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Iowa High School Coach Describes 'The Power Of Coming Out' To Homophobic Friend

Writing on OutSports, Evan Risk, a junior high school track & cross-country coach in rural Iowa, has explained what happened when he came out to his homophobic friends.

RiskRisk explains how at a basketball game, a friend told him about a “great” idea to change the word “beer” to “queers” in a team chant.

The friend suggested that "In heaven there is no beer that's why we drink it here, and when we're gone from here our friends will be drinking all the beer” could be changed to “In heaven there are no queers, that's why we kill them here, and when we're gone from here our friends will be killing all the queers.”

Risk continues:

“I thought about what I should do for the next few days. Then we went to another basketball game and he said to me during the game, ‘Yeah in my town people say we never had any gay people but that's not true, we killed them all before they were eight.’

“After the victory that night, he sang the killing queers song. Just as before, I had no idea what to do. I didn't say or do anything at the time.

“Regardless of the outcome I knew I had to come out to him. I didn't want to hear the homophobic comments anymore.”

Risk says that when he finally came out, his friend replied:

"I'm really glad you told me. And I'm sorry about what I said earlier.  I'm really glad I know that about you. We're definitely still friends."

Describing how coming out had a positive effect on his friend, Risk says:

“After I came out to him in December we remained friends and on the last game of the season his roommate came with us the final game in March.  

“[The roommate] was talking about something the other team was doing and said ‘That's so FUCKING GAY.’

“I put my head down, not sure exactly what to say.

“My other friend quickly chimed in - ‘Don't say that. Don't say that word.’

"That is the power of coming out."

Check out Risk's full story over at Outsports HERE.


PA State Senator Jim Ferlo Comes Out: 'I'm Gay, Get Over It' - VIDEO


Pennsylvania State Senator Jim Ferlo came out as gay today at a press conference in Harrisburg in which lawmakers called for hate crimes legislation that would protect LGBT citizens in the Quaker State. From ABC 6:

"Hundreds of people know I'm gay. I just never made an official declaration. I never felt I had to wear a billboard on my forehead. But I'm gay. Get over it. I love it. It's a great life," Ferlo said.

The proposed hate crimes legislation was drafted by Ferlo and was created in response to a recent attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia's city center. Out state representative Brian Sims was also present for the press conference to lend his support to Ferlo and the legislation. 

Watch a video of Ferlo's announcement, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "PA State Senator Jim Ferlo Comes Out: 'I'm Gay, Get Over It' - VIDEO" »

A Gay Man's Coming Out Letter to His Tough Ex-Marine Father and His Dad's Touching Reaction



From time to time Towleroad runs first person stories spotted on social media we think will be of interest to the broader community. If you come across a particularly timely, moving, amazing or otherwise worthy post, please let us know through our contact form or drop us an email at tips at towleroad dot com.

Towleroad reader Jack Freedman writes us:

I told my tough, ex-marine father I'm gay exactly 22 years ago this month. This is how it went...

I have been told over the years that I should publish the "coming out" letter I handed to my father in Sept of 1992. I have always brushed those comments away as just being compliments by people who care about me. Finally, however, I decided to post it on Facebook and the responses...both public comments and, even more so, private messages, astounded me. More than ever, people kept telling me, "This could help gay kids and parents of gay kids. It doesn't seem all that amazing to me, but I'm not a publisher...so what do I know.

The post, with the letter I actually gave to my father so long ago, is at this link to my Facebook page. I am happy to share it if someone who knows more than I do (i.e., most people) thinks it could help even a single kid.

Read Jack's story below:



Previously in this series:
How Three Restaurant Workers Restored a Gay Man's Faith in Humanity [tlrd]
#WHYILEFT What I First Thought Was a Consensual Leather Relationship [tlrd]

Teen Comes Out to Mother, Mother Reveals Secret of Her Own: VIDEO


We've seen videos of parents taking their kid's coming out horribly, and we've seen parents react rather indifferently, but this is something else entirely. 

YouTube user Hayden Smith decided to record his mom's reaction to his coming out, but ended up recording a reaction of his own - when his mom chose to open up about a past secret. 

"Can I tell you something too?" Mom says. "Since you've opened up to me, I'll tell you a little secret too - I had a girlfriend."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP... (note: mild language)

Continue reading "Teen Comes Out to Mother, Mother Reveals Secret of Her Own: VIDEO" »

Twins Come Out As Gay, Capture Parents' Reaction On Hidden Camera: VIDEO


Adam and Luke Monastero are fraternal twins. They are 21 and recently came out to each other. As neither of them were out to their parents, the guys decided the best thing was to come out to Mom and Dad together. The pair recorded a diary room style video before and after sharing the big news. They also secretly recorded the coming out itself including their parents' reactions. As Adam and Luke sit Mom and Dad down, Adam warns his parents that he and Luke have some "shocking news" for them. But as E! Online points out, the parents' response is nothing but supportive:

"You know what? It's ultimately your life," their mother said...

Luke explained he was afraid their sexual orientation would drive a wedge within their extended family, to which mama bear responded, "Well, you know what, Luke? If it does, hon, that's their choice. It cannot be your worry or your burden. You can't live your life for someone else...I'm just so glad you're not keeping it from us anymore."

Watch as the boys open up to their folks and later bask in the freedom of being out and proud, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "Twins Come Out As Gay, Capture Parents' Reaction On Hidden Camera: VIDEO" »

Senior GOP Spokesman Comes Out As Gay: 'Let Me Get Married'

James Richardson, a former spokesman and adviser for the RNC, former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour, and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, has come out as gay in an op-ed over at The Washington Post - writing on the important stability that marriage equality could provide for him and his partner and thousands of other same-sex couples in Georgia.

Writes Richardson: 

James richardsonIt’s not always easy to love Georgia, or love in it. Our state constitution explicitly forbids same-sex unions, and the local economy remains defiantly sluggish. Yet in spite of its blemishes, my would-be groom and I are deeply committed to our community, one whose values of faith and family we share.

On Saturday we huddled with 90,000 of our closest friends in approaching-100-degree heat to cheer on the University of Georgia Bulldogs in the season opener. And this Sunday, as those before it, we’ll be in the pews of the same evangelical church we’ve quietly attended for years. We bless our suppers, we pay our taxes, and we own a home in the suburbs. Norman Rockwell would have thought us boring, because, frankly, we are. 

But even if we failed, or refused on principle, to cross straight America’s bourgeois threshold for normalcy, gay people deserve the same the legal and moral considerations — and rights — enjoyed by all others. They are Americans whose rights were granted by God and the grit of their forbearers, yet they are forced to defend their love, and the various planes on which it may be judged (constitutional, cultural and economic), to distressing and revolting ends. [...]

On the foundational question of marriage’s value, to individuals and society, gay couples and the institution’s cultural conservative gatekeepers agree: marriage is deeply special. We wish to participate in earnest, to strengthen the institution that our straight peers are abandoning. Gay couples don’t want to rock the marriage boat — they only want a ticket for two to ride.

Read Richardson's full article HERE

[picture via Twitter]


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