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In Graduation Speech, Gay High School Senior Thanks His Class for Accepting Him: VIDEO

Ted Chalfen

When speaking at Fairview High School graduation ceremony on Sunday in Boulder, CO, speaker Ted Chalfen immediately cut to the chase.

“I’m going to skip all of the clichés I want to rattle off right now, and get right to the point…I’m gay. Many, if not most, of the students here today know this, and most of them don’t really care. That is exactly the reason why I decided I had to give this speech.”

Chalfen then went on to detail the apprehension he felt when he first decided to come out to his peers and teachers, and chronicles the outpouring of support he received as a result. He also congratulates his fellow students and their parents on their open-mindedness, and details precisely how their attitudes will build a better future.

“This generation is never going to accomplish the things I know it to be capable of unless we stop thinking of each other in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’…Like it or not, we’re all in this together.”

You can see Chalfen’s heartwarming speech AFTER THE JUMP...

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    Posted by: Gigi | May 21, 2013 6:58:12 PM

  2. So awesome! There's been a lot of negative stories these past several days but it's watching videos like this that highlight how far we have come. So happy for Ted he found an accepting atmosphere and that most of the students at this high school were affirming.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | May 21, 2013 7:25:57 PM

  3. Why was he speaking? Usually its the valedictorian or something like that. I'm just curious how he got to the podium.

    Posted by: Alan | May 21, 2013 7:40:34 PM

  4. Ahhh that's the Boulder I know and love

    Posted by: Mikey | May 21, 2013 7:41:25 PM

  5. I guess it's okay. He seems to be preaching. His praise for his fellow classmates (and himself) sounds overly noble and virtuous. I wish he'd talked more personally without the ostentatious air of importance. I couldn't warm up to this one. Sound is bad, too.

    Posted by: will | May 21, 2013 8:10:47 PM

  6. Wow! I graduated from this High School almost thirty years. Things were a lot different back then, of course I didn't come out until the early nineties. Kudos to this Ted Chaflen and Fairview High School.

    Posted by: Patrick | May 21, 2013 8:15:46 PM

  7. Boy, I wish I thought like this. I can't look at something without going down to the most basic level. And the reality is anti-gay bigotry exists and is pervasive. Doesn't mean you can't succeed or make friends. Just because you brush off all the small things that are apart of the larger hostility toward gay people or never faced anti-gay bigotry explicitly doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Anyway, I wish him luck.

    Posted by: Billy Crytical | May 21, 2013 8:48:29 PM

  8. I applaud this guy's courage for coming out and I am really happy to hear he has had a positive experience in doing so. However, I just don't think this was the appropriate speech for this situation. Firstly, I am not quite sure why he was selected to give the speech unless he was the valedictorian of his class? Secondly, if he was selected to be a commencement speaker for whatever reason, then I think he should have stuck to a message about the future and his wishes for everyone. I don't mean to sound like I am complaining about him....I just don't see the reason for the speech. Nonetheless, I am glad he was able to come out and had a positive experience with it. And I wish him and all his classmates all the best!

    Posted by: Brian | May 21, 2013 8:55:16 PM

  9. This kid has courage. Most graduation speeches are generic and forgettable. I have no doubt that everyone in that auditorium will remember his speech.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | May 21, 2013 9:07:37 PM

  10. Young people are very forgiving. Older people not so much

    Posted by: Ben | May 21, 2013 9:18:07 PM

  11. Loved this! LOVE HIM!

    So proud of him.

    Posted by: LipstickDiva | May 21, 2013 9:31:54 PM

  12. Brian, AKA Ratbastard, AKA Rick. Go play in traffic troll. You give yourself away too easily.

    Posted by: Michelle | May 21, 2013 9:32:22 PM

  13. This brought tears to my eyes. So very powerful!

    Posted by: Jones | May 21, 2013 9:32:44 PM

  14. THIS right here is what helps change minds, and open hearts. Amazing young man.

    Posted by: A.J | May 21, 2013 9:33:06 PM

  15. I would be so proud if this was my young boy. Heck, I'm proud to call the same community as him home. Our LGBT youth are such courageous strong souls, surviving, educating, fighting and loving every day of their lives. And for many of them, it isn't easy at all, yet they do it.

