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YouTube Star Connor Franta Comes Out As Gay: 'I'm Sick of Censoring Myself' - VIDEO

Franta

Connor Franta, a 22-year-old YouTube star with over 3.6 million subscribers, has just come out as gay in an emotional video posted online. 

Said Franta:

In just one year I've honestly felt like I'm so happy with who I am. And I'm making this video because I was sick of having to think constantly about what I was doing, what I was saying, what I was wearing. I don't want to have to think about everything I do. I just want to be able to be me and not be afraid. I'm sick of censoring myself. This is just one little part of who I am. And I'm not going to let my sexuality define or confine me. It's part of me, it's not all of me. 

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Veteran Major League Baseball Umpire Dale Scott Comes Out as Gay

Dale_scott

Dale Scott, a Major League Baseball umpire for the last 29 seasons, came out of the closet in the "quietest way possible" this month in an issue of the subscription-only Referee magazine, Outsports reports.

Astonishingly, Scott is "the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active (and the first out active male official in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB)."

ScottScott's coming out was a photo of him and his partner of 28-years Michael Rausch aboard a plane traveling to the season opener between the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers, Outsports adds:

[Writer Peter] Jackel talked to friends of Scott's who grew up with him in Eugene, Ore., but nothing was written about his private life since he became an umpire. Prior to publication, the magazine's editor, Jeff Stern, wanted some non-game photos and that's when Scott made a decision to reveal a part of himself previously hidden from the public.

After consulting with his partner, Michael Rausch, Scott decided to send the photo below of the two of them...

"My thought process was," Scott told Outsports in his first interview on the subject, "is that there's a story about my career and how I got started in umpiring and they're talking to people I have known since junior high and it didn't seem right to have a whole story and pictures without a picture of Mike and I, someone who's been with me through this entire process. We met the October after my first year in the big leagues.

"Obviously, when I sent that picture to Jeff, I knew exactly what it meant. In a small way, this was opening that door in a publication that wasn't going to be circulated nationwide. It could be picked up, but it's not Time magazine. I made that decision to go ahead and do it because I felt it was the right thing to do.

Scott said the photo would not be a surprise to the MLB organization or the umpire staff and said he's not seeking attention for his story, though he may get it. The story is appearing on ESPN and other sports outlets.

Scott was able to add Rausch as his domestic partner in his contract with the umpire's union in 2010 (the two have been legally married since 2013) and says that people began offering his support after that, noting how baseball has changed:

"The first 10 years of my Major League umpire career, I would have been horrified if a story had come out that I was gay," he said. "But guys unprovoked started to approach me and say, 'I just want you to know that I would walk on the field with you any day, you're a great guy, a great umpire and I couldn't care less about your personal life.' Basically what they were saying without me provoking it was 'I know and I don't care.' That meant a lot to me because it surprised me since I had not brought it up. At first I was uncomfortable because I had spent my whole life hiding that fact from people even though I wasn't hiding it from myself or my friends."

Scott has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games, according to OS. He adds:

"People scream at me because I'm an umpire. The last thing I want is people screaming at me because I'm gay. I'm an umpire who happens to be gay. I'm not trying to be some gay person who happens to be an umpire."

Read the full piece here and the Referee article here.

(inset image Referee magazine)


Gay Freshman Diver Alex Obendorf Comes Out at West Virginia University, Qualifies For NCAA Postseason

Obendorf

As a senior in high school, Alex Obendorf (above) suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car wreck that left him out of diving for nine months.  

Perhaps that difficult experience explains why Obendorf is undaunted by the idea of being openly gay as a freshman athlete on a relatively conservative college campus. 

Obendorf2Obendorf, who attends West Virginia University, quietly came out publicly this weekend in the The Missourian, which treated his sexual orientation as a footnote related to his admiration for gay Olympians Matthew Mitcham and Tom Daley: 

“I like their form and everything,” Obendorf said. “I’m pretty proud of them because I know that it’s a hard thing to open up about, especially to the public as an Olympian. I am openly gay. I know where they come from.”

The Missourian reports that Obendorf became the first male WVU diver to qualify for the NCAA postseason this year, by finishing fourth in the 3-meter springboard at this weekend's Mizzou Invitational.

