Coming-out speeches: High school student's viral video, Jodie Foster's Straight connection
Every out queer person has a different coming out story. But a lot of people don't have the opportunity to come out in front of a live audience.
But a brave Parsippany, New Jersey, high school student did so. While accepting an award for best class actor at his senior class awards ceremony on January 18, 18-year-old Jacob Rudolph let his true sexual orientation be known to over 300 students and staff.
He wrote the speech with the help of his father, Jonathan Rudolph, who posted a video of the coming-out on YouTube on January 21. Needless to say, the video has gone viral, exceeding 150,000 hits. He also used the opportunity to ask for the end of hatred against LGBT people.
In response, the rather chatty audience exploded into cheers and applause.
Of course, there was another recent public coming out in front of an audience that aroused an even bigger, but more mixed, reaction: Jodie Foster's coming-out speech at the Golden Globes.
Onlookers responded with everything from sighs of admiration to criticism and confusion (and even a parody by Saturday Night Live's Kate McKinnon).
But there was another response that caught the attention of the Georgia Straight's publisher Dan McLeod. Christian evangelist Ray Comfort posted a commentary on the conservative news WorldNetDaily site about Foster's speech.
The post begins with a reference to McLeod's 1997 interview with Foster for the film Contact. (Here's a more complete quote from that interview.)
Comfort uses it, and Foster's speech, as a springboard into an argument about why being gay is wrong (which we all already know and that's the reason why we do it, isn't it?).
He compares homosexuality as sin to criminals. He argues that if there weren't any thieves, policemen would be out of a job. And thus, he opines, crime may be bad for society but may have some benefits—because it provides policemen with jobs. Wow. I'd let the skewed logical of that one speak for itself but for the Ray Comforts of the world, I'll spell it out: W-T-F.
He parallels this with how homosexuals, as sinners, are in need of Jesus Christ as their saviour.
Of course, the problem is the quote from the Bible that lumps homosexuals, a demographic that both science and Lady Gaga have increasingly proven are born that way and is not a choice, in with people who have chosen certain behaviours, such as thieves, adulterers, drunkards, or extortioners. (It also equates criminal and damaging actions with loving someone.)
To all of that, I would argue that even a child would be able to tell the difference:
Now excuse me while I go eat some cookies that are good enough for me.