Jennifer Lopez meets Sheboygan Lutheran valedictorian whose speech about being gay was nixed

Sophie Carson
Sheboygan Press
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Recent high school graduate Nat Werth of Sheboygan poses for a portrait at Pridefest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, before receiving the Valor Award on Friday, June 7, 2019. Hannah Schroeder/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jennifer Lopez has scores of adoring fans. But Lopez herself is an admirer of a certain Sheboygan high school valedictorian.

Nat Werth, the Sheboygan Lutheran High School student who was barred from giving his graduation speech, met Jennifer Lopez on Wednesday at her Summerfest show after she heard about his story.

She reached out to Werth, who had written a graduation speech that addressed challenges he faced as a gay student. The two met Wednesday at her Summerfest show at the American Family Insurance Amphitheater — the star’s first-ever performance in Wisconsin.

“Jennifer had a chance to tell Nat that she supports him speaking out and she stands behind him,” "Today" anchor Carson Daly reported in a segment Friday. “Werth said that meeting Jennifer Lopez was absolutely an amazing experience he will never forget.”

Werth had planned to deliver a student address as his school's valedictorian. After looking at an original draft of his speech, school administrators cut references to his struggles as a gay student and parts that critiqued biblical scriptures critical of homosexuality, he said in previous interviews.

Werth said he told administrators he would work with them to remove parts they didn't like and to make the speech something on which they could all agree. But they ultimately told him he wouldn't speak at graduation.

Werth has seen national media attention since graduation. He appeared on the "Today" show, was interviewed for TIME Magazine and won Milwaukee Pridefest’s 2019 Valor Award.

Lopez reposted the "Today" show segment on social media Friday and added a message of support.

“Continue to use your voice and spread only love and acceptance,” she wrote. “Don’t stop being you.”

RELATED:Sheboygan Lutheran valedictorian says speech was nixed because he wrote about being gay

RELATED:Jennifer Lopez puts on the biggest spectacle Summerfest has ever seen

Contact Sophie Carson at (414) 223-5512 or scarson@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SCarson_News.

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