SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — (11-27-18) — When an Australian teenager got up to deliver his high school keynote speech which included him coming out as gay, the then-17-year-old received nothing but support from faculty and student body.

“Announcing yourself to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?” said Finn Stannard to his all-boys Catholic high school last June, quoting the famous line from the coming-of-age film “Love, Simon.”

“I decided that it was finally time to tell someone the truth,” said Stannard. “It wasn’t easy but I told my mom that I thought I might be gay.” said Stannard.

Close to 1,500 peers and teachers at the St. Ignatius’ High School gave Finn Stannard a standing ovation when he came out as gay. In fact several of his classmates gave him a pat on the back as the entire auditorium cheered him on.

“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 Australia’s SBS News in an interview published Monday.

Stannard gave his keynote address back in June but the video of Stannard’ speech wasn’t released until SBS News’ ran the story that was published Monday, Nov. 27.

Finn Stannard’s mother told SBS News…“It was amazing. The fact that Finn was supported, the fact that his message was heard. I was in tears. We were just so proud of him, so proud of the school, so proud of the boys. It was truly a special occasion.” said Stannard’s mother.

Even St. Ignatius’ principal Paul Hine chimed in on Finn Stannard’s coming out speech by saying…”It was as a “watershed” moment. “We never had a boy stand publicly and talk about their sexuality,” said Hine.

Stannard told SBS News that he was inspired to come out after Australia legalized same-sex marriage last year.

“A life living behind a mask is not one any person should have to live,” Stannard concluded his speech. “So, with that in my mind, my message to you all is this: Surround yourself with the people who let you live as your true self and never be afraid of asking for help. Find your own identity and be comfortable with who you are.” said Stannard.

Watch the speech below.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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