone would question your motives when you:
    – Slam a teenager
    – Slam gay activists from yesteryear who worked tirelessly, and some even killed, to pave the way for progress today
    – Prison rape jokes
    – Coupled with an anti gay punchline toward anal sex

    I mean how in the heck could ANYONE assume you’re not a perfectly well adjusted gay dude?

  79. Booker says

    Well. This thread is kind of depressing–I just hope Jacob isn’t reading it. In case anyone isn’t aware of it, there are some really hateful comments about this story on other sites, it’d be nice if one of ours could be positive.

    I can’t read all the comments–or won’t–so I don’t know if anyone has pointed out that Jacob’s father said his son is still figuring out his identity, gay or bisexual. Maybe he should have said “I’m Q”?

    I call myself a “gay” man in conversation, and refer to “LGBT” as a community of which I am part; most people seem to get that without any problem.

    Anyway, Jacob Rudolph, you made me both proud and a little regretful–the latter because I never was or could have been as extraordinarily courageous as you at your age and in that kind of setting.

  80. BETTY says

    KIWI: we are all part of the community. L, G, B, T, 17, 50, famous, not so famous. Why are some welcomed with open arms, but others are vilified? Sorry, doesn’t seem right.

    Not to take anything away from this story though.

  81. Sonne says

    @Corey-

    Sorry about that crack. Kiwi brings out the worst in people. In case you didn’t know, he posted here about how great it would be if people mailed explosives to Fox News in the manner of the Unibomber of the 1990s. That is the kind of person we are dealing with, someone who advocates domestic terrorism. He deserves to be investigated by the police in Canada and if he has actually done anything along these lines, he should be prosecuted and imprisoned. I was glad to read that someone has in fact contacted the police about this. But regardless, my joke was in poor taste so I apologize for that.

    @USCTrojans:

    I did not slam this kid. I think he is awesome and I liked his coming out. I don’t blame him for using LGBT, as he is just repeating the terminology that older folks have foisted on him.

  82. says

    who’s being unwelcoming?

    and how?

    is there no merit to the stance that, perhaps, it’s not about some people being “unwelcoming”, but about some people specifically declining, for whatever reason, to Join In?

    i don’t think people are being unwelcoming to Ms. Foster, who i continue to highly admire, but that it doesn’t seem like she wants to specifically elect to join a part of…well..anything.

    and that’s fine for her.

    but i’m pretty sure you weren’t saying that i, specifically, wasn’t being “unwelcoming” to foster…right?

  83. TookMelt says

    You people are sick (those of you berating him for saying LGBT)
    Sick, sick, sick mentally disturbed freak shows that are better left going back in the closet than being even catagorized as us. This young man is more man than any of you will ever be in your lifetime.

    To the many uplifting comments about this stellar guy….you were raised right and are exactly why we’re seeing so much progress for our community.

  84. BETTY says

    Just because Jodie Foster doesn’t “join in” doesn’t make her any less gay or any less a part of the community. That doesn’t mean she should be painted as such an awful human being.

  85. Just A Dude-1977 says

    Two things:

    1.) He is poised, composed, confident and seemingly smart enough to go into politics. And we need more people like this in politics. That’s where we can make tangible change occur for our community.

    2.) Anytime you qualify your argument to me, a proud gay man, by discrediting the hard work of those gay activists who came before us, you instantly lose me as a listener and support and frankly, are no better than the most ignorant, narrow of right wing minds. That goes for the two of you saying gay activist as though it made the LGBT who fought for my rights, less of value. They were and will always be respected for the pillars of courage they are. Know that!

  86. Mark says

    I love this kid. Congrats to him. Imagine if every gay person was this unapologetic about who we are. And didn’t hide, mask, fake, or fake a straight marriage. Imagine if we all wanted to champion and forward our rights, and be compassionate and passionate about it as he so gracefully is. I wish him nothing but continued success.

  87. Mary says

    Complaining about this kid’s use of the “LGBT” initials when he came out to his whole class and got a standing ovation is surely an extreme case of nitpicking. Is America becoming so tolerant that these pro-gay responses from general audiences are now being taken for granted? I would have thought that the verdict here would be unanimous – this story is a sign that tremendous progress is being made. And that’s a GOOD thing, right?

