After accepting his award for "Class Actor," a high school senior from Parsippany, New Jersey, bravely pulls back the curtain in front of over 300 students, parents, and faculty members, and reveals that he is gay.
"Sure I've been in a few plays and musicals, but more importantly, I've been acting every single day of my life," Jacob Rudolph said in his acceptance speech. "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. 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 Jacob's inspirational act was captured by his proud dad, Jonathan Rudolph, and forwarded to several LGBT websites by family friend Scott Hester-Johnson.
"As I am a gay friend of his dad's, he sought out my advice before taking the plunge, but the decision was all his," Hester-Johnson told Towleroad. "The best part of the video is when he gets a standing ovation after he comes out. This is an amazingly courageous kid and I hope he gets the props he deserves."
[video via Towleroad]