play ball

Coming out as bisexual helped minor league pitcher Kieran Lovegrove find the inner peace he needed

 

This profile is part of Queerty’s 2021 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.

Name: Kieran Lovegrove, 27

Bio: Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Lovegrove was first drafted to pitch for the Cleveland Indians in 2012. Since then, he’s played on nine different minor league baseball teams, including the San Francisco Giants and the L.A. Dodgers. Most recently, he pitched for the Rocket City Trash Pandas.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kieran Lovegrove (@lovegrove38)

Coming out: Lovegrove came out as bisexual to ESPN in October. During the interview, he talked openly about his struggles with depression, anxiety, homelessness, and alcoholism. He also expressed confidence that there are many other players just like him who are still in the closet.

“Baseball is a game of statistics,” he said. “And if you want to tell me that I’m the only queer person in baseball, I’m just not going to agree with you.”

Lovegrove credited his long-term girlfriend, Celia, for helping him find the strength to share his truth publicly, and he encouraged other LGBTQ players to contact him if they needed support coming out.

“Someone is terrified because it’s a terrifying prospect to come out,” he said. “I do encourage any one of them to reach out to me.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kieran Lovegrove (@lovegrove38)

Chosen family: After speaking to ESPN, Lovegrove did a follow-up interview with The Advocate, where he talked about the overwhelming sense of inner peace he’s felt since sharing his truth with the world.

“From a sexuality standpoint, just being authentic leads to peace of mind,” he said. “I wasn’t who I thought I was for a long time.”

“I was always trying to fit in for a certain masculine crowd, and nothing came of it. Now, as I’ve been open about who I am, I find commonalities with my teammates who are really like a family. Coming out to your team, who you’re with 24/7, is a big thing. I really felt like the players I told supported me. They were just good people.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kieran Lovegrove (@lovegrove38)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kieran Lovegrove (@lovegrove38)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kieran Lovegrove (@lovegrove38)

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Kieran Lovegrove (@lovegrove38)