Teen gets standing ovation after coming out as gay in speech at his Catholic high school
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An Australian teenager has gone viral online after he came out as gay in a speech to his Catholic, all-boys high school.

Finn Stannard received a standing ovation from his classmates and teachers at Sydney’s St. Ignatius’ College high school after coming out in a keynote address.

“Announcing yourself to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?” Stannard said in his speech. 

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“Being different, whether it’s being gay or being part of another minority group, can be challenging but it does not have to be scary and isolating,” he told his peers. “Every single one of you can help, in your own way, by accepting others for exactly who they are.

“A life living behind a mask is not one any person should have to live.”

Stannard made the speech in June, but footage of the moment was released Monday in conjunction with an interview to SBS News.

Stannard told SBS News that he hopes that publicly sharing his speech will help others struggling with their identities.

“I think that’s really the biggest reason I made sure I got up onto that stage and gave the speech,” he said. “I don’t think anybody should have to go through the feeling of loss that I felt like I’d gone through.”

The soon-to-be university student told SBS News that he gained the confidence to come out in a speech after Australia voted to legalize same-sex marriage in 2016.

After coming out publicly, Stannard took his boyfriend to the school formal, and said that some other students struggling with their sexuality have approached him for support.