Obendorf was a two-time All-American at his high school in Ohio, but he missed his senior season after the car wreck in August 2013.

He was initially diagnosed with a concussion, but realized the injury was more serious when he tried to return to diving and the symptoms reappeared. 

He didn't get back on the board permanently until May, which left him nervous about how he'd perform after joining the WVU team in August. But so far, things seem to be going pretty well, and now that he's qualified for the postseason, his coach is pushing him to make the NCAA Championships. 

Although he just came out in the media this weekend, Obendorf has been open about his sexual orientation on Facebook since at least August.

And guess what? He's single. 

Obendorf1

[h/t Outsports]


Country Singer Billy Gilman Comes Out as Gay: 'It's Time to Be Honest and Truthful' - VIDEO

Gilman

Billy Gilman, who at the age of 12 became the youngest singer to land a Top 40 hit on the country music charts with 2000's "One Voice," has come out as gay in a video message posted online today. 

Gilman2In the video, Gilman shares that country singer Ty Herndon's coming out earlier today makes it easier for him to open up, but that he is still concerned about how the country music industry will react. 

You know, it's difficult for me to make this video not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist or a gay artist or a gay person. But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that because I'm in an genre and industry that is ashamed of me for being me. That said, I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up with - Keith Urban, Vince, LeAnn Rimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine have been nothing but supportive. Not that they knew but they've just been such wonderful people.  

Gilman also reveals that he's been with his partner for five months. 

Watch Gilman's video announcement (and a Today show performance of "One Voice") AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Instagram]

UPDATE: LeAnn Rimes has tweeted her support for Gilman

Continue reading "Country Singer Billy Gilman Comes Out as Gay: 'It's Time to Be Honest and Truthful' - VIDEO" »


Country Singer Ty Herndon: 'I'm an Out, Proud and Happy Gay Man'

Herndon

Country singer Ty Herndon has come out as gay in an interview with People magazine.

People reports:

"During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been," he tells PEOPLE. "Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering. It's time to tell my truth."

That "truth" is about a part of himself he has kept secret for his entire career: "I'm an out, proud and happy gay man," the Nashville artist revealed to PEOPLE during a sit-down in New York Tuesday.

Herndon says that his longtime partner Matt helped him come out:

Both the singer and his partner are practicing Christians, and Herndon says it's taken time to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. But he's getting there.

"I sit on the tailgate of my pickup truck, and I meditate, and I talk to God," he says. "That's really all I need to know. I have a connection to something bigger than myself, and no one's going to tell me that I can't have it. We get to choose who we love, and that includes God, and he loves us back."

He says he came out in part to help Christian kids who are struggling with the same issue:

"They can be loved by God, they can be married one day, they can have a family, they can give their parents grandkids. And they're not broken, they're not sinners and they're perfectly beautiful."

Herndon also gave an interview to Entertainment Tonight.

Watch it (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

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Kansas City Royals Marketing Executive Matt Schulte Comes Out as Gay - VIDEO

Schulte

Matt Schulte, marketing coordinator for Major League Baseball team Kansas City Royals, has come out in an interview with Outsports. 

As the Royals made their unexpected run through the playoffs this year, Schulte began exploring the idea of coming out. Through conversations with other out gay people in sports he saw a side of sports that was inclusive of gay people.

As team victories mounted this year and the elusive World Series drew near, his confidence grew and he began to find inner pride in a way he had never experienced before.

Although coming out to his father and stepmother had been a positive experience, doing so in the macho environment of Major League Baseball was a whole different matter.

"To walk into my boss's office, how do I set it up? Do I give them a warning? Do I spring it on them? I'm still not even totally comfortable with saying the words, 'I'm gay.'"

Still not knowing how to address the topic with co-workers and friends, he decided to share his story publicly via Outsports.

Watch Matt talk about his lifelong connection with Kansas City Royals, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continuing a positive recent trend, professional strongman Rob Kearney came out earlier this year as did Sky Sports presenter Mark McAdam.

[photo via Facebook]

Continue reading "Kansas City Royals Marketing Executive Matt Schulte Comes Out as Gay - VIDEO" »


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