    Posted by: Texas Stan | May 21, 2013 9:34:07 PM

  16. Word really can't describe how much of a positive impact that speech had and how much it touched my heart.

    Posted by: NYC Billy | May 21, 2013 9:34:36 PM

  17. There's so many things moving about this on so many levels.

    In a country where gay couples are being stalked and shot to death, this was very needed and it's this exact same unapologetic spirit to be who we are and thank those for accepting us, while acknowledging we wont be closeted any longer that is what leads to change.

    Posted by: LongWinds505 | May 21, 2013 9:36:33 PM

  18. These our the future leaders of LGBT, and I welcome them with open arms.

    Congrats to you and your heart & soul!

    Posted by: Scott Johansen | May 21, 2013 9:37:09 PM

  19. Yes! Yes! Yes!

    You go boy. Loved everything about this. I needed some good news after a string of awful LGBT related stories of hurt and pain.

    Posted by: Two Dads | May 21, 2013 9:38:42 PM

  20. In my high school, it was not a given that the valedictorian would speak at graduation. (Frankly, it's a silly tradition. Being book-smart doesn't mean you are a good speaker. Nor does it mean you have something important to say.)

    Instead, any graduating student could submit a speech. A group of seniors (which always included the valedictorian and salutatorian) chose the winner. The principal would review the speech; but, that was only a formality. (My aunt still works at my high school, so I know that no speeches have been nixed by administration in the past 18 years.)

    No clue how this school selects their speakers. It's entirely possible, however, that Mr. Chalfen was selected by his peers to speak at their graduation.

