Showing posts with label Comes Out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Comes Out. Show all posts

February 20, 2017

Professional Racing Driver Danny Watts Comes Out Gay

 Professional Racing Driver Danny Watts

The 37-year-old star has told his fans that he identifies as gay after years of struggling to come to terms with his sexuality.

The professional racing driver – who recently retired from the sport – revealed that he felt he had to keep his true self hidden while competing in the largely macho world of motor racing.

“There isn’t any one moment that stands out in my mind as the moment I realized I would need to live in the closet if I wanted my motor sport career to go anywhere; it was just a general feeling I got,” Danny explained.

“There were enough gay jokes and homophobic slurs to go around, and I felt like if I lifted my head out of the trenches, I’d be immediately annihilated.

“All the other guys in the paddock had girlfriends, so I got one to blend in. When that relationship ended, I got another one, and so I continued pretending to be straight for seventeen years.

“I knew from quite young that I preferred gay porn to straight, but kept that side of my life hidden to avoid upsetting people in my team, people in racing, and the wider public.”

Danny admitted that he became “one of the worst of the womanisers” in an attempt to conceal his sexuality, while adding that he didn’t have any gay friends in fear that “someone would notice and connect the dots”.

“Eventually, something in me flipped, and I couldn’t keep it in any more,” he said. “I came out to my wife, who told me she’d known I was gay for ages and she was happy I’d finally come out.

“We started the process of an amicable divorce while working to create the least impact possible on our son’s life.”

He added: “From there, my ability to keep it secret slowly unravelled. I came out to more and more people in my private life, which went well for the most part.

“I even got up the courage to wear a Pride bracelet and a pendant with the gay man logo to the track, and started hanging out with the fun people who noticed and commented on my jewellery in the autograph queue.”

Danny explained that coming out to his friends and family in his immediate circle has made him feel much more comfortable with who he is, but he’s very aware of the negative reaction he could receive from some motorsport fans.

“There are trolls in the motor sport community who could very well rear their heads to try silence me, but there’s a group of researchers keeping track of my Twitter mentions as I come out to help inform other queer racers wanting to come out,” he said.

“Their opinion no longer matters to me, though. I no longer need to kow-tow to sponsors; a bad reaction no longer impacts on my ability to earn.

“My ‘coming out’ interview with a racing journalist is pending publication,” he added. “I have no idea the kind of response I’ll get to that article. I hope that there are a few people who are supportive.

“If the response I’ve had from the queer motor sport community thus far is any gauge, I feel hopeful that I’ll find a supportive group to start driving change for my queer siblings in the sport I love.”

Danny Watts enjoyed a long and successful career in professional racing driving, which included winning the legendary Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race.

