Student Stopped From Giving Valedictorian Speech Because He Planned To Come Out As Gay, But He Gave It Anyway — VIDEO
I am willing to bet that if the typical graduation ceremony had been around in Medieval Italy, Dante would have somehow incorporated it into the 9 rings of Hell when he wrote Inferno. Seriously, those things are just the absolute worst way to spend a weekend afternoon. So I wouldn't have thought I could bring you a story about a graduation worse than an actual graduation, but sit right back and you'll hear the tale of young Evan Young, who was prevented from giving his valedictorian speech because he planned to come out as gay.
With a basically unimaginable 4.5 GPA, Young was excited to give the valediction at the Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School commencement ceremony. But after learning that part of his speech would include coming out as gay (to illustrate a larger point about loving one another in spite of differences), the principal told Young he would have to remove the "offending" section. Young refused, so the principal called the student's parents to complain about the speech, thus outing Young before he was ready. To add insult to injury, he was not even recognized as valedictorian at the ceremony (which is where he was, by the bye, when he was told he could not give the speech he had been practicing the night before).
The silver lining in all this is that, at a fundraiser for Out Boulder, Young was able to give the speech he couldn't at graduation two weeks ago... and it's actually really quite funny! In addition to being brave, he is charming, witty, and absolutely adorable. His coming out is seamlessly incorporated into the larger themes of the speech, and it's not even a particularly big part of it. Frankly, he talks more about Coca-Cola than he does about being gay... trust me, it actually makes sense in context.
For the first (and probably last) time in my life, I can honestly say: Please enjoy this fabulous graduation speech.