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.