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Chinese university student comes out during graduation speech

Chinese university student comes out during graduation speech

A Chinese student has ‘dared to be different’ during his graduation speech from Guangdong University of Finance and Economics.

Huang Darun Sheldon told several hundred of his fellow finance graduates and his teachers that he is gay.

‘The word "wedding" in my life will always be a distant luxury,’ Huang said, describing feelings of loneliness and isolation of realizing he is gay when he was a student.

Before the speech, he had only come out to told a handful of people. Most of his classmates said afterwards that they were very touched by his words but some said they were worried about him.

The speech has been very well-received online with Wu Mama, the spiritual mother of all Chinese gay children and the founder of PFLAG China, posting it on her blog.

Huang talked about how he and his twin brother were born prematurely into a poverty stricken town in rural Guangdong province, weighing just three pounds each. Before college he had never been on a computer, been to a cafe, been to a nightclub or sung karaoke. Just a month before he gave the speech, he was operated on for scoliosis of the spine.

Huang describes the pain of unrequited first love, quoting one of his favorite singers, Adele, but then he said: ‘I slowly realized that even in the campus, and I was not alone in our college there are three young people like me in our school,’ he says.

At the end of his speech he told his classmates and teachers:

‘The aim of our lives is not to become Bill Gates, Obama or Hu Jintao, or who our parents expect us to be. We have to become our own person. Stop looking at others’ lives and look at yourself. We are all different and have to pursue our own lives. Everyone can be successful, because everyone should have their own definition of success.’