Kevin Grayson, one of the most decorated football players and talented athletes Virginia has ever produced, has come out as gay. He compared hiding his sexuality to “a cancer that can eat away at you” and hopes that coming out can help others who may be dealing with similar pressures.
“People didn’t believe it because I was an athlete,” Grayson told CBS 6. “They’re like ‘Kevin plays football, he plays basketball he runs track–no way you know?’”
“Those are the types of things where if I could go back and say; ‘Why can’t I be an athlete? Why can’t I be a star player? Why can’t I be the guy making plays that helps my team win, and still on the flip side, be a gay male?’”
Grayson, 25, was named all district and all-region while playing both offense and defense in high school, then in college he helped the University of Richmond win the 2008 Football Championship Subdivision national title. At Richmond, he is still ranked second all-time among receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
In 2011, he missed out on the NFL draft thanks to a torn ligament, but while playing professionally in Italy last year he was named MVP of his league’s super bowl.
Grayson never considered coming out until now, not because he was embarrassed, but rather his focus was on school and football. He didn’t want to serve as a distraction on the team or be known simply as “the gay athlete.” “If you are an athlete, you want to be an athlete,” he said. “You want to be known for what you’ve done on the basketball court, football field, tennis court, whatever.”
He also experienced firsthand the homophobic nature of the locker room, where both coaches and teammates uttered slurs like “princess”, “faggot” and “homo.” Grayson said coaches are often “naive to the fact that they could have a gay player in their meeting” and thought it would be “funny to think about whether or not if I told this coach, what would they say?”
He did, however, confide in a few trusted teammates — some of them also turned out to be gay, but none of them turned their back on him. “It’s like the biggest weight lifted off your shoulder,” he said. “To know that you have a teammate that basically says ‘I don’t care.’”
Grayson plans to continue playing professionally for a few more years, either in Italy or Canada. And though he missed out on the NFL, Grayson has “no doubt” there are active gay players. He even admits to knowing a few himself, but described that knowledge as “a ‘you take it to the grave’ type thing.”
Grayson, who’s in a relationship (much to our disappointment because…hi), was able to find the strength to come out thanks to the support from his family and friends. Now, in sharing his story, he hopes to inspire others. “Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you can’t be the athlete you want to be. Doesn’t mean you can’t be a star,” he said. “Doesn’t mean you can’t go out there and go just as hard as anybody else, if not harder.”
Photo: Kevin Grayson’s Facebook
Right on another big d**cK*d brother I wouldn’t mind riding that
YUM! Needs a haircut.
Congratulations to Kevin Grayson. Now let’s hope the Sports coaches/team owners don’t think with their useless testicles and dump on the man!
Omg I hope this becomes a tidal waves of outings!! Good on him 😀
@oilburner: Really…? Dude comes out just because he is black you think he is hung….what if he is a bottom?
Another attractive gay black male athlete who prefers white boys. Great (sarcasm)! Black men need not apply as possible partners.
Got Dayum. This day keeps getting better
One of the time-tested ways society has kept gay men closeted has been to promote the effeminate gay male stereotypes as a highly effective way to shame men who have homosexual or bisexual orientations to deny who they are and how they feel. If we really want gay and bisexual men to “come out” these tired old stereotypes need to be challenged by highlighting and celebrating gay men like Kevin Grayson.
Thanks for this article and your reporting. What you do is appreciated.
I posted it to my LGBT Group on LinkedIn with over 19,800+ global members to spur members to read your article and to make comment. I also scooped it at Scoop.It on my LGBT Times news mashup.
Link to group >> http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=63687
All LGBT+ and community allies…. please come join me and 19,800+ of your soon to be great connections on LinkedIn. The member base represents 80% of the world’s countries.
It’s core value is – Visibility can lead to awareness which can lead to equality. Come stand with us and increase our visibility on the globe’s largest professional networking site. Be a professional who just happens to be LGBT – or a welcomed community ally.
Right on and congrats, Brutha! Big…Black…Beautiful and PROUD!! No mo’ on the downlow, ever!!!
Oh HELL yes! We need more young Black men to step up, and he’s fine as hell!
I love the NEW Athlete Slogan—-If You can PLAY-YOU Can Play!!!!
SO whether you’re Gay or Straight this slogan works!!!
Awesome athlete, who seems to be an awesome person; I wish him the best, and not just because he’s kick ass and one handsome hunk!
Yes, I guess Homosexuality is like a cancer and like all cancers, it should be surgically removed. One problem with the Gay Identity is that No one knows until “told” that they are Gay and when “told” cannot prove it and when revealed, can’t tell whether he is a top feeder or a bottom feeder. So even though muscular and macho looking, he may take the Female role in their ritual. This creates an unknown of the unknowns. He may Play the Games that everyone plays the same as the other players, but in the bedroom, he plays the Game differently, not like the rest of the team. What game he plays in his bedroom is his own business but his private business should not be brought to the Games. By coming “out” he is making his private business as something to consider in the Game. Pity.
