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This High School Student Came Out During His Valedictorian Speech at Graduation

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High school graduate Mason Bleu came out to his peers while delivering the valedictorian’s speech at his school’s graduation ceremony.

The 17-year-old student, who went viral on Twitter this week after he posted a video of him coming out at the end of his speech, used his speech to talk about coming to terms with his identity.

“I’ve struggled to be proud of something all my life, and since I’m preaching about being proud today it would be hypocritical of me to continue hiding,” Bleu said during his speech. “For a long time I struggled with my sexuality. I dodged it and ignored it because I wasn’t proud of who I am. But today I am changing that. I am proud to be a bisexual man.”

In an interview on CBS This Morning, Bleu shared that he knew that it was “right” to share this moment during the speech and that he was proud of this part of his identity.

“As I was writing my speech, I was writing about being proud of who you were, proud of what you’ve achieved in high school or just any accomplishments you wanted to be proud of,” Bleu said. “And then I got to the end and I realized there’s something that I should be proud of that I’m hiding from everyone.”

Watch Mason Bleu’s valedictorian speech below.

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Write to Cady Lang at cady.lang@timemagazine.com