Gay high school student has microphone cut off during graduation speech… but continues


We’re here, we’re queer, and we will not be silenced. Bryce Dershem’s valedictorian speech didn’t happen according to plan, but it did happen. 


Bryce, a high school student in New Jersey, demonstrated courage and visibility beautifully when school officials – allegedly the school’s principal, Dr. Robert M. Tull – cut off his microphone in the middle of his graduation speech, which began: “After I came out as queer freshman year, I felt so alone. I didn’t know who to turn to.”


The principal can be seen literally pulling the plug (approx. one minute in) on Dershem’s speech, removing his notes and telling him to read a different approved speech, because references to his sexuality and struggles with mental health seemingly weren’t the image they wanted.


Once he had his microphone reinstalled by a third party, Bryce can be seen in the video – posted to YouTube by his father – continuing to deliver his speech from memory instead. Undeterred, he carries on: “As I was saying,”


“Dr. Tull came up to the stage he grabbed the paper I brought and crumpled it in front of me, he pointed to the speech he had written for me, effectively, and told me I was to say that and nothing else” ” Dershem told WCAU

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Well done Bryce for handling it so beautifully and showing the courage to not be silenced. And congratulations!! Sending all the love your way this Pride Month! 




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