Kevin Maxen

Kevin Maxen started his first Pride Month as an out gay man with a poignant message about his life-changing experiences over the last year.

And he closed it with a great day at the marquee Pride celebration in the U.S.!

The Jacksonville Jaguars strength coach, who made history when he publicly came out last summer, marched Sunday in the NYC Pride Parade along with his adorable boyfriend, Nicholas Garcia. They were wearing “Football For Everyone” shirts, which signify the NFL’s dedication to inclusion.

“A full day of pride  #pride🌈,” Maxen posted on Instagram, to the tune of nearly 1,000 “likes” Monday afternoon.

His photo dump included shots from the parade, as well as a dance party! Kevin looks great in his rainbow bandana and patterned pants… he is practically beaming!

In his Pride 50 interview, Maxen said June is a great time to reflect on the evolution of the sports world. “I think just a time to appreciate some of the changes that are going on in sports,” he said. “Not just my own story, but there’s been a ton of good stories to share just throughout this past year. I think that’s exciting.”

Personifying that shift, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell granted Outsports an interview this Pride season, along with NBA commissioner Adam Silver, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and MLS commissioner Dan Garner.

Over the last several years, Goodell, who has a gay brother, has made LGBTQ+ inclusion a priority for the NFL. The league has more out active and retired athletes–at least 16–than the NBA, MLB, NHL and MLS. There are also multiple out league execs, including senior vice president of labor finance Christine Vicari and senior DEI director Sam Rapoport.

When Carl Nassib publicly came out as gay in June 2021, the NFL partnered with The Trevor Project, and has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the LGBTQ+ organization.

Goodell promises he will always support queer people in the NFL, from the front offices to the sidelines. “Both publicly and privately, I’ve made clear that if any member of the NFL family comes out, we will have their back,” he said.

That’s not a hypothetical. Maxen, the first out male coach in league history, says he’s felt nothing but support since his big announcement.

“Just interactions in the organization, that’s been really impressive. We’re very lucky. Our owner, Mr. [Shad] Khan, is incredible,” he said. “He reached out immediately  when the story first came out.”

While Maxen was closeted, he feared coming out would ruin his relationships across the football world. But one year later, he can say nothing has changed… except for one big variable. He can finally be himself.

“It just shows, you develop relationships with people, and you have no reason to have any issues with it. It’s been really special,” he said.

For Maxen, one of the most special aspects of being out is the ability to truthfully introduce his bf to co-workers and peers. The two met when Maxen was coaching at Vanderbilt, and there was an instant connection.

Maxen told Men’s Health his feelings towards Nick were the catalyst that prompted him to live his truth.

“When I met him, I knew I had to come out,” he said. “I had always suspected I would meet the right person and that would be the reason I would come out. I knew that this was someone I wanted to have not only in my life, but to have around the people I love as well.”

Now out in the open, Maxen feels like he can finally reveal his entire personality… not just how he presents himself as a strength coach.

“It’s great. It shows a different side of me personally,” he said. “I think sometimes I can come off as a little quiet and reserved.  I think a lot of people say, ‘Kevin’s a strength coach. He’s in the weight room all the time. That’s his lifestyle.’ To see that other side, I think is important. It shows you’re a real human being with emotions. That’s been pretty cool.”

With some well deserved downtime before NFL training camps begin later this summer, Maxen promises to keep enjoying his wonderful gay life.

“[I’m] just having a lot of confidence in myself, and not changing based on who I’m around,” he said. “Just being Kev the best that Kev can be. I think that’s something that all queer people kind of encompass: that special power of, ‘I am who I am.'”

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