    I mean did Anne Frank ever say “You know I’m glad our lives were spared, but gee, I mean you’d think they could find us an attic that wasn’t so cramped…..”

  88. Mary says

    I used the example of Anne Frank above because I know that Kiwi has several times made a comment that gays complaining about Democrats is like Anne Frank complaining about attics. I just wanted to give Kiwi credit for the Anne Frank/attic analogy since it came from him first!

  89. says

    There’s so many things wrong with the comments on this thread, that I don’t even know where to begin. But I will say, it’s reflective of why LGBT have had such a difficult time advancing our movement in some brackets.
    If it’s not masculine gays feeling like they are better than feminine gays, it’s bisexuals judging gays for being too out, or gays feeling superior to trans, or bashing of butch lesbians, or bashing of fem gays. Some of you in your quest to attain acceptance and equality have created a hierarchy within our own community where you place segments of our community in order of most valuable to least. Not surprising, the alpha machismo passable “Straight” gay man seems to always be at top of that list.

  90. Rich F. says

    @ Kiwi:

    Most of the time your comments are relatively cogent, but you’re being a jerk right now (frankly, the filters are keeping me from saying how I *really* think you’re acting). What the hell is your problem with me? Why the hell are you calling me a “dying troll?” Because I dared point out a grammatical error? The kid’s in high school: I’m sure he’s used to error correction.

    Please take your misplaced righteous indignation and blow it out your oh-so-perfect tuchus.

  91. Kyle says

    I love this speech and I have nothing to complain about his wording. (I mean, no one is going to mistake him for a lesbian or a transwoman.)

    The comments are filled with overreactions from all sides and with the usual suspects, histrionic about their pet topics. Anyone who thinks that you can infer a guy is gay/bi from his involvement in theater is an idiot.

    The GLBT acronym and its various expansions and permutations will eventually be replaced by “queer” and, in more formal contexts, “sexual and gender minorities”. The acronym is funnily both too exclusive and too broad; while queer is all-inclusive and its breadth varies contextually. But the acronym is standard–for now.

  92. BETTY says

    Btw DUDE: the VERY first comment on this story was from someone throwing darts at Jodie Foster. Take it up with them as they are the hijacker. For the record, I don’t HATE the gay community. I’m a proud member of the gay community. So there!

  93. andrew says

    What is mentally wrong with some of the people who post on this site that they take every opportunity, even the beautiful story of a young masn coming out at a school assembly, to fight with and hate on each other??? And isn’t it interesting that Little Kiwi posts that Sonne/Rick/Jason/Rich/UFFDA/Yupp et al are probably the same person when everyone who reads the posts on this site should know that 2Dads/Scott Johansen/Art Smith/ Greg Cali/Klein/USC Trojan Fan and a host of other names are just Little Kiwi aliases?

  94. mark says

    Respect and admiration. Jacob took charge of his life in a very big way. I totally get playing it straight in high school to avoid unwanted attention. Its a sad reality for a lot of us. You do what you have to.

  95. Laws4Riley says

    LoL! ONLY on towleroad would this story generate negativity. It’s posted on countless other blogs, where coincidentally users have to be logged in, and nothing but praise and positive reactions to him and his speech. Come on towleroad where the trolls reign supreme, and even the greatest of gay news stories is manipulated by the mentally disturbed and flipped in to a negative tirade.

  96. Banjo says

    I cannot believe how disturbing so many of these comments are.

    The poster who said “he’s not LGBT; he’s gay” that’s just so close-minded I can’t even understand the thinking behind it. What if he’s not gay? What if he said LGBT because bisexual isn’t as much of a term in the public consciousness? I’m sure he pored over this speech for quite a while and his using LGBT probably had a specific purpose. It’s probably the most accurate term he found to describe himself, or he specifically used it to be inclusive of the LGBT community as a whole. It’s easy to just dismiss it out of hand, but that’s just a very simple, angry thing to do. I find it especially disturbing that anyone would stick words in someone else’s mouth; people should suspend their judgments and give people the room to identify themselves. That’s freedom. Pigeonholing people as one thing or another can lead to invisibility and exclusion. Saying that he must be gay closes out the possibility of him being something else.

