High schooler who came out at assembly: Parents, tell your LGBT kids they’re OK

By David Ferguson
Friday, February 1, 2013 11:22 EDT
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Jacob Rudolph via screencap
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On Thursday’s edition of Current TV’s “Joy Behar: Say Anything!”, host Joy Behar welcomed Jacob Rudolph, the gay New Jersey teen who came out to a school assembly in his acceptance speech for an acting award. She was also joined by Jonathan Rudolph, Jacob’s father, who filmed and posted a video of the speech, which has since gone viral on YouTube.

Early in the segment, Behar asked a beaming Jonathan Rudolph when his son had come out to him.

“Within the last year,” he replied. “My wife knew a little earlier.”

Jacob revealed that his mother had asked him before he told her about his orientation.

“I had been sort of hinting around the subject matter,” he said ruefully, “and she kind of picked up on it.”

“Were you relieved that she asked you the question?” asked Behar.

“Yeah,” Jacob said. “It was very difficult to say. I think the first parent is definitely the hardest.” But then again, he said, telling his father wasn’t easy, either. Jonathan Rudolph had been an open supporter of LGBT rights with many gay and lesbian friends and family members.

“You feel as a teen struggling with your identity that your parents have these expectations for you,” Jacob said, “that they want the white picket fence dream for you, that they want you to have a wife and kids and a family.”

It’s invaluable to LGBT teens, though, he said, that their parents let them know that they are accepted.

“I think that having a reassurance from your parents, them saying ‘I just want to let you know that no matter what you are in life, I’m going to support you and I’m going to love you forever,’” he said.

Watch the video, embedded via Current TV, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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