Bradley Kim (Instagram)
Bradley Kim (Instagram)

A footballer playing gridiron for an Air Force team has become the first athlete to come out as gay at a US service academy.

Defensive back Bradley Kim has spoken out on his Instagram account and sports website Outsports explaining how he came out to his teammates on Friday and received a standing ovation.

Seven years ago Kim would’ve been expelled from the Air Force Academy for coming out under the rules of don’t ask don’t tell, but now he is embraced by his whole team and college.

“They tell me they appreciate the fact that I felt confident enough, and they meant enough, for me to tell them,” Kim explained after announcing the news to the team.

Bradley Kim (Instagram)
Bradley Kim (Instagram)

After receiving a positive response from his teammates and head Falcons coach Troy Calhoun, Kim decided to make a public announcement on Instagram.

“I did not think this day would ever come, but I’ve finally reached the point where I am comfortable and confident enough with myself to say that I am gay,” Kim said.

“It’s been a long road to get to this point and I definitely would not be here without the love and support of my amazing family, teammates and coaches here at the academy, and my equally amazing friends. I feel blessed to have such receptive and understanding people in my life.”

“I hope that I can serve as an example to those who are allowing their fear of acceptance to change who they are. I almost gave up my dream of playing division 1 football for fear of not being accepted by everyone, but today I am happy to say that I am a cadet at the Air Force Academy playing the sport I love with amazing people standing behind me and supporting me,” he continued.

“If anyone feels like they don’t have a voice or feel like they are alone, just know there are plenty of people out there like you and me, and more that are willing to talk to you about it. God bless all and thank you to everyone who has made me feel comfortable to live my most genuine life.”

Jeremiah 29:11🙏🏽 God made me this way for a reason. I did not think this day would ever come, but I’ve finally reached the point where I am comfortable and confident enough with myself to say that I am gay. It’s been a long road to get to this point and I definitely would not be here without the love and support of my amazing family, teammates and coaches here at the academy, and my equally amazing friends. I feel blessed to have such receptive and understanding people in my life. I hope that I can serve as an example to those who are allowing their fear of acceptance to change who they are. I almost gave up my dream of playing division 1 football for fear of not being accepted by everyone, but today I am happy to say that I am a cadet at the Air Force Academy playing the sport I love with amazing people standing behind me and supporting me. If anyone feels like they don’t have a voice or feel like they are alone, just know there are plenty of people out there like you and me, and more that are willing to talk to you about it. God bless all and thank you to everyone who has made me feel comfortable to live my most genuine life.🙏🏽 Twitter/Instagram: @bradleykkim Bkkim04@hotmail.com

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The Academy itself also came out with its own statement on the news and said, “The academy strives to foster a culture where everyone gives and receives dignity and respect so that each individual has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

Even his teammates have gone public with their support for Kim and his announcement.

As a devout Christian, Kim has struggled over the years with his feelings yet he has found a way to be both openly gay and Christian and all that culminated in his big step out of the closet with this Instagram post quoting the Bible.

Kim, who is half-Korean and half-German, also credits his growing network of gay athletes for his courage. He’s spoken to various athletes who have come out to their teams, including other college football players, and he said he hasn’t heard “a negative story yet.”