WWSB that he decided to come out during the ceremony because he wanted to be true to himself.“Graduation is all about your achievements,” he explained to the outlet. “And you can’t really acknowledge your achievements if you’re not acknowledging your true self.”The decision to come out was a long time coming for Harless, who said he had been thinking about when to do it as far back as seventh grade, while he was still living in West Virginia.
But as graduation approached, Harless realized that was the right time to do it and that he’s glad he did.“It feels amazing, like a weight has been taken off my shoulders,” he said. “I have really been able to stay true to myself because I no longer feel like I don’t need to hide a part of myself.
I feel genuinely free.” Harless also shared that friends and family have been supportive of his coming out.Harless wasn’t the only Florida high school grad to use the commencement stage to speak out about queerness this year in the wake of the state’s passage of its “don’t say gay” law.
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