Florida High School Class President Gets Around Being Told Not to Say ‘Gay’ During Speech in Genius Way: WATCH
A high school teen is going viral for the way he was able to get around being explicitly told not to say “gay” during his graduation speech.
Pine View High School president Zander Moricz gave a speech at his graduation ceremony in Osprey, Fla., where he used a unique phrase to get around his school's requirement that he could not say or refer to himself as “gay” in his speech.
“I used to hate my curls,” he said in his speech while he took off his graduation cap to show off his locks. “I spent morning and night embarrassed of them trying to straighten this part of who I am, but the daily damage of trying to fix myself became too much to endure.”
"So while having curly hair in Florida is difficult due to the humidity, I decided to be proud of who I was and started coming to school as my authentic self," he continued, before adding that there will be many kids with curly hair that need a community like the one he experienced at his school.
"Instead, they'll try to fix themselves so that they can exist in Florida's humid climate," he stated, a clear metaphor for young LGBTQ+ people currently dealing with the state's homophobic lawmakers.
Watch the viral moment, below.
According to USA Today, prior to the graduation speech he spoke out on Twitter about the school administration's decision. He claimed that his school principal, Stephen Covert, called him into his office and told him that if he mentioned his activism for the LGBTQ+ community, his microphone would be turned off.
"I knew that the threat to cut the mic was very real, so I wasn't going to let that happen. I just had to be clever about it," Moricz told Good Morning America per the Herald-Tribune. "But I shouldn't have had to be because I don't exist in a euphemism. I deserve to be celebrated as is."
Moricz is currently the youngest plaintiff in a lawsuit against Florida's "Don't Say Gay Bill," which would prevent public school teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity between kindergarten and third grade.
He said in the interview that if the law had been in place when he was a freshman in high school, he would not have come out. "It effectively takes away the only guaranteed safe space from the majority of the entire LGBTQ population here," he explained.