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Gay, Christian Former Tennessee Kicker Alan Gendreau Wants a Shot at NFL: VIDEO


Outsports' Cyd Zeigler interviews Alan Gendreau, a gay former Middle Tennessee State placekicker and devout Christian who wants a shot at the NFL:

2_gendreauI first met Gendreau four years ago when Outsports ran an anonymous story by sociologist Eric Anderson about the gay kicker. Gendreau was a freshman at MTSU at the time, out to his teammates and embraced by them. He didn’t reveal his name publicly at the time because he feared how it would affect both his family and his shot at the NFL.

Now openly gay and 23, with a deep-seated confidence in his sexual orientation, Gendreau wants another shot at the pros. This time, he wants to do it open and honest about who he is. This time, he wants to give it everything he has.

The Orlando, Fla., native knew he was gay at a very young age. He came out to friends and family at 16, started dating boys in high school and had on-again, off-again relationships with men through college.

"When you know, you know," he said with a smile.

Watch Outsports' Zeigler interview Gendreau, AFTER THE JUMP...

And read Gendreau's full story at Outsports.

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  1. Something about gay Christians, just rubs me the wrong way. It's like Jews for Jesus. Or the Jewish SS assisters/workers. Like grow a pair and stop depending on your imaginary friend for validation, at the price supporting something that views us worthy of death, has killed us, and taken our rights away.

    Posted by: Chris | Apr 23, 2013 11:40:48 AM

  2. Wow. Definetly a kid with his head together! Wish him all the best!

    Posted by: Jeff | Apr 23, 2013 11:42:38 AM

  3. Too bad that neither his education or experience has given him a more critical perspective on that silly religion he's clinging to.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Apr 23, 2013 11:44:35 AM

  4. Demeaning someone because of their religious views is uncool. This should be obvious when a lgbt person comes from a spiritual background. He deserves our support and not our criticism. For his age, he seems well grounded and his spirituality is important to him. It makes you look as small as those right-wing hatemongers anytime you hear religious and christian in the same sentence.

    Not everyone subscribes to your "non" commenters who have an issue with lgbt Christians, need to think twice before publicizing your disdain!

    Posted by: Gaiboi | Apr 23, 2013 11:52:06 AM

  5. What a brave young man. Like Jeff, I wish him the best.

    I'm not sure it's a practical policy to go up against 1 billion Earthlings who call themselves Christians, and 1.2 billion Earthlings who call themselves Muslims. That's a lot of Earthlings.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Apr 23, 2013 11:52:53 AM

  6. People cling to religion for more than one reason. Good for this kid. Wishing him the best.

    Posted by: guynyc | Apr 23, 2013 11:54:31 AM

  7. People cling to their religion because they lack the critical thinking skills and self awareness to realize everything they were taught to believe as a child is not actually true.

    Posted by: Not that Rob | Apr 23, 2013 11:56:56 AM

  8. While criticizing a person's religion is often considered out of bounds and uncool, we atheists are seldom offered the same deference by religious people.

    Posted by: Jamie in Las Vegas | Apr 23, 2013 11:59:19 AM

  9. Insubstantial as it is to me, a belief in Christ can powerfully strengthen the will and resolve of people who choose any path under the sun. His beliefs are giving him great courage to come out much earlier and further than most.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Apr 23, 2013 12:01:24 PM

  10. @Chris I understand your frustration. I am an out, gay pastor (Moravian), and I do not have stockholm syndrome. The evangelicals who have amped up the hateful culture wars represent only 1/4 of American Christians. I myself am out, hope to marry a man (im 25), embrace scientific research, and hold leftist political views. I see myself as a spiritual guide and justice advocate. When you talk about an "imaginary friend", that does not at all correspond to my image of God. I believe that most things can be explained empirically, but peoples emotions and spiritual selves - just as important as their physical selves - need care and community. Not everything is explainable empirically; sometimes thats rather shortsighted. I know that some Christians are hateful, but as far as Im concerned, they and I are talking about two very different things. Please dont lump us all together.

    As for this for Gendreau, I may just start watching football!

    Posted by: Jlavoy | Apr 23, 2013 12:01:36 PM

  11. I cannot wrap my head around anyone claiming to be a Christian, much less a gay Christian. It is akin to Log Cabin Republicans. How can ANY gay person be a Republican?

    Nice kid. Too bad he is relying on the Christian faith.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 23, 2013 12:04:53 PM

  12. Dunno why this turned into Christian-bashing. Don't let the evil Christians color your whole perception; there are some thoughtful, kind Christians out there. Talking about Christianity as if it were some kind of monolithic, homogenous religion is, frankly, just stupid. And I say this as a lifelong atheist.