Narturally the sissys will get mad over masculine gays coming out….
the other Greg
Despite the rather adolescent, drooling nature of some of these comments, it’s clear there is a cumulative effect going on. After the leagues’ tentative efforts, You Can Play (etc.) and Jason Collins’ coming out, there will likely be more in weeks to come. And yes, a prospective NFL player is significant. (And yes, Kevin’s a hunk!)
Also I hope Queerty will do its usual thing and ban a certain self-declared straight homophobe from posting here. Our various self-hating gay homophobes are merely amusing (and they rarely get banned, I think?) but straight homophobes are not appropriate on the site.
Times they is a changin!!!
The more athletes that come out the better for lbgt youth of the next generation. Bullies will be far less inclined to be picking on the weak when the strong are nearby!!!
I’m shocked! So soon after Jason Collins, looks like it IS encouraging others to come out 😀 I really hope coaches become more open minded after this.
WHO cares!!! nobodys’ sexuality is no ones business. and how come if a person doesn’t announce they’re gay/homosexual or what ever the pc term is, they’re in the closet? how come they can’t just be “discreet??”
@Coffee: You obviously care or you wouldn’t be here reading this story and taking the time to post your supposed indifference.
And you are, I think deliberately, confusing the word “discreet” with the word “closeted.” Straight people announce their heterosexuality in a thousand ways all of the time and are never considered “indiscreet” or “in your face” for doing so. Check your own baggage, buster.
@wendell: Way to judge, man. I’m white and I’ve dated girls who were white and Native. Not at the same time, either, so . . . if you’d seen me with my Native girlfriend, would you just have assumed I was a white girl who only liked Native girls?
Let’s get real here. He could also date people of other races AND JUST ISN’T RIGHT NOW.
@wendell: Oh, get over yourself. You posted similar nonsense about Jason Collins when he came out, identifying yourself as a black gay man.
Well I’m a black gay woman who has dated women of various ethnicities and races and I wouldn’t dream of apologizing for it. It should be people we’re attracted to, not skin color.
Where do you get your information about these “white boyfriends” anyway? And even if true, so what? Are you really sure you want to suggest that black gay men stay on their side of the color line? Would you be okay with such a sentiment coming out of the mouth of a white person?
@Kieran: And what about “effeminate” gay males? They’re the most obvious targets of harassment and discrimination yet you will point right at them and tell them they are a “negative stereotype”. We should all be free to non-conform in our own way. A butch guy who sleeps with men is no better or more deserving of respect than a swishy guy who likes to dress in drag.
@ LadyL: to correct yourself, NO, honestly I don’t care. and the only thing I’m “deliberately” doing is addressing your tired @$$. and while I’m at it, I can and will read what ever article I choose to damn well read if it interests ME, understood??!!! and you also don’t “think” too damn well either. I got nothing confused, nor did I juxtapose the words discreet w/closeted. One means to be selective, the other means to conceal/hide.
and to address your silliness: I’m just tired of people celebrating when someone comes out of a supposed closet. No one is IN a closet. Choosing to keep your sexual preferences, practices and partners is a personal right. No one should be put on a pedestal for “coming out” nor should they be shunned/bullied for keeping it to them selves. so while you’re attempting to put someone on blast, getcho personal life together and quick deflecting it like a monkey throwing shhhht in a zoo.
it must hurt to know that you can read but NOT comprehend.
@Dakotahgeo: Moderator: Post the damn thing or reject it! I have lived 68 years without Queerty and I can damn well live another 68 years without it!
@Dakotahgeo: Thank you! Now I know I’m not working with a robot!
@Dakotahgeo: LOLOL. Moderator(s): I’m not sure you’re aware of the little tagline at the end of my comment, but it’s making you look sort of funny. That’s okay… everyone deserves a funny every once in awhile. Cheers!
@Coffee: Touch a nerve, did I? Your insecurity and resentment are in every word of your post.
@Coffee: Coffee, sweetie… why don’t you just exit your closet and be done with it? Your jealousy is pouring forth in millions of colors. Get over yourself and come out… you’ll be much happier, and frankly, so will we. It will be quieter. 😉
Not to mention the notion that black men have big dicks is so stereotypical that it is down right R A C I S T. Not all black men have big dicks. There are plenty of non-black men with big dicks. The man with the biggest dick in the world is not black.
Full story here: http://www.queerty.com/kevin-grayson-gay-20130509/#ixzz2SuCbn666
@Kieran: Or, we could point out that there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with being more feminine. However, you will probably never go there.
@daniwitz13: Being gay has very little to do with sex, much like having a brain has very little to do with you… pity!
