Austin Wallis, a 17-year-old YouTuber, has posted an emotional video online telling the story of how he was essentially kicked out of his private high school for being openly gay.
Austin, joined on camera by his boyfriend Nicolay, recounts being pulled into the principal's office after the administration found out he was gay. The school also notified Austin's parents and called his mother into the meeting.
"He basically told me…I had to go back in the closet, which means I had to delete all my social media including YouTube. I had to erase my digital impact on the world. And he said I would have to do that to stay at the school and I could never be involved in another video or do anything for that matter…"
After two days, Austin decided to leave the school rather than stay in an environment that wasn't welcoming.
"I don't want people to think that I left just because of the social media. It was because I can't stay somewhere where I feel like I'm being forced into something that I'm not, or I feel like I'm not wanted by my own principal…I'm not a bad student. I really want to try and change this. I think it's ridiculous that in this day and age you can be excluded from your own school for being gay. When I came out I knew I was going to have bullies and I knew people were not going to be okay with it. But i never expected it to be from the peole who were supposed to protect you from the bullies. Who were supposed to try to stop that. And then they themselves are the bullies."
Austin says that the principal told him his YouTube channel was having a "bad impact" on the school. Austin, however, has made the decision not to reveal the school's name because he says there are faculty members who support him and doesn't want the video to reflect badly on them. He adds that he hopes the video can raise awareness for situations like his and will be a call to action for change.
The message I'm trying to do this for and I'm trying to tell y'all is because I think its ridiculous that people are allowed to exclude children and teens for what they are…I want to make a change and I've always wanted to with this YouTube channel. I want to change the world for the better. I want to change the world in a way where this can't happen – where a student can't feel excluded by his own faculty and we be basically forced to leave "by choice"…If you feel like this is outrageous and awful and if you feel like this isn't what you want our country to be considered please help in my fight to make a difference. I want you to share this everywhere. Let people know. I hope that my story will help make a difference in someone else's life. And maybe I can change things so this won't ever happen again.
We've reached out to Austin and will update the post with any response we receive.
Hear Austin's story, AFTER THE JUMP…