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Arizona Cardinals Video Director Rob Brakel Comes Out As Gay

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Rob Brakel, video director for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, said the response has been overwhelmingly positive since he came out publicly as gay this week.

"Reception has been unreal," Brakel told Towleroad. "Couple players that know were awesome. The head coach, GM, and our owner Michael (Bidwill) have been nothing short of AMAZING. They have my back and are happy for me." 
 
But Brakel, who came out Wednesday in an interview with OutSports before the Cardinals' game against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday, also said that for him, the decision hasn't really sunk in yet.  
 
"Busy with game last night, flying back, went to bed at 4am and just woke up to phone going crazy," he told Towleroad on Friday. "I do need a few more hours of sleep but I have to get to work soon. In time I think it will be great for me." 
 
The Cardinals defeated the Rams and are atop the NFC at 11-3, adding to what Brakel called "the biggest year for me." 
 
Brakel, a 17-year veteran of NFL video crews, told OutSports he was inspired to come out publicly while reading gay MLS player Robbie Rogers'' book, "Coming Out To Play," on the team plane Wednesday. OutSports reports: 

"I don't care anymore," Brakel said from his hotel room, the shaking coming through his voice over the phone. "Everyone around me knows who I am. I'm a guy who will give the shirt off his back to help you. I'll do whatever I can to help people. And I've had enough." ... 

As Brakel read the book, the rest of the Cardinals filed past him on the plane. He knew some might look down and see his choice of reading material, but he didn't care. Not only was he engrossed in the story, many of them already knew or suspected he was gay.

Those who've known Brakel was gay include Cardinals head coach Bruce Ariens, to whom Brakel came out at the NFL combine as Michael Sam made his NFL debut earlier this year. And those who've suspected include star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who did "the gay math" on Brakel. 

Brakel acknowledged it's tough being gay around the NFL, and he's thought about quitting at times.

A Twitter search for "gay" and "Cardinals" over the last few days shows exactly Brakel and others are up against — and why it's so important for them to come out.


First Look: Oprah's Upcoming Documentary on the Rise and Fall of Michael Sam: VIDEO

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The Oprah Winfrey Network's Michael Sam docu-series that was postponed back in May due to concerns it was causing a "distraction" for the openly gay footballer is set to make a revival in the form of a 90-minute documentary airing later this month.

Via news release:

The documentary was originally announced as a multi-part series but transitioned into a 90-minute documentary when shooting was postponed to allow Michael to focus on football. Cameras get up close and personal with Michael as he openly discusses a childhood fraught with tragedy and poverty, as well as his emotional decision to come out as a gay man in the world of pro sports.

Watch a promo for the documentary, AFTER THE JUMP...

Following the documentary's airing at 9pm ET on December 27, Oprah will sit down with Michael Sam for a special television interview, the first since he was cut from the NFL back in October

Continue reading "First Look: Oprah's Upcoming Documentary on the Rise and Fall of Michael Sam: VIDEO" »


Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014

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"I think coming out...is really about coming out as your authentic self, coming out as the person you always knew you were but no one else may have known, and now you're sharing that honestly with people for the first time."

2014faces2Such is how Rodrigo Lehtinen, the trans son of Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, explained to CBS Miami last month what it meant for him to now be open about who he is.

It's as simple as that, whether you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or some fluid combination of any of them. But it's certainly an act of courage in a world where LGBTQ people face obstacles in marriage, employment, and even basic acceptance. In many places, the status of being 'out' about one's sexual orientation or gender identity is dangerous, even life-threatening.

In 2014 thousands, perhaps millions of people came out all over the world. They all made a difference. The folks featured here are just a few who happened to make a big difference and caught our eye on Towleroad this year. Some are well-known, some are little-known: the CEO of the largest corporation in the world, an NFL player, a Kenyan literary figure, fashion models, the foreign minister of a Baltic state, country singers, Mormon pop stars, a few of the stars of your favorite television shows, and unknowns from the world of YouTube.

When it comes to coming out, 2014 was certainly the year of the athlete.

Of the 80 people on our list this year, more than 1/3 come from the sports world — football, baseball, boxing, tennis, long distance running, hurling, basketball, rowing, and diving. Many of these athletes are making a name for themselves in college sports, many in conservative places. Twenty-one come from the entertainment world. And they are from all over the world — Japan, Peru, Ireland, Uruguay, Brazil, Germany, Australia, Finland, Canada, Spain, Chile, and more... Also, the leader of a company worth more than all the world's airlines combined, worth more than the entire Russian stock market.

It's quite an impressive group of folks. We're proud of all of you. By choosing to come out as L, G, B, T, queer, or whatever label your sexual orientation or gender identity is telling you is yours, you've made life easier for all those who haven't come out yet, and all those who are currently struggling for their civil and human rights.

