The teenager whose coming-out speech in front of his entire high school went viral last year when the video hit YouTube is speaking out about his bisexual identity and his journey to that nerve-racking moment in a new op-ed for GLAAD.
In a post published today on GLAAD's blog, Jacob Rudolph talks about his life before and after coming out as bisexual, touching on experiences likely to resonate with many in the bisexual community.
"Back in middle school, probably around 7th grade, I started to think that I may be attracted to guys in addition to girls," he says in the piece.
Rudolph's post acknowledges that his coming out was relatively smooth — his family and friends accepted him and were affirming of his identity, a testament to the progress being made as more and more families are accepting their LGBT kids.
"My mom's unconditional support and my dad's fervent encouragement have enabled me to be comfortable with not being straight," writes Rudolph. "My parents' open-mindedness and sense of love have opened doors for me on so many levels, but because so many LGBT youth do not have the kind of support that I have been lucky enough to have, I will continue working for LGBT youth until coming out no longer inspires fear or danger and until marginalization becomes a rarity. Parents are the key to their children's success and I've hit the lottery because of mine.”
Rudolph came out to his entire high school last year as an LGBT teen. In his coming-out speech, Rudolph addressed his fellow students at a schoolwide assembly.
"Most of you see me every day, you see me acting the part of straight Jacob," he said in the video, as the crowd quieted. "When I am, in fact, an LGBT teen."
He was met with a standing ovation, and the video has garnered more than 2 million views since Rudolph's father first posted to YouTube in January of 2013.
Rudolph is currently working at GLAAD as a communications and public relations intern. Read his full story here.