Recently, a high school student named Jacob Rudolph accepted the award for “Class Actor” during a senior awards ceremony, and used it as an inspiring platform to reveal his sexuality. In front of over 300 students, parents, and faculty, Jacob came out as LGBT. According to Jacob’s father Jonathan, who posted a video of the speech on YouTube, he received a standing ovation once his declaration was made, and his speech was over.
Jacob began his speech by saying, “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.” Jacob continued by proclaiming, “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.”
Jacob then spoke about the growing issue of bullied teens, and said “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.”
Check out the full video — in which Jacob receives thunderous applause — below.
This comes off the heels of President Barack Obama‘s inauguration speech on Monday, in which he clearly stated the importance of LGBT rights. During his second inauguration speech, the President said, “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
What do you think of Jacob’s speech? Let us know in the comments.