November 4, 2016

Hockey Player Brock McGillis Comes Out

Brock McGillis Feb 2012
Brock McGillis is a former OHL, CIS and semi-professional hockey player who now works mentoring minor hockey and junior-aged players. He shares his story of coming out with Yahoo Sports: 
For years I lived a life full of lies. Growing up in a culture of hockey – minor hockey, the Ontario Hockey League, university hockey, and semi-pro in Europe – I felt I would never be accepted. 
For years I lived a life of denial, because I am gay. 
Hockey has always been very homophobic. I can’t count the amount of times I heard phrases like: That’s gay or what a homo in the dressing room over the course of my hockey career. Words like fag, p---y, and b---h are part of the daily banter. Those words are used to belittle players, to weaken and feminize them, because hockey is hyper-masculine, meant for the manliest of men.  
From a young age, I knew I was gay. I remember being a child and watching a movie with a gay character.  I asked my parents: “Am I gay?” Their response was: “I’m not sure but if you are, you are.”
So I was fortunate to grow up in a supporting household without judgment or negativity towards homosexuality. 
That was not the case with hockey family. Hyper-masculinity and hockey go hand-in-hand, so I had to lie to fit in with my teammates. I began dating as many girls as I could to avoid being exposed. I became a womanizer. In the OHL I had to have a girlfriend and she always had to be one everyone thought was attractive. It felt empty. I felt empty. I suppressed my sexuality to the point that I was angry at myself if I had sexual thoughts that weren’t heterosexual.  
The fear of exposing myself as a fraud was all-consuming and that, combined with the drive to continue my hockey career, was a toxic mix. I tried to isolate myself from my teammates. The depression was constant and I often found myself crying for what seemed like no reason at all. 
I was gay, but couldn’t share my secret with anyone. I trusted no one. I felt hollow inside. It started to manifest in my play and I was constantly injured. Playing hockey was where I always felt the most joy. As a kid I would skate 12 times a week. I was the boy whose parents would show up to the rink with dinner because I wouldn’t leave. The boy who would walk with his equipment to the arena down the street hoping a team was short a goalie for practice so I could skate. By the time I realized I was gay it had become my lone sanctuary; it allowed me to escape my thoughts and fears. 
View gallery
Goaltender Brock McGillis played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds and the Windsor Spitfires. (Photo: McGillis family photos)
Goaltender Brock McGillis played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Soo Greyhounds and the Windsor Spitfires. …
On the ice I could forget my secret and its consequences but when injuries took their toll, I had no escape. With hockey gone, there was nothing to live for and by this point I wanted to die. I had to face who I am and I didn’t know how to. Without hockey I had no place to hide from my thoughts and fears. I had an internal struggle with still wanting to be a hockey player and thinking that I couldn’t be myself and play the game I love. The injuries, the fears, the rehab, the secrets all seemed like too much. I didn’t see a point in living. In hindsight, I should have reached out to my supportive family, but the fear of them slipping up and inadvertently exposing my secret was so great that I felt I couldn’t tell anyone.
The decision to finally come out happened when I was 22 and playing hockey in Europe. One night I went on a gay dating website and saw a number of men married to women who were living double lives. Did I want to live that way too? How long would I have to keep up the charade? I began going out on dates in Toronto, a place where I felt I could be anonymous without being outed in the hockey community. When I began a serious relationship, no one could know. I was constantly paranoid. I used an alias for his friends and refused to let him meet anyone in my family. Even at that point, I was two years into a serious relationship but couldn’t come clean about who I was because I had intentions of continuing my hockey career. 
Eventually I went to play university hockey at Concordia in Montreal. Despite loving my partner I told him that I might have to sleep with women to keep up appearances. What a thing to say to someone you loved. It still hurts to think of how badly I wanted approval in a world that didn’t approve of me. The relationship ended shortly after and it is still one of the biggest regrets of my life. 
My second year in Montreal, team nights would end with me sneaking off to the gay village. There was no gay network for me or friends I could talk to about what I was going through. Then someone came into my life who put everything into place for me: Brendan Burke. 
Brendan, the son of Calgary Flames president Brian Burke, had already come out publicly as gay. He had his own NHL aspirations as an executive and I reached out to him. We quickly became friends. When you spend your life feeling like an outsider it was amazing to have someone understand your struggles. Brendan inspired me because he was so driven to create change in the way homosexuals are perceived in sports.
Tragically Brendan was killed in a car accident on Feb. 5, 2010. Two days before his death we exchanged messages on Facebook and he wrote: “I can’t wait until the day that you’re out like I am.” 
Those were his last words to me. 
He was the only person who knew my secret and he was gone. I cried for days. Shortly after I told my younger brother, who was also a semi-pro hockey player, and with his support I came out to the rest of my family.
When the injuries finally took their toll and my hockey career ended, it felt liberating. I could finally be free and experience life as a gay man without judgment from the hockey community. It didn’t last long. After finishing school, I began to work with athletes in my hometown of Sudbury, Ont., helping them with on-ice and off-ice training. I also started coaching players who were looking to advance to the next level (OHL or NCAA). 
View gallery
Brock McGillis training future OHL and NCAA prospects. L to R: Matt Mayhew, Damien Giroux, Brett Jacklin, Brock McGillis, Brad Chenier & Daniel Walker
Brock McGillis training future OHL and NCAA prospects. L to R: Matt Mayhew, Damien Giroux, Brett Jacklin, Brock …
For the last five years I have helped hundreds of players reach their goals – but I’ve done it with caution. I never divulged my sexuality to any of the athletes I’ve worked with and was always quick to shut down any homophobic language used in my presence. Eventually I noticed a change: when a player said something like, “That’s gay,” they would quickly apologize. Then one day, while talking to two hockey dads one used the term “c***sucker.” An hour later he called me to apologize because he respected me. He also said that he and a few others had figured out why I had been so adamant about trying to change the culture. That really hit home for me. Since then I’ve had parents try to set me up on dates and players tell me that they know and are cool with the fact that I am gay. 
There has also been backlash. Homophobia still exists in today’s hockey culture. Some people in the hockey community have blackballed me from working with certain teams. People – who were once considered friends – no longer speak to me. It has been challenging being one of the first out people in this hockey community, but that has made the reward even greater. Since coming out in my community, the rewards greatly outweigh the negativity. Being able to help players get to the OHL or NCAA and work with others to realize their dreams is incredible. From my own experience the biggest hurdle in terms of acceptance will come from older generations. Some adults still perpetuate homophobic beliefs and behaviours. That dialogue must be changed and everyone – players, coaches, management, and parents – needs to play a part. Words and actions are a learned behaviour. How many times have you heard a parent, coach or player use derogatory language at the rink? 
Cliches like "Boys being boys" and "Locker room talk" were never valid defences – this is why I’m telling my story. I’m telling my story to start a dialogue. If you are gay, lesbian or trans and playing hockey, know that you are not alone. Know that you are not the only one. 
Know that I am here for you, the way Brendan Burke was there for me, because it gives me an immense sense of pride carrying on his legacy by saying: “I can’t wait until the day that you’re out like I am.”
Brock McGillis
Special to Yahoo Sports Canada(Posted as it appeared on Yahoo Sports Ca.)
Brock McGillis is a former OHL, CIS and semi-professional hockey player who now works mentoring minor hockey and junior-aged players. Follow him on Twitter: @brock_mcgillis

