Mason Darrow was a mess at practice. The Princeton University freshman football player felt slow on his feet, unable to get his head fully in the game.
And he knew why. Maintaining a life in the closet is isolating enough as it is without feeling the added hypermasculine pressure of being an offensive lineman for a Division I football team.
Luckily one of his teammates noticed Mason seemed to be drifting off to a distant, and by the looks of it, unpleasant, planet.
They made a plan to talk that night, and after an an evening spent agonizing over what to do (bailing on the conversation altogether was an attractive prospect), Mason knocked on the other player’s door.
The teammate broke the tension with a joke about Mason’s worries being of the girl variety.
“If this is a girl issue,” he said, “I’m going to be pissed.”
“Actually, it’s kind of the opposite,” Mason told him. “I’m gay.”
The teammate responded positively, and Mason experienced that boundless elation that comes with cracking open the closet door. The darkness was suddenly broken by one narrow beam of light, and he knew the only thing to do was continue to welcome more in.
Mason told Outsports he’d struggled with aligning his sexual orientation with how he interpreted “gay culture,” but at that moment and in the coming weeks as he came out to the rest of his team, it suddenly didn’t matter.
He was finally content just being true, which results in much fewer distractions when you’re trying to tackle a 300 pound opponent.
“Telling my teammates was the best decision I have ever made.”
Watch more of Mason’s story below:
Now he’s getting all of Carlton’s business!
Out makes one thrive!
Great story! Let’s hope he does not burn out like Michael Sam.
Brave guy but smart
Good for him and good for the team! Princeton football isn’t just a sport, it’s an event!
He is a hottie
True sign of strength and courage. Well done, Mason.
He stood up for all gay sports players on all teams. And for all gay and bi people. Beautiful, just beautiful.
Adorable kid and very inspiring attitude from the team.
Aren’t all Ivy League jocks gay?
@Josh447: Calm down. He came out… I’m happy for him, but jeez, dude, dial it back a little.
If he’s sexually interested in men, that’s fine. But he should not identify as gay. Identifying as gay is a trap because it directs you to a mindset that is not altogether healthy. I’ve seen so much promiscuity on the gay male scene, it’s not funny.
It’s also limiting because it bases your personality on your sex life. Personality is much more than sex.
@Brian: If he’s gay then he’s gay. He could always be bisexual but a lot of bisexual people come out as gay first.
@Brian: DO you ever bother to see what straights do? Get your mind out of URANUS
There is no such thing as gay and straight. These are invented identities, not real world states.
Yes, men can be sexually interested in men. But if you identify as gay, that puts you into an invented identity.
What did you just say? Re-read it…He said he is GAY. He didn’t say Sexually attracted, he said Gay! That means he wants to have a relationship with a man (not just sex as you imply). Perhaps it’s you who needs to get a reign on your promiscuity…
Thanks Bisexual-Transwoman, you understand completely. Some men enjoy having sex with men (occasionally) but can only see themselves in a long-term relationship with a woman. The man said he was gay (not just attracted to men).
Everyone who is gay should be able to live an out and authentic life
God damn he’s good looking.
Good for him! I might actually take some interest in football now…
Daniel L Hatchett
You would never be able to tell by hearing him talk as he has no lisp and no uptalk. When looking at him you can tell only maybe as he has a bit of that pleading look in his eyes that the gays have when talking to another man.
As always I am impressed by the younger generation.
@Brian: Well you suck.
Huh? No lisp? No “uptalk?”
“When looking at him you can tell only maybe as he has a bit of that pleading look in his eyes that “the gays” have when talking to another man.”
WTF is the matter with you? Stereotype much? I guarantee you most “gays” (including myself) don’t behave/speak in the way you describe. Perhaps you have spent way to much time hanging out in back alleys or glory holes but you need to spend some time with real gay men!
@bicurious: You are impressed because he isn’t effeminate?
@bicurious: Based on what you wrote about him I would not be surprised if he’s very queenie in bed with another man, and a total bottom.
@Brian: Are you just punking us with this nonsense? It’s hard to believe anyone could believe this lunacy. On the other hand, when you listen to the Republican presidential candidates, it’s clear that there are others like you. Then again, I’m not sure they believe all the hateful idiocy they spew. Well, Santorum does, but I’m not sure about the others.
Wait, I got it. You’re Rick Santorum.
Less disappointing to his parents than the other time he said “Mom and Dad, I’m g…oing to Princeton”
Micheal P Weishampel
I dream of the day when this is so common it no longer makes headlines.
@Brian: Well that’s a bigoted and inaccurate statement, Brian. So if he was heterosexual and was banging every woman in Princeton would you say the same? Not every LGBTQ person is like your description.
@Brian: I get what you’re saying. But no one group is all together healthy, they all have problems. He embraces his sexuality, which is good. Whether or not he’ll join the “scene” is different. Even if he does, there’s way more to the gay scene than clubbing and fucking. If that’s all you’ve experienced I feel sad for you and encourage you to join or look into other LGBTQ social and charity events.
@Bisexual-Transwoman: Darling I think it’s the opposite.
Well done indeed!!!
Male homosexuality existed way before the gay identity was invented. Way, way before. The gay identity was invented to create a sense of unity and purpose, particularly political purpose.
Many, many men take part in homosexual activity in their lives but have no desire to identify as gay. I understand them. More power to them.
It’s good to see that your statement has evolved from your original post: “If he’s sexually interested in men, that’s fine. But he should not identify as gay. Identifying as gay is a trap because it directs you to a mindset that is not altogether healthy. I’ve seen so much promiscuity on the gay male scene, it’s not funny.
It’s also limiting because it bases your personality on your sex life. Personality is much more than sex.”
Your original post had everything to do with GAY = PROMISCUITY/SEX. Now it seems that you have evolved into Homosexuality being around a long time before the term Gay. People didn’t always identify as gay…And what, by the way is wrong with creating a sense of unity, purpose (particularly political)? We wouldn’t have rights without that unity…Oh, btw the words African American didn’t always exist either…promotes ethnic unity, pride, etc (there was a much more devise term that was used many years ago…).
Good for him.
Oh, and as for Brian who is posting on here (New Screename for Jason Smeds) Notice how he always makes statements of his own opinion as if they were scientific facts? LOL
@youarekiddingme: Oops, thats “divisive”
God, whoever he dates will have that fantasy that I think so many gay men had in high school and college. Dating the football star. Lucky Duck.
So brave. I wish him all the luck
Cool. Good for him.
@s312g: No, actually that’s true. He/she or whatever might be a total troll but on this one the troll is right.
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