    And the people talking about self-hating people who distance themselves from the LGBT community or “don’t wear their sexuality on their sleeve,” there is not one way to act if someone is LGBT. Isn’t the whole point of LGBT activism for people to be free to behave as they want to? Some people believe that sexuality is nobody’s business but their own. Some people are private. I think it’s heinous and just as close-minded as homophobia to say that there’s only one way to live a life and every other way isn’t “authentic.” Anti-gay activists said that gay people aren’t living proper lives for the longest time and that they were making a choice. I agree that it’s quite another thing when someone criticizes LGBT activism or people who don’t “act straight,” but to say that LGBT people have some obligation to live their lives according to one idea of “authenticity” is enormously oppressive. The whole idea of LGBT activism is that people should have the right to live their lives however they choose, so long as they don’t try to impinge on other peoples’ rights to do the same and to “come out” publicly and act however they please. I agree that criticizing anything “identifiably gay” is coming from a place of mean spirit, and I agree that this boy is very brave, but vilifying people who decide to live their lives differently is just as bad as homophobia in my opinion, if not worse because it’s coming from people who should know better.

  97. JT says

    The reason I find it more moving is because he likely does “pass” well enough, is popular around school as straight, could have just said “I’ll do it after I graduate.” These types are often the last to come out in general.

    And we need role models of all types of guys and girls, so that young kids can see that there is every type of men and women who are gay. You need not be any “type” to be gay.

    This is a powerful video, and it seems that gay rights are on a real roll now. Jodie, Obama, and this kid going viral. It seems like every day now there is a story front and center. It’s wonderful to see change happening so quickly now after years and year of slow baby steps.

  98. Max says

    DUDEINTX I agree with your point 100%, which was also the point of my response- yes, this kid is brave and what he did was admirable, but the same goes for Jodie Foster- I am appalled that she got so negative a reaction on this site’s comments for doing essentially the same thing this kid did- is it because she is a woman? Because she is famous? Because everyone already knew and there is no element of surprise? I honestly don’t know but it’s alarming-

  99. Coffee&Chicory says

    Maybe saying LGBT was HIS choice. And maybe he said it because he feels a sense to connection to it. Jodie Foster is a Hollywood actress who deserves and expects criticism in whatever she does, this kid doesn’t. Let him come out how he wants to and shut the hell up and be supportive.

  100. Derrick from Philly says

    “You are either dumb or nuts or both.”

    Yes, SONNE, I’m am dumb and nuts, but I am not some snotty azz b.tch of a faggot who is a bigot.

    I see no need to ever separate myself from Transgender folks. They were the first folks I saw when I started going out in my city’s Gayborhood, and they were the bravest folks I saw, and they were the least judgmental folks I saw.

    I’ve been told not to use the term “drag queen” anymore unless it’s referring to drag performers. I’ve been told to use the term Transwomen. Well, without those Transwomen (like the ones in “Paris Is Burning”) it wouldn’t be worth being apart of this thing called “Gay”.

    I find “conformist faggots” to be quite boring and socially useless.

    Yes, SONNE, I’m dumb and nuts. And you are narrow-minded and full of arrogant sh.t.

  101. Derrick from Philly says

    “At the inaugural, he very pointedly talked about our gay brothers and sisters, not about ‘LGBt'”

    Talk about dumb. Where President Obama learned about Gay people in Indonesia (as a child), and as an activist on the streets of Chicago– Transmen and Transwomen ARE Gay. Gay is what they call themselves when they’re young; later they learn the term “Transgender”.

    His nanny in Indonesia was/is a Transwoman. She also uses the English term “Gay” to describe herself or the term for “feminine male” in her own language.

    I’ve been observing your kind since the 1970s, SONNE. We called y’all “conservatives”–not politically conservative, but we used that term to describe how you view yourselves as indistinguishable from Straight men. Sometimes the term used was “un-clockable”. In other words, people can’t tell that you’re Gay. Those of you who accept Gay diversity are great. Those of you who don’t accept Gay diversity are pretentious fags.

