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Texas Athletes Rally Around Out Teammate, Make Us Cry

img_7013_copy.0_standard_709.0Naturally, we are fans of any organized activity in which muscular young men wear next to nothing. But we are particularly delighted when one of those men decides to be openly gay and all of his colleagues support him. Bonus points when it happens in a conservative state.

Such is the case at the University of Texas. SB Nation delivers the latest account of heartwarming allies who will give you all the feels: “Junior Matt Korman didn’t want to hide this side of himself any longer — and he wanted to date openly,” writes Cyd Zeigler.

Korman sent his team an email explaining that he’d been doing a lot of soul-searching. Over the last year, depression had been affecting his health and causing him to consider quitting the sport he loved. He blamed the closet for his malaise, and was making the decision to come out to everyone.

It’s a story that most of us have been through ourselves, one way or another: “ I was growing tired of all the lying, dishonesty, and pretending,” he told his team. “I want you to know me for who I am.”

And now for the amazing twist: his team was totally supportive, including the guys from “the middle of nowhere conservative Texas.” He adds, “I’ve gotten zero negative feedback.”

So, apparently this is the planet we live on now: one in which a Texas sports team loves their gay teammate. Not bad.

Read Korman’s full email below.

Guys,

The last year has been a rather difficult one for me and I have spent a lot of time soul searching and trying to figure out which end is up. One thing in particular has taken me quite a long time to come to terms with, and I want to address it here and now because it’s way past due.

Within the past year, I have fallen into a state of depression, which has deeply affected my life. I have had a hard time sleeping at night, eating, and have lost a lot of interest in swimming. For the first time in my career, I was ready to quit swimming at the end of the summer. Not many people have noticed something has been wrong. The ones that did, I just blamed all the stress on my schoolwork, which has been my scapegoat. But, I miss sleeping at night; being happy and being the person I used to be when it didn’t really matter. Although this has been something I have known for a while, it hit me particularly hard more recently as I have realized that I’m not getting any younger and would like to start dating and enjoy the simple things of life that I have been missing out on. When I was younger I thought I was only curious or it was just a phase for me, but have come to terms that I’m actually gay. (There, I finally said it)

For a long time I tried to be someone that I am not. By opening up and talking about it I have learnt that this is normal and its okay to be who I am. I have accepted myself for who I am. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not something that I choose. It just is.

Please know that I am telling you this about myself because I love you guys and I really want you to know this important part of me. I was growing tired of all the lying, dishonesty, and pretending. You all have always been there for me and supported me in everything that I do. You are and forever will be my brothers. I simply couldn’t continue to hide this from you anymore because it was slowly killing me. I want you to know me for who I am. I pray that this will not change anything, but I know for some of you this is uneasy. I want you all to know that I am here to have an open dialogue. If you have questions or concerns please be honest with me as I am being with you. Do not hesitate to ask me questions if you have any (appropriate ones). I know this email has been a bit heavy and I apologize for that. All I can do is hope you will accept me for who I am and realize that I really haven’t changed. I am still the same me.

I love you guys & thank you for listening.

Best,

Matt

By:           matt baume
On:           Nov 11, 2013
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 21 Comments
    • Bill Perdue
      Bill Perdue

      Texas is not a lost cause and should no be written off. The same radicalization grabbing the attention of working people, women and youth across the country is taking hold there and will sooner, rather than later, lead to the growth of movements for change.

      Our communities in Texas should jump at the chance to make alliances.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • manonyme
      manonyme

      Well, all texans certainly shouldn’t be painted with the same brush. And it is difficult to imagine just how large a state it is. So this just shows that we aren’t all crazy, tea-bagging conservatives. And because we have a lot of immigration it’s only a matter of time before the state turns blue…And I can’t wait.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JeepRod
      JeepRod

      Being a gay Texan transplant, I’ll point out that California, New York, Florida and Illinois all had more gay-victim crimes than Texas… for three years running now.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Polaro
      Polaro

      Homophobia is more a generational issue than a regional issue.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      Wonderful in every sense.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bad Ass Biker
      Bad Ass Biker

      Does Rick perry know about this?

