Thursday, January 24, 2013


The Lookout

High school senior comes out as LGBT while accepting award

Coming out as LGBT is rarely easy, which makes Jacob Rudolph's story all the more impressive. When the high school student in Parsippany, N.J., came out, he did so in front of the entire school. His classmates responded with a standing ovation.
During the presentation of senior class awards, Rudolph was given the Class Actor award, an irony not lost on him. "Sure I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, I've been acting every single day of my life," Rudolph said. "You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not."
Rudolph continued:
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.
Footage of Rodolph's speech and its positive reception was uploaded to the Web by his father, who noted on the video that it "took more guts to do than anything I've ever attempted in my life."
Rudolph spoke with about his speech and the aftermath. "The more leaders who pop up in the LGBT community, the more it inspires others. It just becomes a whole domino effect," he said.
"It felt like this immense weight was gone," he added. "I'd been carrying it around with me for years. It affected me academically, emotionally, socially. It's like my life is now before and after. I think that explanation is what made this whole process make sense."
The reactions have been across-the-board positive, including on Twitter. Anthony G. Watson tweeted, "‏#Jacob #Rudolph Gay New Jersey Teen, Comes Out During School Award Ceremony! We are all very proud of you!"
Ben Rudolph wrote, "I don't think I'm related to Jacob Rudolph (not this one, anyway)...but I'm still proud of him."
And another supporter wrote, "Things That Make Me Smile: Teenager Jacob Rudolph comes out to his parents, teachers, and his whole class..."


Gary Kelly said...

Not sure I really understand this coming out business, and making a big deal of it. To me, Jacob's speech was not so much about being gay, but having lied about it.

He says, "I am what I am, and that's how I am going to act from now on." I've never had to say that because I've always acted as myself. It was never a case of sexuality for me, but simply a case of being me - period - whatever that might mean to others.

In other words, I never had to come out because there was nothing to come out from. It's always been a case of what you see is what you get, and sexuality had little or nothing to do with it.

Does that make sense to anyone else? Can anyone else identify with my experience?

jimm said...

But Gary, weren't you suppressed and thrown in jail for being gay? Most of this 'coming out' is about overcoming fears, i think.

Anyhow, this current era is shaping up as the gay rights/recognition decade. And now the Boy Scouts are somewhat changing, too. It's more than a start...

JustinO'Shea said...

Ditto. . .with Jimm. . . ;-)

Gary Kelly said...

Suppressed and thrown in jail not for BEING gay, Jimm, but for gay sex.

So now I'm wondering if 'coming out' means I'm gonna make whoopee. Hehe.

Yes, I read about the Boys Scouts rethink. 'Be Prepared' will take on a whole new meaning.