For North Union High School football star Wyatt Pertuset, being outed as gay was once one of the most, terrifying things that he could comprehend.
Wyatt who had just completed his junior season of football at his high school gathered up the courage and decided to come out to his closest friends.
Despite urging confidentiality, one of his worst fears soon became reality as news of one of the school’s football captains being gay spread throughout the small school.
Wyatt’s fear that people would find out about his sexuality was further increased with homophobia being commonplace in the locker rooms.
“I was always terrified with the locker room talk that went on about gays and how gross they are and how wrong being gay is. Yes, that talk was there. It just pushed me further into the back of the closet.”
With rumors running rampant Wyatt says he decided to confront his fear head on, “the next day I came out and confirmed the rumors.”
“After telling my friends and coaches and family, everyone was so accepting and loving that I just felt foolish for ever hiding who I am.”
Wyatt who has since been elected student body president, made homecoming king, prom king and making his school’s honor roll, says that his teammates took it really well and “didn’t treat me the slightest bit differently. If anything, I got more respect because of it.”
Wyatt’s success has continued on the field with the openly gay athlete setting himself a goal of becoming the first openly gay athletes to get an All-State Honor for football in the state of Ohio. A goal which he has since achieved.
“My goal for next season is to be one of the first openly gay football players in the NCAA to score a touchdown and receive an All-Conference honor.”
Wyatt has a message for other closeted young athletes pleading, “If you are in the closet and also an athlete and you’re reading this, I want you to know that coming out is not as scary as you make it out to be. It is the most relieving experience you’ll ever come to term with.”
“You finally get to be yourself and show people that the LGBT community knows how to play ball too.”
Last Updated on May 24, 2017
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