@tdx3fan: I just feel like pointing out that nobody has a problem with the kind of girl commonly referred to as a “tomboy.” The double standard is both ridiculous and a little disenheartening–we can encourage a girl to hunt or play football, but a boy wants to be a fashion designer and we freak out. (hell, I remember my high school chorus teacher commenting that it was obvious my tenth-grade English teacher was gay “because who else would volunteer to help direct the spring musical?”)
It honestly goes back to sexism. Being “manly” is WONDERFUL AND STRONG AND SMART. Being “feminine” is weak and silly and emotional (even teen fiction that’s supposed to be so mold-breaking falls victim to this–everyone I know over the age of 20 who’s read The Hunger Games goes “It started out great, but . . . ” and comments on how Katniss turns into this bubbleheaded wreck near the end of Catching Fire so the author can more plausibly put her with The One True Love–she can have the guy who actually values her brains, or she can be smart and strong, but she’s not permitted to be both). Raise women in the esteem of the world and femme guys will be raised in the esteem of the world, too.
@Kieran …History has shown that the “Sissys or Femm-guys” have done all the work to pave the way for you to make such self-hateing comments.
Where were all the so called str8-acting gay men when shit was hitting the fan, when the femms got the shit kicked out of them? At least the femm guys are brave enough to be themselves. Maybe if all these closeted gay men had the balls to come out sooner society would have had differnt views of gay men in general.
RIGHT ON! Finally, athletes coming out of the ‘closet’ even before they become famous or before they retire from sports! His reasons are intelligent and well thought out. Now if these icon types, in the NFL, will step up to the ‘plate’ it will once and for all smash the barrier of homophobia fear that plagues most of them! I think 2013 might be the year all of this will happen! (Stay tuned!)
@Coffee: What the HELL are you as a fat, heterosexual RELIGIOUS…bible thumping witch doing on OUR blog? Get your man made, man written BUY-BULL and exit left you witch. YOU have no room and are not qualified to speak on gay rights. WE WILL BE OUT…WE WILL BE PROUD…WE WILL CELEBRATE OUR GAY HISTORY…WE WILL PRIASE THOSE WHO COME OUT…WE WILL WAVE RAINBOW FLAGS…Don’t like it? I could give two flying blank. PROUD GAYS AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE! We’re a proud community full of history and will celebrate it all the time. KNOW THAT. We’ll remind you when you forget it!
@Coffee: You bitter little troll. Your entire facebook page is devoted to pride in African American history or quoting the Bible. You have some nerve to come and dictate to gay people and largely, LGBT about how we need to be discreet. We’ll be discreet when you breeders stop shoving your heterosexuality in OUR faces in every park bench, restaurant, movie theatre, and virtually all public places. And when you breeders quit fixating on gay civil rights, which we WILL attain and will not rest until we achieve victory in every state. You privileged hetero need to go in a corner and suck on your thumb because gays and our pride in celebrating each other won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Discretion? Oh I make a POINT of holding hands and showing affection to my boyfriend of years just to anger little trolls like you in public. I love knowing the stress and misery the presence of gays and lesbians causes people like you. Enjoy it.
@Coffee: What are you even doing on this site? You enjoy to get your behind served to you? Ignorant clown. Sexual preference? No, that man written book you read called the Bible is a preference and chosen. Sexuality is innate, and while your thought process automatically goes to sex…being a lesbian for me is about love, companionship, and fighting for a movement that is rich in history and vibrant in pioneers and I’m dang proud to be openly out and a member of this community. Don’t ever think our collective LGBT voices will be silenced anytime soon.
@Reality101: @NotStr8Acting: @Scott Johansen: Thank you, thank you, thank you! The three of you said it so much better than I could have. I saw these faux Christians in church every Sunday (it’s the only day they profess to love each other), singin’ and a’praisin’ their hinies off, and on Monday-Saturday they go into “survival mode” against the world or anyone who is different from them.
I go by with the Bible truly says regarding all people: That we are made exactly as God wants us to be. You see, I’m a gay, Christian ordained minister and I’ve heard it all and seen it all! I am retired but I now am a member of a GLBTIQ church that actually walks the talk! That is refreshing! Although I take issue with you statements regarding the Bible, I will fight to my death your right to say it and/or believe it. God never intended for the Bible to be a WMD (weapon of mass destruction) to be used against people.
In closing, I celebrate the infusion of new Marriage equality states and look forward to many more joining the ranks. To my GLBT friends and all, Blessings, Peace, and Joy and all my support!
Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain
@wendell: never understand this argument, if i white guy says ” no blacks, no asians” it`s not okay. If a black guy is with a white guy it`s not ok. As long there is love, there is no thing like “you have to date inside your own race”.
@daniwitz13: because of guys like him, hopefully more and more men will not longer be quit because of guys like you. Why should he life a life of lies just because you are uncomfortabel?
he is fine. he should be mine.
@wendell: Lol! I wonder whether this will turn out to be another Michael Sam!
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