Teen Comes Out To 300+ Classmates, Receives Standing Ovation

Upon accepting his award for “Class Actor”, high school senior Jacob Rudolph revealed that he’s been acting everyday of his life — as “straight Jacob.”

Filmed by his father Jonathan, Jacob took his short time at the podium to come out to his fellow classmates, all 300-plus of them, as well as teachers and staff, who responded with a rousing standing ovation.

Jacob’s papa was obviously proud of his son as he wrote in the video’s introduction, “his acceptance speech took more guts to do than anything I’ve ever attempted in my life.”

The elder Rudolph also called for an end to bullying and discrimination so that other kids won’t have to “act as someone they’re not.”

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  • Sohobod

    That took guts.

  • MK Ultra

    Wow That was great!
    Brave young man.

  • Dakotahgeo

    I am extremely proud of Jacob!!! He has what it takes to be a real success in the world today. Times are changing and the old arguments against GLBT people will be left in the dust. It’s about time! So be it!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • Steve Rider

    This brave young man is off to a good start in life, and it sounds like he has a great father too. Best wishes to them for truly understanding what Family Values means.

  • Wilbready

    Well said, Jacob and Steve Rider! It certainly didn’t hurt that he was popular and that the whole class loves him. Plus, he is cute! My hat is off to you, young man!

  • rand503

    I’m also proud of his father for accepting his son and realizing what it takes to be gay.

  • rand503

    But what a noisy crowd! Poor guy could hardly get his speech out.

  • randalaw

    I, too, would like to add my congratulations to to this incredible young man who came out in front of his whole school. What must have made it somewhat easier for him was knowing that his father had his back. I started crying when I read what dad wrote at the beginning of the video. If there were more parents like that, there would be far fewer LGBT kids with debilitating emotional problems. This group of blood relations is truly worthy of the name family.

  • Kieran

    Terrific, inspirational story but it would be helpful in stories like this if we were told WHERE this took place. Is this high school located in Alabama? Vermont? Tennessee? California? New Jersey? Inquiring minds want to know.

  • hf2hvit

    That was great. But what was wrong with the girl behind him? She applauded at the end but she either had to poop or something made her uncomfortable!

  • kennetho9322

    Can’t wait for the day when you Americans catch up with the rest of the world and realize that you don’t need to stand up in front of a crowd of 300 people to announce that you f*ck men in the ass. APPLAUSE!

  • Dakotahgeo

    @kennetho9322: Ahhhh yes, another Day Care drop-out!!! We’ll be sure we pay much attention to you… NOT!!! Jacob is 10x the man you ever will be.

  • MMDD

    Very cool that he did this, but I would like to say that I think LGBT is a better acronym for a community. Coming out as an “LGBT teen” begs the question, “OK, which one of those letters applies to you?”

  • Charles175

    I think that it is a great and wonderful thing that he did this. Gorgeous or not (he is quite handsome though) I’d love to have a BF, a husband like him whom is this courageous. I looked at the video on youtube. There were a fair amount of bible thumpers but there were also many supporting him. Being bold like this is our best weapon against bigotry. Over the several decades and up until recently, we were quietly in the closet. In this our straight counterparts said all kinds of asinine BS against us. Made up bat-shit crazy stuff about us. Because fear and of the deafening silence over those decades, because of never challenging all that was said, this deafening silence solidified all the BS in the minds of the Religious Right along with the general public. As the saying goes, tell a lie enough times and it becomes a “truth”. With this batch of solidified lies, this has become their arsenal of weapons against us. As we have come out of the shadows of the closets, as we have become known to exist in almost every family, every walk of life, their lies have become their own undoing.

  • LadyL

    @MMDD: Yeah, I was thinking the same thing initially, wondering if in that noisy room in front of all those people he might have found the word “gay” a little too intimidating to say… Then it dawned on me that maybe he very deliberately chose to identify as “LGBT” as a gesture of solidarity with lesbian, bisexual and transgender kids and adults–which is indeed very cool!

  • jrudolphLGBTdad

    @LadyL: That’s exactly why he used the acronym, LadyL. Jacob “identifies” as bisexual, but his whole point is that he shouldn’t have to be identifying himself at all. His use of the acronym was an expression of solidarity with the LGBT community.


    Jonathan Rudolph, Jacob’s dad

  • MMDD

    @jrudolphLGBTdad: “his whole point is that he shouldn’t have to be identifying himself at all.”

    Be careful with this. Similar words have been used against LGBT folks to tell us we ought to stay in the closet (example: “Who cares what you are? Nobody. Stop announcing it to the world. Straight people don’t do that”). The fact is, if we don’t identify ourselves, we are basically invisible and, just the the rest of the world, assumed to be heterosexual.

  • LadyL

    @jrudolphLGBTdad: All best to Jacob and to you sir, for your loving support of your son. Here’s hoping more parents of LGBTQ youth are empowered by your example.

  • LadyL

    @MMDD: Good point, MMDD. I see that “Who cares, anyway?” comment all over the place, including on this site, and I’m always suspicious of its meaning. I presume what’s meant by Mr. Rudolph’s explanation is that in a just world LGBT people could just live their lives without having to declare or defend anything. Unfortunately we’re not there yet and may never be, so to your point, visibility matters.

  • MMDD

    @LadyL: Exactly, LadyL. It’s a not-so-thinly-disguised phobic comment, and it really concerns me when I see it on supposedly affirming sites. Jacob himself acknowledged that he’s been “acting the part” of a straight person, which is the role we ALL play until the moment we come out and identify as otherwise.

  • LadyL

    @MMDD: I agree, and that’s why I’m always so perplexed by all the “It’s nobody’s business” and “Who even cares” posts when the discussion turns to LGBT celebrities. If visibility makes a difference that certainly applies to the coming out of individuals in our culture who are widely admired. I’m so heartened by the Jacobs of this world, who proudly come out at the beginning of their lives. Wish I’d had his courage when I was his age!

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