    Posted by: alex | May 21, 2013 11:29:26 PM

  21. Gov. Hickenlooper better watch his back. This kid has SUCCESS written all over him.

    Posted by: Chris | May 22, 2013 2:41:34 AM

  22. http://shar.es/JnC5Z THERE ARE http://shar.es/ZG9AQ STiLL 2MANY http://shar.es/dvs0X SUPER DUMBASS http://shar.es/Zh17o SUPER S0RRYASS http://shar.es/lm3aA SUPER C0WARDLY http://shar.es/ZpO0E UNW0RTHYASS REPUBLiCANS http://shar.es/ZW9T0 STiLL HANGiN' http://shar.es/Jm9pj AR0UND THE http://shar.es/Zb4xk U.S. H0USE http://shar.es/ZXbZc & SENATE http://shar.es/ZazTy STiLL LiCKiN' http://shar.es/Z1567 & STiLL KiSSiN' http://shar.es/JnA0t DEEP ALL UP iN LaPiERRE'S http://shar.es/6DS70 SUPER NUTTY ASS 24/7/365 0N THE AMERiCANS TAX PAYERS D0LLARS http://shar.es/ZClBu AMERiCA JUST WHY ARE Y0U LETTiNG ALL THESE SiCK WACK0 REPUBLiCAN BASTARDS GET AWAY WiTH THAT http://shar.es/4IYsz WHY? BECAUSE MiTCH "THE SUPER EViL http://shar.es/dvs0X SAB0TAGiNGASS SNiTCH" McC0NNELL WANTS 2CLEAN H0USE AT THE iRS BECAUSE G0TT DAMNN-iT, McC0NNELL SAYS i ABS0LUTELY D0 N0T WANT 0R NEED ANY0NE SN00PiNG iNT0 H0W i G0TT DAMNN NEAR 30 http://shar.es/d7KYH MiLLi0N D0LLARS iN 0NLY 6 YEARS PAST THE iRS & iNT0 MY HUMUNGUS BANK ACC0UNT - G0TT DAMNN WRiTE http://shar.es/hmBpM KEEP 0N iNVESTiGATiNG FEDS, DEEPER http://shar.es/jvA6m MUCH, MUCH http://shar.es/jIXab DEEPER - F00LS - McC0NNELL HAS 30 MiLLi0N G0TT DAMNN REAS0NS iN HiS BANK ACC0UNT 2WANT 2CLEAN 0UT THE iRS AGENCY http://shar.es/68ttV SEE H0W iT W0RKS... iT'S TiME ALL 0F TH0SE FRAUDULENCE, CR00KED TAX W0RMS EMERGED 0UT 0F THAT HUMUNGUS CAN 0F TAX W0RMS & ALL 0F THE TAX SC0FFLAWS & ALL 0F THE TAX DODGERS WiTH THEiR HiDDEN BiLLi0NS & BiLLi0NS CAN CUM 0UT NOW ALS0 http://shar.es/Z5cq3 "REPUBLiCAN DUMBASSES http://shar.es/YxZPy FELL F0R iT" http://shar.es/dPvHM MiTT iT L00KS LiKE Y0U ARE G0iNG 2BE SUCKED iNT0 THiS HUMUNGUS CAN 0F TAX W0RMS SHYT ALS0 http://shar.es/l3XdW K0CH BR0THERS, YEAH BABY - G0TT DAMNN WRiTE - GET READY 2BE SUCKED iNT0 THiS CRAP ALS0 - THE WACK0 REPUBLiCANS HAS 0PENED THE iRS D00R SUPER WiDE http://shar.es/Z4A8k THE REPUBLiCANS SUPER SELFiSH GREED iS DEFiNiTELY KiCKiN' iN BiGG-TiME RiTE N0W http://shar.es/40Ecg G0TT DAMNN WRiTE http://shar.es/lOu0k EVERYTHANG iS G0iNG JUST AS PLANNED, THESE WACK0 REPUBLiCANS WiLL M0ST DEFiNiTELY ANNiHiLATE THEMSELVES 4THE LEAST MiNiSCULE AM0UNT 0F PETTY GREED, THAT iS SUCH A SADD & SHAMEFUL STATE 0F AFFAiRS, BUT TRUE - W0W! http://shar.es/JEogy http://shar.es/JK4cW http://shar.es/JzWFb http://shar.es/Jypbn http://shar.es/JAKH5 http://shar.es/JdUxr http://shar.es/JeVnY http://shar.es/Jj1sV THEY D0 ABS0LUTELY N0THiNG http://shar.es/Za6Tg DELUSi0NAL ANGRY SELFiSH LYiNG STiNGY CR00KED GREEDY C0RRUPT EViL HATEFUL RACiST C0MMUNiST WACK0 EXTREMiST REPUBLiCANS & THEY ALL HAVE C0MMiTTED P0LiTiCAL SUiCiDE4 2o14 http://shar.es/51ATE THE UNRE-ELECTABLE SUPER LAZY C0RRUPT DUMBASS http://shar.es/jIXab WHiNiNGASS KNUCKLE DRAGGER SUPER C0WARDASS J0HN B0EHNER http://shar.es/h2wn9 http://shar.es/JLZOV http://shar.es/dPvHM http://shar.es/hflW2 http://shar.es/hnRfy http://shar.es/hfzVW & THE UNM0TiVATED UNRE-ELECTABLE WELL KN0WN SUPER S0RRYASS L0W D0WN DASTARDLY, EViL SiNiSTER WEASEL ERiC CANT0R http://t.co/u4iwEyVd & THE 0LD DECREPiT SUPER DUMBASS iT'S DEFiNiTELY TiME 2RETiRE EViL SAB0TAGiNGASS B0UGHT BiTCHASS http://shar.es/ZWF6Z MiTCH http://shar.es/Jm9pj McC0NNELL http://shar.es/Z08l1 "iNHERiT THE WiND" http://shar.es/ZahMh Y0U ARE G0iNG 2B0W D0WN-BELiEVE-Y0UR RACiST REPUBLiCAN 0BSTRUCTi0NiSM http://shar.es/ldCdZ http://shar.es/llKq4 http://shar.es/lYlwu http://shar.es/l4ogv http://shar.es/lWYE7 & D0 N0THiNG DAYS ARE NUMBERED-iT iS ENGRAVED iN ST0NE-DAMN RiTE-OBAMA A MAN 0F ALL THE PE0PLE iN 2o16 & BEY0ND... F0RWARD! http://shar.es/JARgM http://shar.es/JkaV0 http://shar.es/JAKjW http://shar.es/JAKH5 http://shar.es/JZcxz http://shar.es/JlIsp G0TT DAMNN WRiTE http://shar.es/jWLM1 *****

    Posted by: MRSjimvinbur | May 22, 2013 8:30:50 AM

  23. MRSjimvinbur: I don't care how worthy your comments are, typing all in caps, cramming 20 comments worth of stuff in one post and 10 billion links to other websites is just silly and ineffective. Please stop. It makes you look like a lunatic.

    Posted by: Liam | May 22, 2013 9:45:14 AM

  24. Wow, wow, wow, I was overwhelmed by this guy's direct uncompromising talk, his intelligence, his maturity, and his mannerism. He will have a great future ahead of him.

    Posted by: David Jarrett | May 22, 2013 10:29:49 AM

  25. Pure win! Great kid. And please note, that this is a gay kid who is proud to tell his classmates that he is gay, not a letter in an alphabet soup.

    Posted by: Cristan | May 22, 2013 1:19:00 PM

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