High school student Finn Stannard came out to 1,500 people during a school assembly at St. Ignatius in Sydney, Australia and received a standing ovation. The video has since gone viral with thousands of likes on Twitter.
“Announcing yourself to the world is pretty terrifying because, what if the world doesn’t like you,” Stannard, 17, addressed the crowd. “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.”
After his speech, the crowd stood on their feet and applauded.
Stannard told SBS News how monumental the moment was for him.
“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 said.“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.”
His mother Megan told SBS News she was overcome with emotion.
“The fact that Finn was supported, the fact that his message was heard, 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 a truly special occasion.”
Paul Hines, the school’s principal, said to SBS News: “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.”
This is the moment a gay student at one of Sydney’s most elite Catholic schools – that boasts former prime minister Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce among its alumni – stood up in a packed assembly hall of more than 1,500 students and came out pic.twitter.com/NyZxffFBmr
— SBS News (@SBSNews) November 26, 2018