Over 800 locals turned out at Central Michigan University on Sunday to support Dominic Sheahan-Stahl, the Sacred Heart Academy alum who was uninvited from speaking at the school's graduation ceremony because he's gay. Instead, Dominic delivered his keynote to the entire graduating class at a separate inclusive ceremony in Mt. Pleasant, MI. Watch Dominic's remarks below:
In his speech, Dominic noted the responsibility and the joy that comes with addressing the graduating class. “I was so excited because I already knew I was going to go to the graduation to support my brother. But to go there and be that role model for them, for you is incredible. That feeling has never left me.”
Dominic's speech sparked thoughtful commentary from several sources, including the Detroit Free Press. He wrote an open letter to Bishop Cistone to further the discussion. The speech was the enthusiastically received by the graduating class. “It was so inspiring,” said Ben Schilling, a Sacred Heart graduate. “I’m sure looking back a couple of years from now, I’ll going to say, ‘Wow. We really made a difference.’”
Sheahan-Stahl’s brother, William, who led his class in organizing efforts to make the speaking event happen, was also impressed how the community rallied around his older brother. “All my classmates were so supportive. They came together send a message that discrimination was wrong,” the younger Sheahan-Stahl noted. “That message was received, not just in Mount Pleasant, but across the country. It was more than we could have imagined when Dominic was uninvited.”
GLAAD worked closely with Dominic to share his story with the media and with supportive Catholics and all people of faith. Support for Dominic and the class at Sacred Heart Academy has poured in since the news of Dominic's disinvitation first broke. GLAAD congratulates Dominic, William, and all the Sacred Heart Academy graduates who organized to let Dominic speak. We are proud to support the efforts of #LetDominicSpeak.
For more information, visit http://www.glaad.org/letdominicspeak.