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Gay High School Valedictorian Banned From Giving Speech Gets Another Shot

Gay High School Valedictorian Banned From Giving Speech Gets Another Shot

Gay High School Valedictorian Banned From Giving Speech Gets Another Shot
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Evan Young, an 18-year-old student with a 4.5 GPA (and the winner of a Rutgers University scholarship) at Twin Peaks Charter Academy in Boulder, Colo., was barred from giving his valedictorian speech May 16 because school officials were told he was going to out himself as gay. He was given a second opportunity to deliver that speech by Out Boulder, an LGBT rights group in Colorado, where he read his speech to a supportive crowd (while wearing a green superhero cape) and said, "I'm gay. That's what I am."

The teenager was not yet out as gay to his parents, and when the principal called Young's father to tell him, it was only minutes before Young was supposed to deliver the speech, reports Boulder's Daily Camera

Young told the Camera that his principal, B.J. Buchmann, outed him to his parents, which Young took as an indication that Buchmann didn't have any sympathy for the straight-A student:

"I think what it mainly showed is that he didn't have a lot of sympathy for me, or someone in my position. He didn't understand how personal a thing it was, and that I wasn't just going to share it with people randomly, for no reason. I thought it was very inconsiderate for him to do something like that, especially without asking me first."

Young, reading from his speech at Out Boulder, said:

"There is something I would like to reveal to you. You may have already suspected this, but I hope this does not change your opinion of me: I am gay. I’ve been attracted to men for as long as I can remember, and I’ve never had a girlfriend because I prefer members of my own sex."

School officials issued a statement saying they asked Young to revise the speech because it was "condescending":

"The initial draft of the student’s speech submitted for review was condescending toward the school and the student’s peers and included, among other things, ridiculing comments about faculty and students. The draft speech also included references to personal matters of a sexual nature. None of these topics are ever appropriate for a speech at a graduation ceremony."

Mardi Moore, Out Boulder's executive director, told the Camera, ""I couldn't be prouder of the young man."

Young's parents spoke to the press about how Young's school principal, B.J. Buchanan, outed him to them:

Democracy Now obtained footage of Young delivering his speech:

 

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