Mitch Anderson, the 2013 Salutatorian at Belton High School in Belton, Texas, made quite the announcement during his speech to fellow classmates and all those attending their graduation ceremony.
The young teen began his speech off with a very deep look into what many may believe to be one of the hardest things to do for an individual: to love and celebrate yourself. Anderson stated that:
“Learning how to love and celebrate yourself is one of the most crucial and difficult aspects of life. To know who you are is the first step to enlightenment, to happiness.”
While this may seem a little cheesy, and yes, Anderson even stated in his speech that “it sounds so facile,” it also is a powerful statement. So what does the young man do next? In front of all his friends, family, fellow classmates and complete strangers, Anderson comes out publicly stating:
“So now, I can say, I’m gay. It’s both a significant portion of who I am and an inconsequential aspect. It’s as natural and effortless to me as breathing. I couldn’t change myself even if I wanted, and believe me, I have.”
This can be quiet a life changing event for any individual, and could come with both positive and negative feedback.
Anderson (pictured to the left) tells KTEM News Radio 14that he has “received so much support and kindness,” and that “knowing that [people] found the speech inspirational has been really amazing.”
KTEM went on to say that:
“Anderson said he was aware of some negative reaction directed towards the speech, mostly posted on various community Internet message boards. Some expressed that it was wrong for the student to use the opportunity to make the speech about himself.”
The topic of sexuality is a controversial one at that, so it’s not surprising that the local high school Salutatorian coming out during his graduation speech would stir up a bit of conversation. Anderson’s full speech can be found on the KTEM website, entitled “Standing On The Sun.”
[Images via Shutterstock/hxdbzxy and msnNOW]