College Baseball Player Chandler Whitney Comes Out, Dating Conner Mertens

whitney-mertensAs if the story of Willamette University freshman Conner Mertens becoming the first openly LGBT college football player wasn’t enough, his boyfriend, college baseball player Chandler Whitney, has also come out.

College sports’ first gay couple, everybody!

Whitney, a outfielder for the Walla Walla Community College Warriors, tells OutSports that he’d “been planning to [come out] at some point anyway,” but decided to make it official after seeing the positive reaction his boyfriend’s story received.

“I’m gay,” he announced to his team in the locker room last week,” receiving “spontaneous applause.” “You know that college football player at Willamette who came out?”, he asked his teammates. “I’m dating that guy.”

Whitney, who describes himself as completely gay despite being “deeply closeted” for most of his adolescent life, expected “a guy or two to feel uncomfortable” with the news, and is surprised by the warm response he’s been getting on the field and in the locker room:

“Nobody’s weird about it. They still make the same jokes they did before, minus some choice words.”

He’s already heard one choice word come from a teammate since he shared his revelation with them. The teammate was quick to apologize.

“The immediate reaction from the guy who said it was something like, ‘I’m so sorry, I’m trying to get rid of that. It’s just a habit.’ I got on him a little bit. But I let the team know it’s OK and that they should just watch it. Time to focus on playing baseball.’”

Congrats, boys!

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #chandlerwhitney #connermertens #lgbtathletes stories and more


  • Apparatus

    Adorable. Just, adorable.

    I know there’s still a lot of work to do, but compared to years ago, what a time this is to be alive.

  • BlackHouston

    I’m so happy for Conner and Chandler! Both are wonderful guys, in and out. I vote for Conner to replace Tom Daley as the resident supergay!

  • jimbryant

    OK, OK, you’re gay. So what? Do you want a medal?

    Let’s face it – being gay is not an achievement. It might be good for your personal health and state of mind, but it’s not an achievement.

  • Mel

    @BlackHouston: I vote for Conner to replace Tom Daley as the resident supergay!

    Me too. They look more ‘balanced’ than Tom and his botoxed buddy.

  • j.martinez53

    @jimbryant: Can’t you ever say anything positive?? Why don’t you just STFU and go crawl back under your bridge!!

  • ppp111

    Wow, just wow. Wouldn’t it be a kicker if somehow they both made it to the pros? I can see the headlines already. Seriously, congratulations to both of them. BTW, Blackhouston, I support the initiative that lets these guys replace Daley as the Queerty resident gay!

  • capsule

    I just don’t get why the anger and hate is directed at Tom Daley. He is not the one writing the articles. He cannot control who is interested in him. What is he supposed to do, should he try to be less attractive or tone down his talent? I don’t get it.

  • Alan down in Florida

    God bless them – it is kids like them that will truly change the world with their bravery.

  • ppp111


    I think hate is a strong word. More like they’re tired of reading about him. Kind of like the Kardashians :-). I don’t hate them personally but if I never read about them again I won’t lose sleep over it!

  • alanj

    It’s a useless fight to tell these persistently negative trolls to STFU.
    I think they must use this site as some form of therapy, they sure don’t add anything useful to the conversation.
    On a positive note when I was coming out I didn’t have such empowering role models, amazing.

  • alanj

    Just as these two guys will mean a lot to US gay youth and not much to UK gay youth,
    Tom Daley means a lot to UK gay youth and not much to US gay youth.
    Can’t we celebrate both?
    The media ( and queerty) will eventually move on.

  • Respect4all

    Two people I never heard of are dating. So what?

  • samwise343

    @jimbryant: Something tells me that when it comes to being gay, jimbryant, you’re pretty much an underachiever.

  • ppp111


    True, true. I’m afraid I didn’t think about it like that in those terms. I imagine our sports stars mean little to most of the wide world. You’re right that queerty should celebrate both.

  • capsule

    Queerty has posted a lot more articles about Jason Collins than any other LGBT gay athletes, yet I don’t see see you guys bitching about it. Is it politically incorrect for gay men to bich about a black gay athlete?

  • ZaneStuart


    Why do you miss the mark so often on these Queerty articles?

    This isn’t about being gay. It’s about being out in sports – and that is an achievement.

  • Dixie Rect

    who are these people and why should anyone care? I think my plumber is dating some waiter from the Olive Garden. Where’s the Queerty article?

  • nichols evelyn

    My Uncle Luke just got an awesome metallic Lexus NX 300h SUV by working part time off of a pc online. published here>>> http://x.co/3pTtX

  • MoleMcHenry

    @Dixie Rect: It’s obvious you didn’t read the article. Your plummer isn’t the first college football player to come out. Joe Schmo coming out the closet is one thing, but a college football player is another step in the right direction.

  • Cam


    Yes Jim, we get it anything that will help or normalize being gay is horrifying to you.

    As for this couple, good for them! :)

  • balehead

    Do you think they’ll ever date a minority gay?…just wondering…..

  • ppp111


    In all fairness, Collins was the first to come out while still active. Most gay male athletes only do so after retirement with little or no backlash. For a male athlete to come out in one of the four major team sports in America is a very big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s wonderful Daley was able to come out but diving, like most Olympic sports, is an individual sport that most mainstream sports fans give attention to only every four years.

  • Cam


    No, actually what you are doing is trying to carry NOM’s water.

  • JennyFromdabloc

    They are adorable. And narcissistic.

  • alterego1980

    This article aside (because great for them!), I take issue with Conner being labeled as the first out gay college football player. There have been others before him, they just haven’t sought out to tell the media so they could write it up. Focusing so much on the 4 major sports also does a disservice to the other gays coming out in college sports such as swimmers, track & Fielders, etc who are moving mountains for acceptance in gay sports.

  • alanj

    No problems. It’s nice to have a sane conversation with someone on this site.

  • lancemullholland

    @jimbryant: Bitter table for one, please!

    It was a life-changing, courageous act, which actually outshines a medal or an “achievement”.

  • Chris

    I think this is wonderful. I’ll be happy when the day comes that this is not news-worthy, but just another day in the locker room.

Comments are closed.