    Good for this kid. I hope he makes it.

    Posted by: Dan E | Apr 23, 2013 12:09:13 PM

  13. ew... devout xtian. Hard to root for that. It's like being an Uncle Tom.

    Posted by: chad | Apr 23, 2013 12:12:21 PM

  14. He deserves a shot as far as I am concerned, andhe's damn cute too! Good luck.

    Posted by: Tom | Apr 23, 2013 12:16:29 PM

  15. We are never, ever allowed to point out how ridiculous religion is, because that might hurt the feelings of religious people.

    Meanwhile, atheists are the most hated people in America, hated even more than gay folks.

    When was the last time an atheist knocked on your door and tried to convert you? NEVER HAPPENS.

    Posted by: homer | Apr 23, 2013 12:16:45 PM

  16. I don't understand why his religion is used to label, mock and criticize him. His being Christian is merely tangential to this story of a *gay player aspiring to play in the NFL*. If he displayed any self-loathing based on his religion, or was opposed to gay rights based on his religion, then it would be an issue, but that is not the case here.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 23, 2013 12:20:31 PM

  17. I can think of nothing that would be WORSE than for the first openly gay player on an NFL roster to be a KICKER. This would only serve to REINFORCE stereotypes rather than to bust them.

    Kickers are the only players on the field that the rules protect from violent contact, so jokes would fly from all quarters to the effect that that is the reason a gay guy chose to play the position (because he was afraid of the violence associated with being a REAL player).

    The only girls that have made high school football teams have been kickers and kickers have long been ridiculed in a tongue-in-cheek way by other football players as "sissies" and "not real football players".

    I would rather have no out players at all than to have a kicker be the only one. Having a kicker among a group of 4-5 players that came out together would be OK, but not a kicker and only a kicker.

    He probably won't make a roster, anyway.

    As for the anti-Christian stuff in the thread, it is more often than not Jews who surreptitiously perpetrate it, behind their anonymous user take that into account.

    Christianity is not inherently homophobic and those of you who reject it simply because fallible human beings have distorted its true teachings (e.g. trying to use Scripture to justify homophobia) are just playing into the hands of the distorters. Take the high road and point out that their claims are theologically wrong--as some gay people have done--and you will get much better results than throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Most Americans are Christians and believe in God, so railing against the religion, itself, will only further isolate gay people from the cultural mainstream.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 23, 2013 12:33:27 PM

  18. The truth of the situation is, this guy, you can call him self-loathing and whatever else which I think is over the line, but he's religious, self-deprecating and he's a kicker. That's the type of guy whose going to get a shot at making the NFL.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 23, 2013 12:47:48 PM

  19. Great story, Towleroad! It was very sad to hear about losing his position at sounds like he hasn't let it get him down, though.

    Posted by: | Apr 23, 2013 12:51:17 PM

  20. Christianity is an ideology, and it is perfectly appropriate to criticize anybody's ideology. Christians can defend their views if they want. What they will never do is bully critics into silence by claiming that their ideology is somehow above criticism. It most certainly is not.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Apr 23, 2013 12:58:27 PM

  21. P.S. I reject Christianity from top to bottom as an absurd mythology formulated by ancients who were deeply ignorant, superstitious, and infantile. I couldn't care less whether someone's trumps up a pro-gay version. It's still intellectually shallow and child-like.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Apr 23, 2013 1:01:52 PM

  22. All the best to him in his quest to make a NFL roster. And no, it's not "gay" to be a kick his being a Christian - there are thousands of gay Christians.

    Posted by: Jerry | Apr 23, 2013 1:02:07 PM

  23. But, Skeptical Cicada, why is criticizing this man's "ideology" the focus here, when the story is about a gay man wanting to play in the NFL? Were the man Jewish, would the headline say, "Jewish gay man wants to play in the NFL"? It is not relevant.

    Posted by: Dastius Krazitauc | Apr 23, 2013 1:05:45 PM

  24. Correction: It's not "gay" to be a kicker, and as to his being a Christian - there are thousands of gay Christians. Let's be careful about our biases that rule our associations. Remember how often we've been judged by others.

    Posted by: Jerry | Apr 23, 2013 1:06:09 PM

  25. I look forward to all those screaming that no one is ever allowed to utter a peep about Christianity to similarly attack anyone who criticizes other ideologies, like conservatism, Libertarianism, or Republicanism. Sticking a deity in your ideology doesn't suddenly ban all criticism of you.

    Posted by: Skeptical Cicada | Apr 23, 2013 1:07:34 PM

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