Jennifer Lopez surprises gay teen who was barred from giving valedictorian speech
Jennifer Lopez had an amazing surprise for a gay teen who was barred from giving the valedictorian speech.
The superstar surprised Nat Werth backstage at her show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Wednesday (July 3).
Werth, 18, made the news earlier this year when he was denied permission to give a valedictorian speech at his graduation because of his sexuality.
Teen was blocked from giving valedictorian speech over sexuality
The teen was barred from addressing the crowd at the religious Sheboygan Lutheran High School on May 24, after administrators saw a draft of his speech in which he referenced his sexuality.
He explained to Buzzfeed at the time: “In the rough draft of my speech that I submitted to the administration, I came out in it.
“I told them I’d be willing to take it out, but they didn’t trust me, because that’s when they found out I was gay.
“And because they knew that I was gay, they chose not to let me give the speech.”
The story apparently attracted the attention of Lopez, who invited the teen backstage.
Jennifer Lopez: I always stand with you
She tweeted: “Everyone deserves love ❤️?????
“Nat, thank you for celebrating with me… Always standing with you. Continue to use your voice and spread only love and acceptance. Don’t stop being you.”
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According to NBC’s Today, Werth said that meeting the singer was an “absolutely an amazing experience he will never forget.”
Although Werth was denied permission to give his valedictorian speech at his school, he did ultimately get a chance to deliver it.
The teen read the speech in full at a celebration in June, as he accepted Milwaukee Pridefest’s 2019 Valor Award.
He explained: “On my own journey to self-acceptance, I have trekked through the depths of depression, found that God’s love is endless, and embraced the fact that I’m gay.
“Absolutely no one should have to go through what I have gone through simply to come to the conclusion that homosexuality is not a sin.
“God created everyone just the way they are and never intended for the church to disenfranchise an entire group of people.”
“The Bible mentions ‘love’ over 500 times. I sincerely believe that the next generation of Christians will eradicate homophobia in the church and proclaim God’s love to the LGBT community.”