October 17, 2016

Fox’s Shepard Smith Comes Out Gay


Fox News anchor Shepard Smith came out as gay in an interview Monday.

In Smith’s sit down with the Huffington Post, the anchor denied that his former boss Roger Ailes ever prevented him from coming out publicly.

“That’s not true. He was as nice as he could be to me. I loved him like a father,” Smith said.

Smith indicated that Ailes did not express contempt for homosexuality when he was around him, saying Fox News was a “warm” work environment under Ailes’ reign.

“No, never. He treated me with respect, just respect,” Smith said. “He gave me every opportunity in the world and he never asked anything of me but that we get it right, try to get it right every day. It was a very warm and loving and comfortable place.”

Nevertheless, Smith said trust was lost with Ailes after reports of sexual harassment came to light.
“I trusted him with my career and with ― I trusted him and trusts were betrayed. People outside this company can’t know [how painful that betrayal was]. This place has its enemies, but inside, it was very personal, and very scarring and horrifying.”
Smith, never afraid to veer from the network’s orthodoxy, was one of the few Fox News anchors who reported on Ailes’ improprieties, leading the coverage when the rest of the network was neglecting the shameful story.

In his interview Monday, Smith suggested a pathway to a new era of Fox News:

“We have to make sure there aren’t young victims wandering around here who need us. We have to get appropriate counselors in here. We have to make sure legally everybody’s protected and have to make a commitment to be the most transparent, open and welcoming organization of our kind in the world, and I’m determined to be a part of the team that makes it happen.”

Several years ago, Gawker heavily pursued rumors that Smith was romantically involved with a male 26-year-old Fox staffer, and that the right-wing news network might be silencing the relationship to conceal the fact that one of its famous personalities was homosexual.

Why did it take so long?

According to Gawker:

 Why did it take Shepard Smith so long to come out? The affable Fox News anchor has a longtime boyfriend, ranks among Fox’s most senior talent, and lives in New York City. It could be, of course, that he’s just a very private person, or—as the Times argued in October—that public attitudes have changed and nobody cares if a famous figure is gay.

Shepard Smith’s Office Romance: A 26-Year-Old Fox Staffer
Shepard Smith, the endlessly endearing (and easily angered) Fox News anchor, has likened the…
Or it could be that, when Smith tried to come out last year, Fox silenced and punished him.