      Nov 11, 2013 at 4:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LubbockGayMale
      LubbockGayMale

      @Bad Ass Biker: Please don’t tell the guvernator about this, or he’ll shut off funding for the UT swim team!

      As a gay Texan, I’ve never had trouble with folks discriminating… at least to my face!

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      Stories such as these warm my heart. We hear too much negative from Texas and not enough positives. Good on you, and looking forward to hearing about the new 21st Century Texas!

      Nov 11, 2013 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL
      LadyL

      Thank you for this one. Needed the lift.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon Donigan
      Jon Donigan

      You should know better. We don’t decide to be gay. We just are. But otherwise a great article.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott747
      scott747

      Yes but this is liberal Austin. Reaction would have been 180 degrees if in Houston.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codex
      Codex

      @Jon Donigan: You should read a little closer. The phrase used was, “decides to be openly gay”. The key word being, ‘openly’…

      Nov 11, 2013 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • halfahomo
      halfahomo

      Kudos to Matt for just putting it right on the table and not being concerned what his teammates think! That took one hell of an amount of pride and courage. I bow to you, Matt Korman….

      Nov 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jwtraveler
      jwtraveler

      So when does the new, young, liberal, 21st century Texas stop electing leaders like George W. Bush, Rick Perry, Ted Cruz and an anti-woman legislature and start electing sane, intelligent, humane officials?

      Nov 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joetx
      Joetx

      Korman is a student-athlete at UT, which is located in the Blue Oasis that is Austin. The acceptance Korman has received is more about the culture of UT, which has the reputation of being the “liberal school” in TX, than it is about Texans in general.

      Nov 11, 2013 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cowboykb
      cowboykb

      I don’t think Texas will ever be a blue state. @polaro is right, I think its a generational issue rather than a regional issue.

      And I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen the ‘What would you do? Gay parents in Texas..’ it pointed out TEXANS defending gay parents more than the assholes in New York.

      P.S.
      You shouldn’t rely on immigration for the state to turn Blue haha

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike657
      mike657

      @scott747

      Do you mean Houston, as in the largest city in the country to ever elect an openly gay mayor? The city that just re-elected her to a 3rd term? Or do you mean Houston, as in the most ethnically diverse and international city (by far) in Texas? You do realize Houston is blue, right? It may not be as ethnically homogenous as the liberal playground of Austin but it certainly doesn’t need to take any lessons in diversity and tolerance from Austin.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 12:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FStratford
      FStratford

      @Bill Perdue:

      A trivium. The constitutional amendment in TX was approved by the legislature 60/40. Even back then, the legislature was not solidly anti-LGBT, so there is a good chance that it will surprise us. Ted Cruz notwithstanding.

      Plus, Rick Perry may want to get married to his boyfriend someday…

      Nov 12, 2013 at 2:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • yaletownman
      yaletownman

      Well, no matter where this is happening it’s awesome. Just, totally awesome. I think what makes some place “appear” better than others is the level people are out and the amount. Here in San Francisco it all seems great. We hold hands when walking down the street. Our Pride parade is the proudest you’ll find and 2 boys with a baby carriage can be a common site but don’t think that means it’s all peaches and cream in our fair land. We’ve just experienced the heinous and despicable act of violence committed toward a young transgendered 18 year old who fell asleep on the bus in Oakland only to have his (the teen actually identifies as gender neutral) skirt set on fire and is now in the hospital with severe burns and his family is having to appeal to the public to raise money to cover the costs of the operations that he is facing. There’s not a place on this planet that is free from hate so when we see anyplace show signs to the contrary we should be grateful and celebrate.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 3:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iMort
      iMort

      That was certainly a well thought out and sincere letter. Best of luck to him and his team-mates. His courage and determination will definitely make a difference in the world.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 8:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jmmartin
      jmmartin

      @Bad Ass Biker: I am sure Rick is praying for him.

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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