Coming Out Day – 17 LGBTQ+ athletes share their coming out journeys
The words “coming out” represent a nearly universal experience, and often a defining moment, for members of the LGBTQ+ community. For Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, ESPN spoke to 17 out athletes from around the world about their journeys.
Athletes from Argentina to Australia, America to Africa, and many other places between, shared details of their search for identity, why they came out publicly and how their lives have changed as a result.
Here are excerpts from the questions asked of each athlete. You can also read their full interviews, as well as this feature in Spanish and Dutch.
What was the “coming out to myself” process like for you?
NHL prospect Luke Prokop: There was a lot of questioning, it took a lot of time. Seeing the growth that we’re making in the world, and the steps we’re taking, made it a little more comfortable for me. I just took a big leap of faith and had some confidence in myself. I came out to myself and then finally came out to my friends and family. It was tough hiding it. Being in hockey, the locker-room talk is very prevalent and something that I didn’t want to talk about. I kind of hid myself from that topic of conversation. Going through those four or five years were tough for me.
Olympic skateboarder Alana Smith: It was maybe the hardest — especially growing up in a household [with] such a lack of emotional availability. We didn’t really have conversations about anything, so I had to figure things out on my own. I was like, “Wow, I feel this way about everybody and I don’t know if it’s normal.” I started looking people up [online] and I realized that it [being bisexual] was OK. Also, being non-binary, that was a process of its own. I was like, “I don’t necessarily feel like I’m on one end or the other. Maybe, some days, I am feeling either way.” In-between fits me. It was definitely a battle, the process of figuring out me.
Footballer Collin Martin: As early as elementary school, I knew I liked guys. When you’re suppressing it so much, you…
Source : espn