In the summer of 2013, according to multiple sources with knowledge of their exchange, Shepard Smith approached Fox News president Roger Ailes about publicly coming out. The newly attached anchor was eager, at the time, to finally acknowledge his sexuality. “It’s time,” he told Ailes and other colleagues. “It’s time.”

Instead, Ailes informed Smith that the network’s famously conservative audience would not tolerate a gay news anchor. Ailes’ answer was definitive: Smith could not say he’s gay.

“This came up during contract negotiations,” a Fox insider told Gawker. “Shep wanted to and was ready to come out, and Roger just said no.”

Smith, one of Ailes’s first and most loyal disciples, acquiesced to his boss’s demand, and dropped the matter. But the discussion worried enough Fox executives to prompt Smith’s removal, in September 2013, from the channel’s coveted prime-time lineup. According to a Fox insider with direct knowledge of negotiations, Smith’s desire to come out was a large factor in the dramatic move.

“They tried to play it up as a big promotion,” the insider said. “But everyone knew that Shep was getting demoted. And the coming out thing was a significant part of that.”

It’s difficult to square all of this with Smith’s characterization of Ailes as an uncommonly honest businessman, a second father who would never hurt him. “Roger has always had my back and never lied to me and never told me what to say,” Smith said in 2009.

Yet Smith’s demotion wasn’t actually Ailes’s idea to begin with. Nor was Ailes very surprised when Smith finally approached him. “Roger has known Shep has been gay for a long time,” a current Fox staffer said. So why was Ailes suddenly afraid of everyone else knowing, too?

A few weeks before approaching Ailes about coming out, Smith surprised Fox staffers by bringing his boyfriend, a 26-year-old Fox producer named Gio Graziano, to a company picnic at Ailes’s compound in Garrison, New York. Held annually on Independence Day weekend, the picnic is a small gathering—only executives, on-air talent, and their frontline producers are invited—so Smith likely felt comfortable bringing along his steady partner.

Despite the intimate venue, the new couple put several Fox executives on high alert. According to multiple sources with knowledge of the picnic, the most dramatic reaction came from Bill Shine, the channel’s Executive Vice President of Programming. Shine “flipped out,” one source said, after* Smith introduced Graziano to attendees. (Within and outside of Fox, Shine, who is 50 and grew up on Long Island, carries a reputation for insensitivity toward gay people. “He’s a major, major homophobe,” a Fox insider said.)

Back in New York City, Shine called a meeting among high-level executives to discuss a plan of action regarding Smith. “His fear was that Shep’s audience would implode,” said an individual familiar with the meeting, during which Shine forcefully argued against Smith coming out. His argument was simple: Our audience is not ready for a gay anchor.

Shine’s plea wasn’t particularly well-received. (“Everyone’s jaws just dropped,” a Fox insider said.) But the potential impact on Fox’s ratings was enough to scare Ailes into believing his lieutenant’s apocalyptic scenario. Fox’s unparalleled numbers are, after all, what give Ailes almost complete autonomy over his channel’s content, and immense power within Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

With Ailes’ approval, Shine quickly choreographed Smith’s move from Fox’s 7 p.m. block, where he anchored The Fox Report, to the 3 p.m. block, where he currently runs Shepard Smith Reporting. Anticipating Smith’s desire to come out, Shine also coached Ailes on what to say when Smith finally approached him.

Ailes, meanwhile, ordered the channel’s media-relations shop to control any leaks or coverage of Smith’s romantic life. To this day, a Fox insider told Gawker, “the P.R. department tries to prevent anyone from talking about Shep’s sexuality.”

(Of course, that hasn’t always worked. When Gawker noted in March that Smith wasn’t attending a gay journalists gala sponsored by Fox News, the P.R. shop scrambled to place Smith on the guest list. “Gawker’s reporting obviously caused them to do that,” said a source familiar with the shop’s decision, which turned out to be less bold than it seemed: Smith showed up with three Fox minders to insulate the anchor from any reporters.)

Shine’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering troubled many at Fox. “It’s totally backwards thinking,” an insider at the channel said. And it flew against the gay-friendly image Ailes had worked so hard to construct among New York’s media elite. The image was always cynical—if Ailes sponsors the N.L.G.J.A., or blurbs Rachel Maddow, both will naturally think twice before criticizing his channel. But it depended on the basic assumption that Ailes didn’t mistreat actual gay people in his immediate vicinity. (He merely employs hosts who bemoan the Girl Scouts’ “homosexual overtones.”)

