During his graduation ceremony on Sunday, Zander Moricz spoke about his activism as the first openly gay class president at Pine View School in Osprey, Florida, without once saying he was gay. Instead, Zander used his curly hair as a euphemism for his sexual orientation.
Earlier this month, the 18-year-old tweeted about his feud with the school administration over his graduation speech.
“Out of respect for all those attending the graduation, students are reminded that a graduation should not be a platform for personal political statements, especially those likely to disrupt the ceremony,” the school district said. “Should a student vary from this expectation during the graduation, it may be necessary to take appropriate action.”
Moricz is the youngest plaintiff in the Florida “Don’t Say Gay” bill and has been outspoken about it, but decided to self-censor in a clever way, by using his curly hair as a euphemism for being gay.
“I used to hate my curls,” he said in the speech. “I spent mornings and nights embarrassed of them, trying to desperately straighten this part of who I am. But the daily damage of trying to fix myself became too much to endure.”
“There are going to be so many kids with curly hair who need a community like Pine View, and they won’t have one,” Moricz said in his speech. “Instead, they’ll try to fix themselves so that they can exist in Florida’s humid climate.”
You can watch the complete seven minute speech here.