Queer Voices

Jacob Rudolph, LGBT New Jersey Teen, Comes Out During School Award Ceremony

A New Jersey teen took to his school's highest platform earlier this month, announcing he was LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender) to his entire graduating class as well as parents and teachers while accepting an award.

Towleroad reports that Jacob Rudolph, a high school senior in Parsippany, N.J., delivered the brave speech after being named Class Actor.

"Sure, I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, I've been acting every single day of my life," Rudolph tells the crowd. "You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not...you see me acting the part of straight Jacob, when I am in fact LGBT."

He concludes, "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."

Judging from the rousing cheers Rudolph receives after his declaration, we're assuming his classmates took it well. His father Jonathan, who uploaded the original video, describes his son's decision to come out as "taking more guts than anything I've ever attempted in my life."

CLARIFICATION: The original version of this article has been amended, as Rudolph identifies himself as LGBT rather than specifically gay in the speech.

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