Smith seems to have brought Ailes, and Fox News, to an impassable contradiction: Either embrace the anchor’s wish to come out (and risk the audience’s revolt or desertion) or completely reject it (and risk Fox’s acceptance among a community for whom coming out is an immutable right). Up until now, very few have known that Ailes even had to make such a choice.

Smith, Ailes, Shine, and Fox News all declined repeated requests for comment.

* Correction: Shine tells TVNewser that he did not attend the picnic. The sentence has been corrected to reflect that Shine negatively reacted after learning that Smith brought his boyfriend to the Independence Day picnic.

Update 1: Smith and Ailes provided TVNewser with the following statement:

This story is 100% false and a complete fabrication. As colleagues and close friends at Fox News for 18 years, our relationship has always been rooted in a mutual respect, deep admiration, loyalty, trust, and full support both professionally and personally.
Update 2: In a statement to Politico, Fox clarified the timeline of Smith’s negotiations over his contract and revised role. Smith renewed his contract on June 7, which Fox noted in a July 2 press release about Megyn Kelly. Over two months later, in mid-September, Fox announced Smith’s departure from the channel’s prime-time block. At the time, Smith told Business Insider that he and Roger Ailes began tentative discussions about a new role for Smith in late April.

June 1, 2016

Evangelical Rock Star Comes Out Gay

Trey Pearson (Facebook)
Usually a story of a Christian singer coming out would not make the pages of this blog but on this occasion you have someone who had a strong following for many years.  But that alone was not it. What swayed the decision was this was an important article with something to say besides a gay person finding out that they are gay which happens everyday in this country.  It was reading the comments to the letter from Trey announcing to his  followers that he published.  I expected the usual tearing down that we hear from these people and the politicians they elect.  l thought I would read about all he need is more prayer or to be baptized again or to wait for Jesus to talk to you and show you the way(in spanish it means and which Ive heard many times “Espera que Dios te hable”) Which actually means never. Just wait as you are and wait for god to talk…that’s what many kids go through  and are told by their religious parents if they don’t try to change them first, wait. Many spent their lives waiting to be change and it never happens and they end up living someone else’s wish of how their lives should be. Talk about a life wasted.

What I read was an array of educated, compassionate comments. One said  ‘his coming out means is not a matter of choice because he chose to be straight and couldn’t (that was my case), he prayed to god and was not changed, so it’s not a matter of prayer and god and waiting. Because he is a family man he and gays are not anti family.’ 
I thought that maybe this is an indication that things are changing for real in the Christian and Evangelical quarters. I keep reading about it but I have not seen any indications until now. 

“I don’t mean to cry. It’s just been such a long time coming.”

Trey Pearson, 35, was overcome with emotion halfway into our first interview, and it is easy to understand why. For the past 15 years, he’s been the lead singer of the popular Christian rock band “Everyday Sunday.” But he decided to put his career on the line this week and admit to his faithful fans that he is gay.

“I finally decided to come out because I couldn’t keep trying to be something that I wasn’t,” he tells me.

Pearson’s announcement is no small story. Since 2001, “Everyday Sunday” has sold around a quarter of a million albums. His song “Wake Up! Wake Up!” was the most played Christian rock song of 2007, and his 2009 album, “Best Night of Our Lives,” broke onto the coveted Billboard 200 chart. Pearson has toured in all 50 states and 20 countries, playing with top Christian musicians such as Toby Mac, Switchfoot, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp and others. 

(614) Magazine, an entertainment and culture magazine in Columbus, Ohio, will tell Pearson’s story in a 12-page cover story for their upcoming June 2016 issue. His narrative will ring familiar to many who grew up in a religious community. Pearson raised in a conservative Christian home where he was taught that sexual orientation was a matter of choice. Though he knew from an early age that he was attracted to other males, he attempted to suppress his feelings and “be straight.”

“I never wanted to be gay,” he tells (614). “I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me; so it was never an option for me.”

