A gay teen in Australia received a standing ovation when he came out during a school assembly.

Finn Stannard, 17, came out to 1,500 students and faculty members gathered for an assembly at his Catholic school in Sydney, the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) reported.

“Announcing yourself to the world is pretty terrifying because, what if the world doesn't like you,” Stannard said in his coming out speech. “I decided that it was finally time to tell someone the truth. It wasn't easy, but I told my mum that I thought I might be gay.”

“When I said it, I just felt this energy pass through me and I felt – that was the first time I’d really been proud of who I was,” Stannard told SBS News. “I could announce it to all these people who were before me… Life was easier living as the straight eldest son. I had spent so long behind the façade of a confident, heterosexual man that I wasn’t sure if I knew how to be me. I think that’s really the biggest reason I made sure I got up onto that stage and gave the speech. I don’t think anybody should have to go through the feeling of loss that I felt like I’d gone through.”

Megan, Stannard's mother, called her son's coming out “a truly special occasion.”

“The fact that Finn was supported, the fact that his message was hard, I was in tears,” she said. “We were so proud of him, so proud of the school, and so proud of the boys. It was truly a special occasion.”

Paul Hines, principal at St. Ignatius, called Stannard's speech a “watershed” moment for the school.

““I’m not sure anyone chooses their sexuality, that’s who they are and therefore we need to be open to that and to accept it and to make sure we live in communities of inclusion – and with that will come diversity,” he said.

Gay and lesbian couples started marrying in Australia in December.