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College student takes on ‘gay BFF’ stereotype in amazing speech

A 20-year-old spoke at the world renowned TED conference with his award-winning speech on how gay people are not a commodity

College student takes on ‘gay BFF’ stereotype in amazing speech

A college student is taking on the ‘gay best friend’ stereotype in an amazing and award-winning speech.

Mark Pampanin, sick of being the Will to every girl’s Grace, decided to write about feeling like a collectable item, a fashionable entity.

The 20-year-old from Chapman University in California recently shocked the competition at the 100th biennial Pi Kappa Delta tournament by snagging first place in the after-dinner speaking category.

‘We’re often portrayed as one-dimensional characters,’ Pampanin says.

‘I don’t care how Kathy Griffin is treating Anderson Cooper. I’m going to tell you that I am a person. I paid 12 dollars for this haircut, I hate the mall, and I still don’t know how to pronounce Ralph Lauren.’

Speaking to Buzzfeed, he said the rise of gay characters in film and television is contributing to the characterization of gay men.

He said: ‘It became so easy to use my homosexuality as a wall to get people to instantly like a two-dimensional version of me that I found it hard to even be real with people.

‘By habit, I was being the sassy gay friend people expected me to be. I had moved out of the closet, and into an equally confining role.’

Check out the full speech below:

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