One part of me feels like I should take advantage of the opportunity I have and come out publicly. The other part of me feels like an ass because I don’t want to just yet.
If I were to come out publicly, there would be so much good that can come out of it. I think one of the biggest things that it can do (which is the reason I feel like a dick for not coming out publicly) is help others out that are in a similar situation. I could use the platform of college football to make the voice of the LGBT community heard as well as help take down gay stereotypes.
But then again, I do not feel mentally ready for all this. I’ve just learned in the past few months how to accept and love myself. Which is why I feel like a dick. If I heard a story about a gay college football player coming out to his team and community, etc. It would make my struggles so much easier seeing that there is someone I can identify with.
If he doesn’t feel like he’s ready for the inevitable attention that would come with such an announcement, of course he shouldn’t do it. It’s an intensely personal situation, and clearly, it’s going to take a whole lot of factors to come together perfectly for it to finally happen. And far from being a dick because it doesn’t look like he’ll be the one – it only makes him like the many others undoubtedly in the same situation.
It’s still tempting, though, to hope that this guy – or someone a lot like him – is one to come out and break the barrier, because the overall thoughtfulness he showed in the answers he gave proves he’d be one hell of a representative to speak out about this still-touchy issue. Hopefully, the overwhelming response he received (over 1,000 comments) will make him feel all the more comfortable. Because for whoever out there still believes a gay guy can’t play the rough-and-tumble game of football, if this response given by the player wouldn’t convince them otherwise:
You need to have a certain mindset to be successful in the trenches and my sexuality has no hinderance [sic] on it. I too love hurting people (within the rules – no cheap shit, that’s weak). Playing OL is all about imposing your will over the man in front of you.
…then there’s probably no convincing to be done.
Photo via Keeper League GM