Nearly eight years ago, Pearson married a woman in hopes of achieving the kind of straight dream-life his community would support. Though he and his wife had two children, his hopes never materialized and Pearson realized he “was never going to be who my wife needed me to be.”

“I was not making it an option to be gay so I could be loyal to her and my children,” he told me. “But then I realized the only way I was ever going to be my best for them was to be healthy myself.”

As Pearson started accepting his sexual orientation, he sought guidance from other Christian leaders. The first person he told was pastor Jonathan Martin, author of “How to Survive a Shipwreck,” who helped him connect with a counselor. His mentor and friend Rob Bell, former pastor and author of “How to Be Here,” also helped him process.

While Pearson says he will no longer live a lie, he is not abandoning his faith. The rocker says he still prays regularly and reads the Bible. He even once memorized the entire epistle of James. His study of the Scriptures, he says, has led him to believe that the handful of Bible verses that directly address homosexuality do not prohibit the kind of loving, committed gay relationships known to the modern world.

“There is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus,” he said. “God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated and my truest self.”

Pearson’s shift places him in the center of a growing movement of popular Christian musicians who are coming out as gay and are advocating for a more open and accepting posture in the church. Ray Boltz, whose songs were staples in evangelical churches throughout the 1990s, came out as gay in 2004. Grammy-nominated Anthony Williams  became the first openly-gay gospel artist in 2009. Jennifer Knapp, another Grammy-nominated Christian artist admitted she was a lesbian one year later. And in 2014, popular worship music artist Vicky Beeching told The Independent that she too was a lesbian.

These musicians paid a hefty price. Since Christian music fans tend to be conservative and believe that homosexual acts are sinful, you won’t hear their music played in most churches or on Christian radio these days.

Pearson accepts that his announcement could mark the end of his music career too, but he hopes it will signal a fresh start instead. He plans to continue making music and will release a new single later this year. He will perform at Wild Goose, the Christian festival in July, and hopes to become a voice within the burgeoning “gay Christian” movement.

“I definitely know how hard it was on my journey to be able to accept myself, and how other people’s voices and stories helped me. So I absolutely want to be a voice for other people,” Pearson says. “I know there are more and more Christians that realize how important this is, and I hope I can join with them in seeing this change.”

Pearson’s journey begins today with a single step and the following letter written to those who’ve supported his music over the years.

To my fans and friends:
Religion News Service

Most of us reach at least one pivotal moment in our lives that better defines who we are.

These last several months have been the hardest–but have also ended up being the most freeing months—of my life.

To make an extremely long story short, I have come to be able to admit to myself, and to my family, that I am gay.

I grew up in a very conservative Christian home where I was taught that my sexual orientation was a matter of choice, and had put all my faith into that. I had never before admitted to myself that I was gay, let alone to anyone else. I never wanted to be gay. I was scared of what God would think and what all of these people I loved would think about me; so it never was an option for me. I have been suppressing these attractions and feelings since adolescence.  I’ve tried my whole life to be straight. I married a girl, and I even have two beautiful little kids. My daughter, Liv, is six and my son, Beckham, is two.

I had always romanticized the idea of falling in love with a woman; and having a family had always been my dream. In many ways, that dream has come true. But I have also come to realize a lot of time has passed in my life pushing away, blocking out and not dealing with real feelings going on inside of me. I have tried not to be gay for more than 20 years of my life. I found so much comfort as a teen in 1 Samuel 18-20 and the intimacy of Jonathan and David. I thought and hoped that such male intimacy could fulfill that void I felt in my desire for male companionship. I always thought if I could find these intimate friendships, then that would be enough.

Then I thought everything would come naturally on my wedding night. I honestly had never even made out with a girl before I got married. Of course, it felt anything but natural for me. Trying not to be gay, has only led to a desire for intimacy in friendships which pushed friends away, and it has resulted in a marriage where I couldn’t love or satisfy my wife in a way that she needed. Still, I tried to convince myself that this was what God wanted and that this would work. I thought all of those other feelings would stay away if I could just do this right.

When Lauren and I got married, I committed to loving her to the best of my ability, and I had the full intention of spending the rest of my life with her. Despite our best efforts, however, I have come to accept that there is nothing that is going to change who I am.