Please enjoy reading their stories. And share this post with your friends, family, and anyone in the closet to whom you'd like to offer a bit of courage or support.

 

Read on, AFTER THE JUMP...

Contributions to this post were made earlier this year by Kyler Geoffroy, Sean Mandell, Joseph Ehrman-Dupre, Steve Pep, Brian Sloan, Daniel Villareal, Anthony Costello, Jim Redmond, Charles Pulliam-Moore, Christian Walters, John Wright, and Jake Folsom.

Make sure not to miss a Towleroad headline by following @TLRD on Twitter.

Continue reading "Gay, Bi, Transgender: The 80 Most Powerful Comings Out of 2014" »


Michael Sam Hints That He's Not in the NFL Because He's Gay: VIDEO

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Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player in the NFL this year, first being drafted by the St. Louis Rams then later being picked up by the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad only to be cut not too long after, hinted today that being openly gay is the reason he is not currently playing in the NFL. From TMZ:

Sam was at LAX this morning when he was asked if he thinks NFL teams are shying away from him because of his sexual orientation ... or if it has to do with the level of talent he faced after college.

"I think I was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year last year ... so I don't think it had to do with talent."

Translation -- he believes he's on the outs because he's out.  

Sam also made mention that the once in-the-works Oprah produced reality show about his life will likely not be moving ahead. 

Watch as Sam tackles TMZ's barrage of questions with the grace under pressure he's become known for, AFTER THE JUMP...

And be sure not to miss Sam's boyfriend Vito's cameo at the end!

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Continue reading "Michael Sam Hints That He's Not in the NFL Because He's Gay: VIDEO" »


Michael Sam: 'If I Had It My Way, I Never Would Have [Come Out] The Way I Did' — VIDEO

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Earlier this week, we reported that NFL free agent Michael Sam had scored the cover of GQ after being named one of its 'Men of the Year'.

Cover_samThe magazine has slowly been rolling out profiles of the men they picked, and Sam offers up some thoughts on the whirlwind of events that went down this year, including being drafted by the St. Louis Rams and then picked up by the Dallas Cowboys, and his coming out.

Of the latter, Sam says it wouldn't have been the way he would have preferred it, but he knew it had to happen:

If I had it my way, I never would have done it the way I did, never would have told it the way I did.

I would have done the same thing I did at Mizzou. Which was to tell my team and my coaches and leave it at that. But since I did tell my team, word got out.… People think the word didn't get out. It did. Or it did and it didn't. They kept it confined within our family. But the recruiters knew, and reporters knew, and they talked to each other, and it got out. If I didn't have the year I did, nobody would have cared. But I did have that year. And a lot of people knew. Someone was gonna ask me, "I heard you told your team a secret.…" Well, I was comfortable with who I was, and I wouldn't have denied it. And then I wouldn't have been able to control the story. But I have no regrets. Some people can argue that I had the potential to go higher in the draft. But I think everything happens for a reason. It looks good to see me in the position I'm in now, because I can show the world how good I am and rise up the ranks. I'm at the bottom now. I can rise up, show I'm a football player. Not anything else. Just a football player.

Sam also gives a brief video interview and talks about the draft and how he's glad he never has to do it again.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Michael Sam: 'If I Had It My Way, I Never Would Have [Come Out] The Way I Did' — VIDEO" »


25 Famous Men Who Brought Muscles, Mustaches, and More to Instagram This Week — PHOTOS

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Scissor Sister Jake Shears and his dog needed some scissors, and Looking's Raul Castillo hung 10 outside of San Francisco with 'Looking' creator Michael Lannan and actor John Johnson.

Murray Bartlett, Joe Manganiello, Russell Tovey, Jonathan Groff, Matthew Camp, Aaron Schock, Alex Minsky, Dan Osborne, Robbie Rogers, Frankie J Grande, Derek Theler, Harry Shum Jr, Chris Salvatore, Michael Sam, Brad Goreski, Nick Jonas, Harry Judd, Tom Daley, Tim Schou, Daniel Franzese, Steve Grand, Ronnie Kroell, and Ty Herndon brought their game to Instagram this week.

Find out which GOP politician was spending time with a dance music diva, who was getting drunk on grape juice, and how many mustaches were being rocked for Movember,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Surfs up. At Ocean Beach with @michaellannan and John Johnson this morning. Good times

A photo posted by Raúl Castillo (@officialraulcastillo) on Nov 11, 2014 at 1:24pm PST

Continue reading "25 Famous Men Who Brought Muscles, Mustaches, and More to Instagram This Week — PHOTOS" »


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