Former University of Minnesota football player Luke McAvoy begins retelling his coming out experience as all great stories start: in a locker room shower with eleven college athletes.
But what sounds like the opening to an adult film could not have been more of the opposite. McAvoy, a closeted offensive lineman, was having something of a mild internal panic attack as he listened to his sudsy teammates discuss, of all things, the merits of same-sex marriage.
In his head, the words “I AM GAY, HOW HAVE YOU NOT FOUND OUT?” bombarded his thoughts, but he chose to stay silent, not draw attention. He was used to doing that.
Related: How We Leveled The Playing Field: Ten Athletes Whose Courage To Come Out Scored Big For The Cause
McAvoy’s twin brother was on the same team at U of M, and even he had no idea. In fact, Luke had only ever said the words “I’m gay” out loud to one other person in his life up until that point, his mother. It was his senior year of high school, and she advised him, “Hide it, whatever you do, hide it.”
And while heeding her advice allowed him to sail through his senior year storm-free, the internal pressure was building and needed to pop.
He decided it was now or never. The same week Michael Sam came out and made national headlines, McAvoy drove with two teammates and broke his big news.
He braced for the worst.
“I expected them to disown me. None of that happened. Instead, I heard, ‘that takes balls, man’ and ‘I am proud of you,'” he writes on OutSports.
The rest of the team, for the most part, had the same accepting attitude, and the overwhelming positivity made up for the the small pockets of ignorance.
More importantly, McAvoy’s brother embraced the news.
Related: High School Jock Comes Out By Slow Dancing With The Homecoming King
So what has he taken away from the experience?
“My coming out experience taught me that the fear I grew up with about being gay doesn’t need to exist anymore. Yes, there is still discrimination against the LGBT community. Yes, I have lost some friends and family members. But, I believe times are changing, things are getting better. It is our responsibility to not let fear stop us.
“Because of all that I have been through, ridding myself of my own fear, I have become stronger. I have learned to accept myself and build confidence in who I truly am. I came out to my family to love and support. The vast majority of my friends accept me. I am blessed to have them in my life.”
only if U make IT difficult , Honestly is Best !
If your brother isn’t a douche then it should be easier cause he SHOULD have your back.
Your Twin Brother Needs To Cum Out First!
These so-called “coming out” stories are starting to read like a computer manual; and I’m no geek. Yawn!!!!!!
Justin LaMarr Stevenson
Heard about this Austin James McCartney?
Raúl Martínez Quiroz
Sports are Human Rights
Joseph C Landis-Midnight
Great mother. Really. “Hide it”. Lol
I am a late ‘bloomer’ having come out to family and friends when I was 37!+For most of my adult life, up to then, I considered myself str8! In truth, I always felt attracted to hunky, good looking men/buddies, but always felt this was a natural attraction without implications! I was dating girls (youth) up to age 34 when I broke up with my last girlfriend. The last breakup caused me to focus on the male animal as an outlet for my sexual satisfaction. However, I had no idea what sex was all about with a man, and before I experienced it, I found myself going to gay bookstores (I was a salesman-on the road) reading about gay Gothic love stories and through this ‘knowledge’ ventured into my first sexual encounter. I bring this up, because being gay and coming out, affects each of us differently, some leading a life of frustration in keeping it secret; some fearful of retaliation; and some fearful of the image of being gay! I don’t fault his mother in telling him to keep it a secret–she possibly saved him from being alienated by his friends and being bullied in school. Actually, why come out? No one suspected he was gay; big time football hunk, so , in his case, there was no need to come out. I’m sure he had relationships in high school and even in college (some of my friends had similar backgrounds (athletes-living the lie and yet had lovers without ever being discovered!) Anyway, kudos to him and his future lover.
Coming out in our homophobic culture always takes real courage. Coming out on a University Football team is even more heroic and important. Luke McAvoy is a Profile in Courage.
@pscheck2: “…in his case, there was no need to come out…”
Being a REAL man is living your truth without apology, shame, guilt or fear. The biggest “faggot” can be/and is the “hunky/good looking” football players!
Good for you that you allowed yourself to express the truth of your homosexual side before you hit the dirt! 🙂
” …because being gay and coming out, affects each of us differently, some leading a life of frustration in keeping it secret; some fearful of retaliation; and some fearful of the image of being gay!”
” Actually, why come out? No one suspected he was gay; big time football hunk, so , in his case, there was no need to come out.”
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