I have intensely mixed feelings about the changes that have resulted in my life. While I regret the way I was taught to handle this growing up, how much it has hurt me and the unintentional pain I have brought Lauren, I wouldn’t have the friendship I now have with her, and we wouldn’t have our two amazing, beautiful children. But if I keep trying to push this down it will end up hurting her even more.

I am never going to be able to change how I am, and no matter how healthy our relationship becomes, it’s never going to change what I know deep down: that I am gay. Lauren has been the most supportive, understanding, loving and gracious person I could ever ask for, as I have come to face this. And now I am trying to figure out how to co-parent while being her friend, and how to raise our children.

I have progressed so much in my faith over these last several years. I think I needed to be able to affirm other gay people before I could ever accept it for myself. Likewise, I couldn’t expect others to accept me how I am until I could come to terms with it first.

I know I have a long way to go. But if this honesty with myself about who I am, and who I was made by God to be, doesn’t constitute as the peace that passes all understanding, then I don’t know what does. It is like this weight I have been carrying my whole life has been lifted from me, and I have never felt such freedom.

In sharing this publicly I’m taking another step into health and wholeness by accepting myself, and every part of me. It’s not only an idea for me that I’m gay; It’s my life. This is me being authentic and real with myself and other people. This is a part of who I am.

I hope people will hear my heart, and that I will still be loved. I’m still the same guy, with the same heart, who wants to love God and love people with everything I have. This is a part of me I have come to be able to accept, and now it is a part of me that you know as well. I trust God to help love do the rest.

– Trey

This story was published on Religion News by Jonathan Merritt
Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

September 16, 2015

Princeton Football Player Mason Darrow Comes Out Gay to the WholeWorld

 Mason Darrow
"While he knew he liked guys in the sixth or seventh grade, images of powerful gay football players like Esera Tuaolo were few and far between. Michael Sam had revealed his truth to his teammates but not yet to the world.
Darrow was, like so many gay athletes tell themselves, a complete anomaly. He was part of an athletic family, attending Princeton in the footsteps of his brother, Mack, who played basketball for the Tigers. At 6-foot-5, 285-pounds, Darrow was a beast. On the high school football field he turned heads with his strength and acumen.
Mid-major football programs like Wyoming, Bowling Green and Western Michigan offered him athletic scholarships. Michigan State made inquiries, and Vanderbilt was interested in making him part of the team.
This was not the life of a gay man.
So he hid. He dated women. When someone in his high school asked him if he was gay - and that happened a couple of times - he denied it.
"I felt like I had to keep appearances up. I didn’t want to arouse suspicion that I might be gay, so I went along with the flow and did what I thought was expected of me.” []

 Mason Darrow, a junior offensive lineman for Princeton's football team, revealed to his teammates in 2013 that he was gay.

On Tuesday, he made the news public in a story for

The post looked back at how Darrow struggled in his freshman year before finally revealing to teammate Caleb Slate the secret he'd been keeping from the rest of the roster.

"I felt trapped," he told Outsports. "I wasn't happy. I wanted to tell people, but I thought there would be a lot of animosity. There are a lot of guys from the South on the team. I wasn't sure how people would react to it."

Darrow spoke about hiding his sexual preference in high school, where he dated women to "keep appearances up" though he was asked a few times if he was gay. He also detailed how there were additional struggles:

"Darrow never struggled with the morality of being gay, he just never figured he could actually be queer. He didn't enter high school until Barack Obama was the president. Several states had already legalized same-sex marriage by then. Gay entertainers - and yes, even some gay athletes - had received praise for their courage. Darrow had grown up in a country on the doorstep of equality for gay people.

"Yet the constant drumbeat of media images of gay men put forward a particular kind of gay guy: Small, 6 percent body fat, listens to pop music, drinks pink martinis and dances on Broadway. He didn't fit the bill. Mostly."

After coming out two years ago to teammates, he spent the past summer doing the same to the coaching staff, including head coach Bob Surace, who responded, "That's great" upon hearing the news.

"Here at Princeton, if we can't handle this and say, 'we're supportive of everybody no matter what their background, religion, race or sexual orientation,' then we don't have the right guys in the locker room," Surace said. "We're going to support Mason 100 percent."

