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J-Lo Meets Gay Valedictorian Prohibited from Speaking at Graduation

J-Lo Meets Gay Valedictorian Prohibited from Speaking at Graduation

J-Lo Meets Gay Valedictorian Prohibited from Speaking at Graduation

See? It does get better.

rachelkiley

Valedictorian Nat Werth has been on a wild ride since publicly slamming his high school back in June for not allowing him to give a speech at graduation.

Werth believes Sheboygan Lutheran High School took the commencement speech away from him because the first version he turned in discussed his struggles to accept being gay.

“I told them I’d be willing to take it out, but they didn’t trust me, because that’s when found out I was gay,” he told Buzzfeed.

Though the school’s salutatorian was given the opportunity to speak at graduation in Werth’s place, he ultimately was invited to share his speech at PrideFest Milwaukee last month.

“No child should be taught at school that they have to hate themselves in order to be loved,” he said at the time. “My advice to anyone trapped by their circumstances is to know that there is nothing wrong with you.”

He also used the speech to share his experiences with homophobia both at school and at home, condemning his teachers for promoting an intolerant environment and admitting that his parents still don’t accept that he’s gay.

But the acknowledgement and appreciation for Werth standing up for himself in the face of intolerance didn’t stop with PrideFest.

 

Jennifer Lopez heard about Werth’s struggles with his school and invited him backstage at her concert when she stopped in Milwaukee last week.

She encouraged the teen to “continue to use [his] voice and spread only love and acceptance,” and also paused for a photo opp.

Werth is reportedly heading to Northeastern University in Boston this fall, so while we all know it’s impossible to completely avoid prejudice anywhere, hopefully an incident like what happened at Sheboygan won’t be repeated in his future.

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Rachel Kiley

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.

Rachel Kiley is presumably a writer and definitely not a terminator. She can usually be found crying over queerbaiting in the Pitch Perfect franchise or on Twitter, if not both.