The 2015 streak of amazing yearbook quotes continues unabated. This year, a number of high school students have taken their yearbook quotes as opportunities for hilarity, feminism, and important cultural commentary, and Maxwell Barrett, a senior at Raritan High School in Hazlet, NJ, is no exception. The 18 year-old student came out in his yearbook quote, managing to convey a major statement about himself and a wicked sense of humor in a single sentence.
Barrett’s yearbook photo shows him looking very smart in a black tuxedo; below the smiling photo runs the line, "Of course I dress well, I didn’t spend all that time in the closet for nothing." Barrett attributes the line simply to “Unknown.” In a statement to Bustle, Barrett explained why he chose his yearbook as the medium for such an important declaration:
I chose my yearbook to make such a bold statement about myself because I wanted to show those around me that I am proud of who I am, and seeing as most students receive a yearbook, I chose to do it there. I have been out as gay since I was about 15 and of course in today's society, I wasn't always accepted. This yearbook was the perfect opportunity to show those that I am proud of who I am.
Barrett tweeted a photo of the portrait and text on Tuesday, and – unsurprisingly, given its general awesomeness – the image quickly went viral.
Barrett claims that he initially met with resistance when he tried to include the quote with his photo, telling Cosmopolitan that a teacher refused to publish it. He explains, "I had a sit-down with the teacher of the [yearbook committee] and she told me she didn't like the quote and that I was trying to give myself too much 'shock value.'" Thankfully, he reports, other students and teachers rallied around him and he was allowed to include the quote. (The Huffington Post reports that when it contacted officials from Barrett’s school, “Hazlet Township Public School Superintendent Bernard Bragen could not confirm that [the incident] happened.”)
Barrett is only the newest member to join the ranks of smart, audacious students who have used yearbook quotes to say things that are funny, important, and even political. Why are teens choosing to make important statements about themselves with their yearbook quotes this year? Barrett gave Bustle his two cents:
Seniors graduating high school want to be remembered, who doesn't want to be remembered by the peers they grew up with? Students used the yearbook as their one last shebang in my eyes!
Whatever the reason may be, keep being awesome, awesome students!
Image: Maxwell Barrett /Instagram