  102. Caliban says

    Heads up: HERE IS WHY HE USED THE TERM LGBT.

    From an article about the video:

    “Jacob Rudolph identifies as LGBT — the widely used acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. His father said that’s in part because Jacob Rudolph is still exploring his identity and hasn’t necessarily determined that he’s exclusively attracted to one sex or the other. But using that label — rather than homosexual, or bisexual — is also about solidarity, he said.”

    http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2013/01/video_lgbt_teen_comes_out_to_p.html

    Solidarity. There are some here who should look that word up. Or maybe you’ve heard the phrase “United we stand, divided we fall”? The more we splinter into divided camps, ____-separatists this or that, parse words and quibble, the less likely we are to achieve our goals.

  103. Kyle says

    @DERRICK FROM PHILLY Whoa, whoa. Your comments border on transphobia. Trans people are not by virtue of their transness “gay”. Trans sexuality is as diverse as cis sexuality. You seem to be assuming all trans people are straight. Do you know about gay trans people?! Most trans women are lesbian or bi; and many trans men are gay or bi. Moreover, plenty of straight trans people realized their gender before their sexuality, and so at no point would have mistaken themselves for gay and cis. By the way, trans women *are* women, and trans men *are* men. And, no, drag queens are not necessarily trans women.

    Queer culture in Southeast Asia should not be misinterpreted. They are pretty tolerant and have a cultural meme of “third gender” missing in the West, but their attitudes about gender and sexuality are largely backwards and heterosexist (and patriarchical).

    Reading over your posts, you seem to have an almost pathological misunderstanding of the distinction between gender and sexuality.

  104. Kyle says

    BTW, I think of the unity of gender and sexual minorities under a single umbrella–LGBTQ–like this: Sexual minorities are set apart by the gender of their *object* (in romance, sex, partnership) and gender minorities are set apart by the gender of their *subject* (i.e., themselves).

  105. GregV says

    First, I’ll say that he is a brave and admirable role model for standing up yo live his truth and make a difference for others in his high school.
    I do find the various acronyms clunky and tiresome, especially as they are increasing used as cliches which end up being more unclear.
    “LGBT” is an odd assortment of simultaneously redundant and disparate categories of people, and just sounds less “inclusive” to me by trying too hard.
    Gay women don’t need to be mentioned twice (why not add HW for homosexual women so we can include gay females three times in the acronym?) and intersexed people, for example, are not included in that particular acronym even though they quite likely suffer more discrimination than gay or bi people do.
    To say, “I’m LGBT” sounds roughly to me like if some individual like, say, Michelle Obsma, were to put an assortment like “Black people,” “Black males,” Asian-Pacific Islanders,” and “albinos” into one acronym even though she is neither male nor albino nor Asian nor Pacific Islander. Once you start making a “list,” why exclude Hawaiians or Cherokees or mastectomy survivors?

    Anyway, this guy is certainly braver than I ever was in high school, so no matter what his sexuality is (I won’t make any assumptions), he’s setting an example to live your truth.

  106. says

    a quote from this wonderful young man’s wonderful father:

    ““His exact words to me were, ‘Dad, I’m not straight,’ and my response was, ‘And?’” Jonathan Rudolph told NJ.com.
    According to his father, Jacob is still exploring his identity and and hasn’t determined that he’s exclusively attracted to one sex or the other. He prefers to describe himself as”LGBT” in a show of solidarity.”

  107. Sonne says

    @Derrick:

    LOL! Congratulations. You have just posted the single most transphobic comment on here. That is what dumb, thoughtless political correctness leads to. FYI: Drag queens and drag performers are not “transwomen” and referring to these groups as if they are the same is actually a considered a huge insult.

