I’ve been reading a great deal about Thomas Hitzlsperger, Robbie Rogers, and Anton Hysen in the past 24 hours, after Hitzlsperger revealed in an interview with Die Zeit that he is gay. What stands out about him, as well as his fellow footballers is their desire to be treated like their straight mates. Hitzlsperger looks forward to the day that coming out is no longer “courageous,” but is simply done without notice and is viewed as “normal.”
Robbie Rogers offers great advise to young men or women, who are struggling with their sexuality. Confide in someone, whether a teacher, therapist, or mentor. The secret can eat you up inside. I knew that I was gay at 14, and I did not tell a soul. I feared rejection from my family and friends. When I came out many years later, neither my family nor my friends rejected me. I do wish that I had confided in a mentor at 14. I would probably have been able to overcome a great deal of misery.
In telling his story to The Guardian, Anton Hysen said, "It is completely strange, isn’t it? It’s all fucked up. Where the hell are all the others? No one is coming out." Hysen made it easier for others, like Robbie Rogers, and, now, Thomas Hitzlsperger. They now join the pantheon of my heroes…men like Gareth Thomas, Orlando Cruz, Jason Collins, Kevin McClatchy, Matthew Mitcham, Matt Cecchin, Steven Davies, Daniel Kowalski, and other sports figures who have come out publicly and have made it easier for all of us who are LGBT.
Gods of Sport, Cowboys!