Turns out the student body is just as awesome as Jacob, because they gave him a screaming standing ovation.
While accepting an award for Class Actor, the high school senior said, “I’ve been acting every single day of my life. You see, I’ve been acting as someone I’ve not. Most of you see me every day, you see me acting the part of straight Jacob. When I am, in fact, an LGBT teen.”
Jacob then helpfully explains the acronym (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) for his peers, in case they didn’t know.
When Jacob concludes, “I am what I am, and that’s how I’m going to ‘act’ from now on” his classmates rise to their feet and cheer his bravery.
The video, filmed and posted to YouTube by Jacob’s proud father Jonathan Rudolph, says, “The reaction of the students is testimony to the progress we’ve made in our society to respect everyone.
“But we still have a long way to go. Jacob made his statement where he made it and when he made it to let other LGBT teens know they’re not alone, and that sometime not too far, we hope, down the road, no kid will have to act as someone they’re not to avoid being bullied, harassed, or assaulted.”
Jonathan Rudolph is right. While I do see tremendous leaps in our society’s ability to embrace diversity of all sorts, we have a long way to go indeed. A friend of my daughter’s is harassed on a daily basis at school for not fitting the traditionally masculine mold, and they’re only in sixth grade. I can only hope that by the time those kids are seniors in high school, they’re as accepting as the students in this video.
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