    The reason you may not know all the nuances of “transgender” etiquette and linguistics is because – wait for it – you are gay, not transgender. You are not, by virtue of being a gay man, part of “one people” with transsexuals or drag performers or hermaphrodites. Can you be friends and allies to these folks? Sure. Can you learn more about them and show them respect? Absolutely. But you aren’t in one singular community with them. You can insult me and label me and make wild assumptions about how I am a conservative, but none of that is relevant to the issue of whether LGBT describes reality or not. If it doesn’t, we shouldn’t use it. Truth trumps PC.

    @Caliban:
    Solidarity is great. We don’t need to alter our identity or our name in order to show solidarity with others. And I see no reason to limit solidarity to transgenders. We also want to show solidarity with a number of racial, ethnic and religious minorities, with the labor movement, the women’s movement, etc. We recently scored a huge victory in Maryland with the help of the Dream Act supporters and with the help of the NAACP. We need to be in solidarity with them. Does that mean we need to add a DA and NAACP to the acronym as well?

    There is no reason to add a T to create a fictitious community solely in order to show solidarity with Ts, while excluding everyone else. If you want to express solidarity, then the way to do so is by saying what you mean in, you know, actual words.

  108. Rick says

    What is an LGBT? Something like a BLT? Or an SUV?

    I personally am a MLM–a man who likes men–and who identifies entirely as a male.

    Maybe that should be the new classification we use to distinguish MLMs from the man-hating “gender-non-conformist” which would include most L’s, G’s, and T’s.

  109. andrew says

    It is so sad that the sickos who post on this site, Little Kiwi the chief sicko, use a beautiful story like this young man’s coming out to a school assembly to fight with and hate on each other. In order to bolster his side of the argument, Little Kiwi posts under many aliases like: Scott Johansen/Greg Cali/Klein/2Dads/Archie/ USA Trojan Fan/Art Smith to name just a few.

  110. HUH? says

    Actually Andrew if you read from the beginning it was the “LGBT” word police who started the hijacking of these comments. Kiwi is certainly annoying and needs to take it down a notch, but blaming him for everything is really ridiculous when the RICK/RATBASTARD/MARCUS/STEVE/JASON/YUPP cabal are 9 times out of 10 the usual instigators.

  111. andrew says

    @Huh?: Kiwi doesn’t need to just take it down a notch. He needs professional psychological help. Haven’t you ever read his posts where he pretends to be Rick and talks about him having sex with his parents? What do you say about his posts under a dozen aliases? He just can’t tolerate opposing points of view. He will say anything to crush people who don’t accept his point of view. He is a psychopath.

  112. mark says

    Ok why is the conversation around here so hard to follow? Maybe I’m off, but Jacob stood up and made a public declaration. Whatever you call yourself its a big deal. Very big deal. Why does the topic go so far off?

    Yeah I suppose he could done this a lot of different ways but so what? He did it very publicly and its viral. Can’t take that back so easily. That’s no act. Why would anyone have an issue with him? And if they do is Jacob really the issue?

  113. andrew says

    @Huh?: I am a lifelong liberal democrat. Kiwi offends me more than the others you have named. He is something that I didn’t know existed until I started reading Towleroad: A hateful and mean spirited leftist. So I feel duty bound to denounce Kiwi who soils the good name of liberalism. Voices like his do more harm than good. They drive reasonable centrists away from our liberal positions. I regret that you and some others on this site don’t see him for the evil influence that he is.

  114. You'veBeenTold says

    Andrew, you’re UFFDA and we all know it!
    Everyone please know UFFDA is Andrew. Both are self hating and extremely critical of gay activisist and anyone vocally in favor of gay rights.

  115. Jay says

    Andrew
    You actively vote and state you support political figures against gay marriage (Chris Christie) so please stop with the liberalism front. You’re about as liberal as a GOProud nut.

  116. Rod Roddy lookalike says

    Congratulations, Jacob! Wish I cou?ld have done what you did. When I graduated from h.s. (1975), the American Psychological Association had only 2 years before removed homosexuality from the Diagonostic Statistical Manual (“D.S.M.”). I wish you only the best. Hold your head high, young man, and- as you so aptly said – “be yourself.”

  117. Gigi says

    Why can’t we just be impressed with this young man, be moved by his strength and courage, be happy that the times are changing – IT’S ABOUT TIME! – and move on?

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