Princeton will open up its 2015 season on Saturday at Lafayette.

October 11, 2014

Reality TV star Charlie King comes out gay on live t.v.

Speaking to Amanda Holden and Phillip Schofield during This Morning on ITV today, the ‘nervous’ former TOWIE regular said: ‘Firstly I feel the time is now and it’s been a long time coming. For the last few months I’ve been sitting on the fence a little bit…
‘Even though I’m nervous now talking about it, I know the time is now because anyone that might know me knows that I came off The Only Way is Essex and on that show, they followed my storyline which was very much about that subject because I never really knew where I belonged.
‘I never really knew where I fitted in and it was something that I had to address and it’s taken me a good few years to get here now and be able to say “I’m Charlie, I’m 29 years old, I’m a gay man and I’m very comfortable with that.’
He went on to say that his family had been very supportive of his coming out and addressed a girlfriend that he’d had earlier this year: ‘I had to tell her, I had a chat with her she was one of the first people I spoke to because we did have a proper relationship at the beginning of this year and I was very aware that even though when I was seeing her it, didn’t feel quite right
 bobby buns on left
‘Something inside of me still wanted it to work so bad and I kept trying and trying but when something doesn’t click, it doesn’t click, and that’s also been a very poignant thing for me is that this can’t continue.’

September 16, 2014

“Orange is the New Black” Reveals to Writer that She is “Gay"

 Lauren Morelli
 When "Orange is the New Black" writer Lauren Morelli started working on the series, she didn't realize how much it would also script her future.
As Morelli wrote in an essay for in May, writing for the Netflix hit helped her realize that she was gay -- even though at the time, she was married to a man. When production began on “OITNB," Morelli had been wed for five months.

"I realized I was gay in fall 2012, one of my first days on the set," Morelli wrote. "It wasn't so much one thing, but the sum of many small details: how uncomfortable I felt around groups of lesbians or how I considered myself ... a 'not very sexual person.' When considered alone, these seemed like little quirks that made me me.”

But on the set of "OITNB," where she helped shape the story of main character Piper (Taylor Schilling) and her relationships, "these small moments came into sharp relief," Morelli continued. "I was finally forced to consider a question that had never, ever occurred to me before ... am I gay?"
That answer, she discovered, was yes. Watching a love scene that she'd written between Piper and Alex (Laura Prepon) unfold in front of the cameras, Morelli said she found her emotions paralleling the show. “I'd found a mouthpiece for my own desires," she wrote in her essay, "and a glimmer of what my future could look like."

According to TMZ, Morelli and her husband of two years, Steve Basilone, have now amicably split and have jointly filed for divorce. The OITNB writer is also reportedly dating one of the show’s stars, Samira Wiley, the actress who plays Poussey and who sometimes pops up in Morelli's Instagram feed.

By Carolyn Sung, CNN

August 14, 2014

Arizona State Lineman Ed “Chip” Serafin Comes Out Gay


Arizona State offensive lineman Edward "Chip" Sarafin told Compete Magazine -- a Tempe, Arizona-based LGBT publication -- in its most recent issue that he is gay.
Like former Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam, Sarafin came out to his team before going public.
"It was really personal to me and it benefited my peace of mind greatly," Sarafin told Compete Magazine of coming out to his teammates.
Sarafin becomes the first current Division I college football player to publicly announce he is gay.
"We are a brotherhood that is not defined by cultural and personal differences, but rather an individual's commitment to the Sun Devil Way," ASU coach Todd Graham said in a statement. "Chip is a fifth-year senior and a Scholar Baller, a graduate and a master's student. His commitment to service is unmatched and it is clear he is on his way to leading a successful life after his playing career, a goal that I have for every student-athlete. Diversity and acceptance are two of the pillars of our program, and he has full support from his teammates and the coaching staff."
"The entire athletics department is extremely proud of Chip and is unequivocally supportive of him," vice president of ASU athletics Ray Anderson said.
Sarafin has spent most of his time at Arizona State as a reserve offensive lineman. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman graduated last spring with a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering and currently is enrolled in ASU's graduate program for biomedical engineering.
The Sun Devils open their season Aug. 28 at home against Weber State.

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