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The Nightly Show

A high school didn’t let its valedictorian read this speech, but Larry Wilmore did

His high school wouldn't let him read it, so Larry Wilmore did.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Jun 5, 2015   Updated on May 28, 2021, 4:08 pm CDT

Larry Wilmore is giving Evan Young the chance to read his valedictorian speech after his high school barred him from doing so.

Administrators refused to let Young read the speech on May 16 after he declined to remove the part where he planned to come out as gay. B.J. Buchmann, the principal at Twin Peaks Charter Academy High School, even outed Young to his parents when informing them of the incident.

The school is now under investigation for its actions, and the district’s congressman, Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), has accused administrators of discrimination.

Wilmore invited Young onto The Nightly Show for an episode about graduation gaffes so he could finally read his speech. (Young also delivered it at an Out Boulder fundraiser a few weeks after his graduation.)

In refusing to let Young read the speech, school administrators practically guaranteed that far more ears would hear it than if he had just read it at graduation. And although Wilmore gave him a bit of a hard time based on who he quoted, the late-night host mostly gave him the stage.

While the segment was trimmed for TV, it’s available in full on the Nightly Show website.

Screengrab via The Nightly Show

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*First Published: Jun 5, 2015, 12:32 pm CDT