I'm Gay | Jacob Rudolph | New Jersey | News

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


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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  1. @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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 23, 2013 4:22:14 PM

  2. "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.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 23, 2013 4:25:21 PM

  3. 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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 23, 2013 4:29:44 PM

  4. "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?

    Posted by: DAN | Jan 23, 2013 4:46:29 PM

  5. 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.

    Posted by: Margi | Jan 23, 2013 4:59:11 PM

  6. see? the same closeted troll keeps posting the same cowardly message under new names.

    yay. keep proving everyone else right.


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 23, 2013 5:13:16 PM

  7. @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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 23, 2013 5:17:55 PM

  8. "...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 .

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 23, 2013 5:19:50 PM

  9. 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.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jan 23, 2013 5:20:30 PM

  10. Good on Jacob. Even better on Jacob's dad. And on the audience response.

    Posted by: Rich | Jan 23, 2013 5:29:54 PM

  11. 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.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 23, 2013 5:30:51 PM

  12. 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.

    Posted by: AZEZPAT | Jan 23, 2013 5:31:45 PM

  13. 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.

    Posted by: Jeff | Jan 23, 2013 5:35:04 PM

  14. Seems like there are quite a few "LGBTCHS" on this comment board!

    Posted by: kodiak | Jan 23, 2013 5:36:37 PM

  15. "And yeah, I was aware before and after posting that comment the abuse that it would reap."

    Now you are playing the victim! Insert eye roll.

    Posted by: DAN | Jan 23, 2013 6:01:30 PM

  16. 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.

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | Jan 23, 2013 6:01:54 PM

  17. 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.

    Posted by: Carlos | Jan 23, 2013 6:04:34 PM

  18. 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.

    Posted by: Real Talk | Jan 23, 2013 6:06:43 PM

  19. 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.

    Posted by: USC Trojans Fan | Jan 23, 2013 6:09:29 PM

  20. 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.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jan 23, 2013 6:39:42 PM

  21. 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.

    Posted by: Jordan K. | Jan 23, 2013 6:53:16 PM

  22. Caliban, if you can get people to themselves show what they complain about others not doing, or doing wrong, you'll become my personal hero ;-)

    well said.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 23, 2013 6:53:55 PM

  23. @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.

    Posted by: Sonne | Jan 23, 2013 7:02:00 PM

  24. the young man in the video is young and he used LGBT and he came out to his entire school. and the world.
    check. mate.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jan 23, 2013 7:14:18 PM

  25. @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.

    Posted by: Sonne | Jan 23, 2013 7:14:55 PM

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