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MIT Baseball Captain Comes Out To His Team

Out Boston Herald writer Steve Buckley profiles Massachusetts Institute of Technology junior Sean Karson, the gay co-captain of the school's baseball team. Last week, Karson came out to his teammates in a moving speech. The ballplayer has received immense support from them since.

The Herald piece chronicles the leadup to his big revelation:


A couple of days ago, during an indoor practice at MIT, Karson asked coach Andy Barlow if he could say a few words to his teammates.

“I had no idea what he had in mind,” Barlow said. “He had just returned from a conference in California, so I assumed he was going to talk about his company.”

Instead, Karson took a deep breath, and told his coaches and teammates that he’s gay.

“They came up and gave me high fives and said they’d have my back and everything,” he said. “It was so supportive, it was ridiculous.”

Karson did notice a couple of teammates held back, but got emails from them afterward saying "how much they respected me, but that they needed to collect their thoughts first."

So deeply emotional was Karson’s decision to come out that later that night, during an interview at his MIT dorm, he was still welling up with tears.

“I barely held it together,” he said. “I was probably not the most coherent person when I was giving that speech, but that was the third time I cried in the past week. And this is the fourth, I guess.”

Karson, who reveals on his own site that he's know he was gay since the age of 13, says that "I have never been myself up until very recently." 

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  1. I'm at MIT and the Kendall Sq. area at least 5 days a week. Sometimes it's like I'm in a sea of people, many with varying levels of Autism. Yes, I am dead serious. Now that I got that off my chest, maybe I've crossed paths with Mr. Karson. I'm happy for you that things went so well.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 10, 2013 11:48:08 AM

  2. what a great story hope we follow more of your life

    Posted by: capetom | Feb 10, 2013 11:48:12 AM

  3. If a college player has the balls to do this, why not a pro player?

    Posted by: Patrick | Feb 10, 2013 11:56:34 AM

  4. Can't believe how much time I spent reading thru his web page. He puts the dork in adorkable!

    Posted by: Chuckles | Feb 10, 2013 11:57:14 AM

  5. Good for him. I think someone who is an active player in the major leagues will come out while playing, probably someone in his early 20's. Please let it be Mark Trumbo of the Angels, please please please! [Note: no idea if Trumbo is gay, he's just a lust object]

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Feb 10, 2013 11:59:41 AM

  6. Good for him, he has balls, base balls now lets see if the big ball boys in the in the major teams have the same big balls.

    Posted by: Babe | Feb 10, 2013 12:06:06 PM

  7. His nose is too big his ears, well let's not mention them. Given that why do I wnat him!?

    Posted by: Roger | Feb 10, 2013 12:23:13 PM

  8. I love how these college kids have so much more courage than these big, bad major leaguers. That is why I think the first openly gay player will be out from his first day player. It seems so much more likely than an active player coming out.

    Posted by: KT | Feb 10, 2013 12:23:46 PM

  9. Kudos Karson! From here on out your life will only get better - AND - you have made the lives of so many other gay kids, teens and adults better too. Big round of applause for you.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 10, 2013 12:28:10 PM

  10. i bet he has big feet and hands too

    Posted by: capetom | Feb 10, 2013 12:33:00 PM

  11. Brave and strong man. All the best in the future!

    Posted by: Matt26 | Feb 10, 2013 12:43:24 PM

  12. Great story! I will be following this guy for sure.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Feb 10, 2013 12:49:14 PM

  13. For those asking why this guy can come out but not a major leaguer: get real.

    In sports terms, MIT is nothing, it's the sports equivalent of doing community theater with grandmas in Keokuk v. appearing at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Statford and playing King Lear.

    Secondly, while college sports is utterly corrupt and awash in funny money, that money doesn't trickle down much to baseball. Nice as it is that he came out, he wasn't going to lose a big fat paycheck if the team bounced him, face 40,000 hostile fans, be scrutinized by the media etc. He doesn't seem to have what it takes to make the major leagues and he's already setting up his post-college life as a businessman.

    Again, good for him but get real here.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Feb 10, 2013 12:52:18 PM

  14. wonderful and encouraging news. may this inspire more grown adults in north america to finally stand up to be counted and join him in Coming Out.

    we could effectively nip closet culture in the bud if all just trusted each other and came out together.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 10, 2013 1:06:21 PM

  15. Henry Holland has made some good points, so keep any snarks at a minimum. I bet even Karson would agree with him.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 10, 2013 1:13:43 PM

  16. @ The same reason there are middle school kids coming out and 40 year old men in established careers still in the closet.

    Posted by: Kim | Feb 10, 2013 1:14:25 PM

  17. I was referencing the second 'Henry Holland' post.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 10, 2013 1:14:51 PM

  18. congrats to him! big steps

    Posted by: Reality | Feb 10, 2013 1:43:39 PM

  19. Searched for him on Twitter, the account is pretty new so I don't know if it's him, but if it is, he sounds like a raving lunatic. lol.

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 10, 2013 2:35:07 PM

  20. I see ( from his striking web page, search for Trinity ) that he was at a church school whose bishop forced them to cancel a production of cage aux folles.

    Posted by: Randal Oulton | Feb 10, 2013 2:37:40 PM

  21. Henry Holland has made no "Points" whatsoever. Only a hysterical closet queen like yourself would find validation in him

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Feb 10, 2013 2:41:58 PM

  22. What's the story behind the acrimony between him and Outsports, to whom he offered an exclusive story and who rejected the story and said things that apparently left him in tears? Hmm...

    Posted by: macguffin54 | Feb 10, 2013 2:42:26 PM

  23. "Henry Holland has made no "Points" whatsoever. Only a hysterical closet queen like yourself would find validation in him "

    ... says the man who typically never wastes a moment to denigrate sports or athletes.

    Holland might not have put it nicely, but some perspective is important, particularly for anyone thinking that Karson might have a shot at the Majors.

    Posted by: Nat | Feb 10, 2013 2:53:41 PM

  24. Sean Karson: Smart, athletic, good looking, courageous and gay. The gods have been good to him!

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 10, 2013 2:57:41 PM

  25. A nerdy gay jock. I would pitch to him any day.

    Posted by: Bollux | Feb 10, 2013 4:00:06 PM

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