While receiving an award on stage, an American high school student decided to come out to around 300 of his classmates, as well as parents and teachers.
In a video posted on YouTube by his father, New Jersey high school senior Jacob Rudolph is seen accepting the class award for Best Actor on January 18.
Jacob takes the opportunity to courageously reveal that he’s not entirely the person everyone thought he was.
“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,” says the young man while standing at the podium.
“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 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,” concludes Jacob.
The speech is met with loud cheers, clapping and a standing ovation from the audience.
In the introduction to the video, Jacob’s proud father Jonathan wrote that his son’s speech “took more guts than anything I’ve ever attempted in my life.”