New Jersey News
Teen comes out at school ceremony
PARSIPPANY, N.J. (WABC) -- A high school senior in New Jersey chose an awards ceremony where he was named best "class actor" to tell 300 fellow students and administrators, something he had only recently told his parents.
His coming out is all the buzz at Parsippany High School.
"142,000 hits already," said Jacob Rudolph, LGBT teenager.
His video got more than 100,000 hits overnight alone.
Jacob Rudolph was accepting an award in front of 300 of his high school classmates for being the best actor in his class when he decided to finally stop acting.
"You see, I've been acting as someone I'm not. I've been acting as straight Jacob when I'm really an LGBT teen," he said in the video.
Rather than "come out" as gay, he used the term LGBT; Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered.
It's a term he feels is more inclusive.
"I knew that I was reading words, but as far as comprehending them it was surreal," Jacob Rudolph said.
As you can hear in the video, his admission and honesty was received well.
"We couldn't be more proud and more thrilled to have him exactly the way he is," said Lauren Rudolph, Jacob's mother.
Jacob's parents have known for about two years that he was gay, but found out only two hours before his speech that he was going to tell the world.
At first they thought it would be easier for Jacob if he didn't go public with his orientation.
"Just didn't want unwanted stress and aggravation and issues clouding his mind, but I guess the opportunity came that his heart said it was the right opportunity to do it," Lauren Rudolph said.
And so he did, with the support of his parents, his friends, and most everyone in his school.
"Without that support, it is extremely difficult to overcome society's pressures to fit the mold of the straight guy who loves sports and is all masculine. It just can't be like that anymore," Jacob Rudolph said.
"We've always been proud of him, but this only proves to us what great courage and humanistic qualities he has," Lauren Rudolph said.
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