Meet Jacob Rudolph, The Teen Whose Coming-Out Speech Has Become A Viral Sensation

coming-out-ovationNew Jersey’s Jacob Rudolph only came out to his parents a few months ago, yet word has spread like wildfire thanks to a video posted online by his father.

“His exact words to me were, ‘Dad, I’m not straight,’ and my response was, ‘And?’” Jonathan Rudolph told

According to his father, Jacob is still exploring his identity and and hasn’t determined that he’s exclusively attracted to one sex or the other. He prefers to describe himself as”LGBT” in a show of solidarity.

“The more leaders who pop up in the LGBT community, the more it inspires others,” Jacob said. “It just becomes a whole domino effect.”

Jacob’s father helped him edit his big speech before delivering it last Friday, while his good friend Scott Hester-Johnson — whom Jacob calls his “gay consigliere” — helped him to find the courage to make it. Still, Jacob had his reservations.

Only a few close friends knew he was LGBT and he was afraid of losing those who didn’t. To help him with this decision, Jacob made a list of pros and cons, which he later showed to his teacher, Jennifer Frantz.

“She pointed out that everything on the cons side was hypothetical. Almost everything on the pros side — the relief, the acceptance of most of my peers — was going to happen,” Jacob said.

His speech before hundreds of students, faculty and staff ultimately elicited a standing ovation and the video of his coming-out has attracted thousands of views.

The Parsippany High School senior said he’s fortunate to be in an environment so supportive of LGBT youth and “blessed  to have some of the best parents I could ask for.”

But he recognizes that the fight for equality is far from over and that it is important for LGBT individuals to not only speak of themselves with pride, but to also act as leaders.

“I think most people will vote for gay marriage, if they themselves are LGBT, or if they know someone who is,” he said. “So we should be vocal about who we are.”

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  • Scott Rose

    Time for the Garden State to override the gay-bashing veto from the Catholic Church’s henchman Governor Kripsie Creme.

  • BJ McFrisky

    Sadly, when this tie-wearing high-schooler acknowledges his conservative beliefs, he’s going to be smacked in the face with the true nature of the “tolerant” gay community. Hope he’s prepared.

  • Little-Kiwi

    @BJ McFrisky:

    He’s not going to have to do any of that, McFrisky, because unlike you he doesn’t have a piece-of-s**t right-wing bigot of a father that he needs to suck up to.


  • Charles175

    @BJ McFrisky: There is a profound difference between a conservative versus a Religious Right driven conservative. True, most are Religious Right driven, but the migration away from this (albeit slow) is actually starting to happen. The LGBT communities need to understand these things so that more progress can be made. Remember in New York, it was a couple of conservatives that broke rank with the Religious Right that helped get marriage equality there. NOM got pissed and had at least one voted out that I know of.

  • BJ McFrisky

    @Charles175: I completely agree with you. Me, I’m technically a Libertarian, but I steer far clear of the religious Right. Dangerous people.
    @Little-Kiwi: You know nothing of my father nor Jacob’s, so your statement proves only how vacuous you truly are. Here’s a suggestion: Stop pretending to be the Omnipotent Queen.

  • AEH

    Jacob’s a good lookin’ guy, so I doubt he’ll be alone for much longer once he meets whoever he likes. He’s gonna do alright in life if he keeps his nose clean.

    I’m not sure how is he conservative… I didn’t read anything in the articles that indicated a system of conservative beliefs. Is it because of his tie? Plenty of liberals wear ties too.

  • AEH

    @AEH: Oh, and it looked like a business-casual event so I think he was probably required to wear a tie. The girl standing by him is wearing a dress and the guy next to her is wearing a tie too…

  • Little-Kiwi

    McFrisky, you could always *prove* us all wrong by posting a video where you show what you and your amazing conservative family are doing to promote LGBT Equality.

    can we expect a video with your dad anytime soon?

    doubt it, troll.


  • jrudolphLGBTdad

    @BJ McFrisky: Sadly, you missed the point that he was at an awards ceremony. All the nominees were dressed up.


    Jonathan Rudolph, Jacob’s dad

  • balehead

    He’s very attrcative….would this have been as newsworthy if he was 300 lbs or black??…

  • balehead


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