Evan Young, 18, was set to graduate as valedictorian of Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School last month, but school officials reportedly stopped him from giving his speech because it stated that he was gay.
Twin Peaks principal BJ Buchmann reportedly told Young to remove that section from his speech, according to Democracy Now!, and when the high school senior refused, Buchmann outed him to his parents. The Longmont, Colorado high school did not allow Young to give his speech at graduation and did not recognise him as valedictorian, even though his 4.5 GPA was the highest in the class, Democracy Now! reports.
Young was able to give his speech in full on Sunday, as part of a fundraiser for Out Boulder. You can read a transcript of the full speech at Democracy Now!, but here is an excerpt where Young addresses his sexuality:
I’m gay. I understand this might be offensive to some people, but it’s who I am. And whether you’ve always suspected this, or this is a total shock to you, now you know. When I was writing this speech, I was endlessly debating with myself whether I should reveal this, on account of how divisive an issue this is and how gay people tend to be stereotyped, and I thought that, if I did, I should repeatedly apologise and beg you guys not to think any differently of me. But then I realised: I don’t have to. I shouldn’t have to. If there’s one thing I learned at this school, it’s that we can still be friends even if we profoundly disagree with each other.
Young is set to attend Rutgers University in the fall. You can watch his full valedictorian speech below:
We reached out to Twin Peaks Charter Academy and will update this post if we hear back.
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