the awesome

Kayla Came Out To Her Entire High School On Martin Luther King Day

While some Americans spent Martin Luther King Jr. Day telling their gay brothers and sisters they are pieces of shit who deserve to be considered second-class, Kayla K. — a student at Maria Carrillo High School in Santa Rosa, California (GO PANTHERS!) — spent the day coming out to her classmates at a student assembly. Give me a moment, because I am in awe of this young woman.

As we’ve seen, being tagged as gay in school can mean years of torture with no way out. Kayla isn’t having it. She’s telling her peers how it is. That she’s just like them, but just happens to be attracted to other girls. “I want to break the silence,” Kayla tells the school. “And I want to make one thing very clear: I didn’t choose to be gay. Facing this reality was the most challenging thing I’ve had to do in my entire life. … I want to fall in love with someone one day, and I want to walk down the street and hold her hand. … And eventually, I want to marry her. I want to buy a house with her.”

Confident eloquent young people who refuse to be marginalized? This is the legacy of Martin Luther King.

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  • kayla

    Oh my gosh, we have the same name….there must be a God…awesome!!!

  • Jeffree

    @Kayla: Since you’re the only person I “know” called Kayla, I was thinking it was you. Either way I’m glad that you post here, and my/our best wishes go out to Kayla K.!

    Coming out at a school assembly? Wow, I am quite sure I couldn’t have done that in HS. Wasn’t quite as strong as her but did come out to a few people.

    I hope she has family support too.

  • Greg from Denver

    I wish Kayla well. Listening to her speech she sounds like a bright self-assured young woman. she exudes a confidence that will go a long way to help her get through the rest of her senior year. I wish the video clip had gone just a little further so we could have heard more of the audience’s reaction. I did hear a moment of applause and supportive cheering. I couldn’t tell whether that was coming from a small number of her supporters or the whole audience. I hope we hear the rest of the story as time goes on.

  • Stefan

    I could’ve never done this in high school! Thank you Kayla!!!

  • Stefan

    BTW, I’m sure her peers were very supportive. Santa Rosa is in Sonoma County, which voted 2:1 against Prop 8

  • [email protected]

    How appropriate! If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive today, he would undoubtedly be working for gay equality. As both a big fan of MLK and gay equality, I have BOTH the largest collection of MLK designs AND gay pride designs on the web. My favorite MLK/gay pride cross-over design is: [img][/img]

  • Avenger

    She chose to do this on MLK day?

  • Sweetlemonster

    Thank you!

  • Meghan b Puglisi

    @Avenger: What’s wrong with her doing it on MLK Day? He fought for freedom, he fought for racism to basically be demolished and she’s fighting for freedom as well. She’s standing up so that other gays like herself and myself can live their life without being judged. The same way MLK wanted black to be able to live their life without being judged or be in fear of discrimination from the world, shut out and terrorized. I think MLK was the PERFECT day for her to do this and I raise my hat to her.

  • Rachel

    Amazing! I was drawn in by the headline but then to find out this amazing young woman lives five minutes away from me. And while the area is overall liberal(about an hour north of San Francisco) I got plenty of hatred when I was protesting Prop 8 in Santa Rosa. I am thrilled with the courage she is showing at a younger age. Very inspiring.

  • JM

    This young woman will go far in life. I wish I had that kind of self assurance…

  • chpinnlr

    That is one very brave, inteligent, and thoughtful young woman! Wow!

  • Humberto

    oh my… Wonderful. I love her courage! And I hope she’s alright now.

  • Danny

    Since all the religious conservatives condemned black people too using the bible, good for her for standing up for truth and honesty in the face of ancient bigotry. Too many people on Earth have their lives dictated by the writings of people longsince turned to dust. The past is costing to many people their future.

  • Cam

    Did she get a letter from HRC telling her that she was moving too fast and should just wait for 10 or 15 years and then maybe they could talk again about her possibly doing this, but in the meantime she should send them a check.

  • justiceontherocks

    @Cam: Best comment of the week.

  • TMY516

    coming out for teenagers these days is nothing compared to how it was 10-15 years ago. Sorry, it’s not a big deal for the new generation. My niece has 14 yr old friends who are opening gay its not an issue.

  • JT

    I saw this clip on another blog. It looks totally fake and staged like it’s from a play or a drama class or public speaking class exercise. Other people on the blog thought this as well.

    If she would have came out as bisexual nobody would have taken her seriously and she would not have gotten recognized by the GLBT community, she would have been told there was no point in coming out, that she does not belong in the GLBT community, and that lesbians do not want anything to do with her both sexually, romantically/sexually, and politically.

    People and her fellow students (who you can’t hear at all during the supposed “assembly”) would have thought that she was doing it only for attention or that she was one of those fake Hetero women who only pretends to be bisexual so she can attract straight men.

    Or they would have told her how her sexuality does not exist.

    If she came out as Trans she would have had it just as bad.

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