US: Washington students cheer principal after he comes out during Pride speech

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The principal of a Washington high school was loudly cheered by his students, after coming out during a Pride speech.

Pete Cahall, the Principal of Woodrow Wilson High School, made the revelation to students in a speech today.

He told them that he had “hid in the shadows for the last 50 years”, but after seeing students embrace a Pride event, felt inspired to speak out about his life openly.

He said: “I want to say publicly for the first time because of your leadership, care and support that I am a proud gay man who just happens to be the principal of Wilson High School.”

Students at the event – attended by District of Columbia mayor Vincent Gray – loudly cheered Cahall as he finished his speech.

Speaking to the Washington Post afterwards, Cahall said it felt “like a ton of bricks lifted”.

He added: “I’ve hid all my life… In this community, with these kids, I’d be a big hypocrite if I didn’t speak my truth.”

16-year-old Marla Solow, who helped organise the event, said: “I feel really proud of him, even though obviously he’s an adult. I teared up… if it inspires other people to come out, that’s great.”

17-year-old queer senior Tao Marwell said: “I have so much respect for him to be able to do that. It’s a very brave thing to do.”