High School Principal Comes Out to Students, Staff at Annual Pride Event

Ralphie Aversa
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High School Principal Comes Out to Students, Staff at Annual Pride Event

Woodrow Wilson High School principal Pete Cahall used to tell students at the school's annual Pride Event that they should be themselves. But by his own admission, he was not heeding that same advice.

On Wednesday, during Wilson High School's second annual event, he changed that. Flanked by elected officials and in front of a supportive student body, Cahall announced that he is gay. The news elicited a huge applause from the students and staff.

"I just turned 50 a couple of weeks ago," Cahall told members of the media afterward. "It was just something I kept saying: I'm tired of hiding."

In a sit-down interview after the announcement with Fox station WTTG, Cahall noted that the circumstances surrounding the event and his age were the main factors in the decision of his timing. He admitted that he was nervous; the principal was visibly shaking while reading from his prepared remarks. But afterward, Cahall said he felt "relieved — a ton of bricks off my shoulders."

Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray, along with Councilman David Catania, stood along side Cahall as he declared his sexual orientation.

"I want to congratulated you on making that announcement," Mayor Gray said to Cahall. "I didn't know until I got here. In fact, I said to you, I'm just going to put my notes aside. This is going to be a lot bigger than anything I might say."

But Gray did have a few words saved for the Westboro Baptist Church, who is planning to picket Wilson High School Monday morning.

"In my best Biblical reference, they can go straight to hell," the mayor said.