Friday, April 4, 2014

College Football player Mitch Eby Comes Out as Gay - and what he said to his Team

This story at outsports is pretty great - especially how it includes Mitch's coming out speech that he shared with his teammates:

"I came up here today to talk to you guys about something that I've been dealing with for quite a while. It's something personal that I've always thought I could just bury away, but I can't. We live life so worried about how other people view us that we forget about ourselves. I can no longer go on living in fear, repressing myself because of how society may view me. I can no longer lie to my friends, family and teammates. It's time I lived life for myself for a change.

"With that being said, I am ready to share with you all that I am gay.

"It has taken me years to accept myself for who I truly am, so it's irrational to expect everybody to unconditionally accept me right away. However, the one thing that I hope that I can count on from each of you, my teammates, is your respect. Your respect as a friend, your respect as a teammate, and your respect as a man.

"Being gay may be something that defines me, but it does not limit me. It is such a small part of who I am. I am the same person you all know, no different than before. I'm still the kid that is obsessed with pretty much anything having to do with sports, I'm still the kid that some of you love to call stupid nicknames like ‘mom' and ‘hot dog,' and I'm still someone who will continue to go out there every day and push myself and push my teammates to be the best football team around. I am your teammate, I am your classmate and I am your brother. And I know that my brothers will continue to stand by my side, no matter what."

When he had finished speaking, the team erupted in applause. Eby smiled, taken aback by the overwhelming response. As the clapping ceased, Eby broke the silence with the most profound words he would share all night:

"So how about some pizza?"

Go read the whole article. It really got me... I only wish that Mitch didn't have to wait to be a junior in college to feel safe about being his authentic self. His being authentic now, and honored and respected for that authenticity, is good, but we can do better than that.

How do we work on the things that kept him from coming out his first two years of college? In his high school? In his junior high?

How about we aim for a world where everyone can be authentic right away? A world with no closets at all.

That's my vision.


No comments: