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NJ High School Wrestling Champion Alec Donovan Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO

Donovan

New Jersey's high school state wrestling champion Alec Donovan, "ranked in the top 25 of high school wrestlers in his weight class in the nation," has come out as gay, Outsports reports:

2_donovanAt the time this story is published, Donovan is on a recruiting trip at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Other schools - in addition to Limestone College - have come calling as well.

For Donovan, the importance of being with a program that wants him for who he is - and the opportunity to help other LGBT athletes walking down the path he was on just three years ago - far outweighs any risk this story might pose.

According to Outsports, Donovan came out on the Limestone College recruiting trip when a fellow recruit asked if he was bisexual:

"The rumor isn't true," Donovan told the other recruit. "I'm not bisexual... I'm gay."

The recruit was "cool with it" and found it fascinating. He asked Donovan if he could tell the guys on the Limestone team who were recruiting them. Donovan didn't care. He had accepted who he was. Fear had left him.

"It's better that everybody knows anyway, so I don't end up on a team that doesn't want me for all of me."

Donovan says that just three years ago he was considering suicide and made it through the next three years with the help of a friend and two fellow wrestlers he confided in about his sexual orientation.

He's now involved in an anti-bullying group at Brick Memorial High School and is trying to decide which college he'll wrestle at next year.

Watch Donovan's state champion final wrestling match, AFTER THE JUMP...

Donovan is the second high-profile wrestler to come out in recent months. In March, Ohio State National Champion Mike Pucillo came out as gay.

Continue reading "NJ High School Wrestling Champion Alec Donovan Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO" »


Ohio State National Champion Wrestler Mike Pucillo Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO

Pucillo

Mike Pucillo, a former Ohio State All-American and National Champion wrestler, has come out as gay in an interview with wrestling journalist Jason Bryant over at TheOpenMat.com:

The three-time All-American and 2008 NCAA champion said he struggled with his sexuality for years. He said he spent time in high school hoping he wasn’t gay.

“I’ve always known, I guess,” said Pucillo, who came out to his parents and a close circle of friends a little more than a year ago. “You try to not think that’s what it really is, so I just tried to say it was nothing. Then you start to realize it’s not really nothing.”

Pucillo, the first openly gay Division-I national champion wrestler, said that part of his struggle to be open and honest about his sexuality stemmed from his private Catholic school upbringing that hammered in the point that homosexuality was a "bad thing." The physicality of wrestling didn't help things either.

“Wrestling is one of the toughest mentally, physically and manly sports there is,” he said. “It’s two dudes rolling around on a mat. People who don’t know wrestling call them leotards. It’s a joke, but it creates a built-in mechanism to say: ‘I’m not gay. I’m too manly to be gay. I’m too tough to be gay."

Hearing the stories of out athletes like Dartmouth lacrosse player Andrew Goldstein, MLS player Robbie Rogers and retired MLB player Billy Bean, however, gave Pucillo the courage to embrace his identity.

Pucillo1“It may have taken me 26 years to realize that maybe I can play a bigger role in somebody else’s life and help somebody else’s life like Robbie Rogers or (Goldstein did),” Pucillo said. “If I can do that for one person, it’s worth it for everybody out there to know my story. … I know there’s going to be people that don’t like it. To those people, I would say, ‘I’ve spent 26 years being uncomfortable. It’s not my problem anymore.

“The only reason why I feel it’s important to tell my story is I know there are a lot of other people out there that are like me who are in high school or about to go into college, whether it’s wrestling or football or baseball or basketball or not in any sport, who are struggling with it,” he said. “The more stories they hear about it, the easier it is for them.”

Head over to TheOpenMat.com here for more on Pucillo's inspirational coming out journey.

Watch a video of Pucillo at the 2013 Las Vegas/ASICS U.S. Open, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Facebook]

h/t Outsports

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Watch Jon Stewart Cripple WWE Wrestler Seth Rollins With a Kick to the Groin: VIDEO

Stewart_rollins

A war of words between WWE wrestler Seth Rollins and Daily Show host Jon Stewart has been building over recent weeks and finally came to blows on WWE'S Monday Night Raw last night.

Follow taunts earlier in February from Rollins...

“I am the most talented performer in the entire world. I can do whatever I want, whenever I want and there’s nobody or nothing that can stop me. Hell, if I wanted, I could become president. I’m not even old enough to run for office. Or you know, I could take over as host of “The Daily Show” for Jon Stewart and make that thing actually watchable.”

And a response from Stewart followed by Rollins' crashing of the Daily Show, the two finally met in the arena last night and Stewart showed Rollins who was the bigger man.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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High School Wrestler Forced Into Conversion Therapy By Parents Pulls Coming Out Post from Outsports

Wrestler

Last week Outsports carried a story about a high school wrestler who came out as gay to his parents and was subsequently forced into conversion therapy and forbidden from coming out to anyone else. Suffering under the yoke of his parents’ oppressive reign but still yearning to live authentically, the young man, known only as “Hunter,” decided to came out anonymously online in a post published on OutSports.

Reading about other young LGBT athletes who had come out and interacting with them over social media inspired Hunter to open up. However, after his story started to gain media traction, Hunter asked that his story be pulled for fear that his parents might discover it, figure out it was about him and make reprisals against him. OutSports’ Cyd Zeigler has the story:

We're sorry to say that we've decided to remove this story from the site.

Hunter contacted us this morning with fear that his parents might see it. The story got shared and read far more widely - and with more mainstream media - than we had imagined it could be. When mainstream sites started picking it up, Hunter got concerned and this morning asked us to remove the full story, at least temporarily, from Outsports. Just as the publication of the story is something we don't usually do, its removal is the same [...]

While there's so much more to his story that Hunter wants to share, that will have to wait [...]

The message of the story is not lost: There are lots of LGBT teen athletes who very much need help and support.

Hunter has set up an anonymous email where other young LGBT athletes can connect with him. 


Wrestling Legend Hulk Hogan Says Wrestling Has Dropped 'Barbaric Mindset' About Gays

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 2.39.50 PM

Wrestling legend and former reality star Hulk Hogan said in a recent interview that the wrestling industry has moved past the "barbaric mindset" which once made it unsafe for athletes to be openly gay reports Huffington PostInterviewers asked Hogan in an in-person meeting about the spate of professional athletes, including World Wrestling Entertainment superstar Darren Young, who have come out in recent years.

Said Hogan:

"At least for me -- and I can only speak from my heart -- I've got people all around me who are gay, so it's not an issue with me. I think the whole world feels like that now."

Hogan's optimistic thoughts about the state of LGBT individuals around the world is far from accurate however, various areas of American sports are seeing a rise in gay athletes coming out. Jason Collins continued his career with the NBA after coming out in April 2013 and Michael Sam, GQ's Man of the Year, entered into the NFL as well, albeit suffering setbacks. In the sport of wrestling, WWE's Darren Young revealed his sexual orientation just last year. Hogan never viewed homosexuality as abnormal and met several gay wrestlers around the world.

Said Hogan:

"There are several wrestlers in Japan who are gay. I've just never looked at it as anything weird. It was normal."

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 2.45.42 PMWWE now partners with GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, on their programs including the "Be a Star," anti-bullying campaign. Wrestler Pat Patterson, a longtime wrestler and friend of Hogan's, came out this year in June on the WWE reality series Legends House, tearfully sharing his long-standing fear that news of his homosexuality would end his sports entertainment career. However, Hogan has known of Patterson's sexuality since 1976.

Said Hogan:

"I knew Pat was gay back in 1976, when he helped me start wrestling. Whenever I see Pat, I give him a big hug and kiss. He's my guy!

"Back when Pat was wrestling, he was afraid to be who he really is -- or was meant to be -- because of all this stuff he inherited from society. You're supposed to be this tough wrestler.' 'You're supposed to be this good-looking, platinum blonde champion who goes out and dates the best looking women.' 'You're supposed to be this.' 'You're supposed to be that.' But that's not true! Pat Patterson is supposed to be who he's meant to be, not who people think he should be, if that makes any sense."

Although Hogan believes the wrestling industry is now re-educated against stereotypes, 1980s wrestling was rife with harmful stereotypes about "savage Africans," and "evil gays." Watch Hulk Hogan take on the "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, wrestler Keith A. Franke's flamboyant gay caricature and persona, in the 1986 WWF Title bout, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wrestling Legend Pat Patterson Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO

Patterson

Wrestling fans making their opinions known on social media and those in the business say they've known WWE legend Pat Patterson is gay for years, but he came out officially on an episode of the WWE reality show Legends' House that aired last night.

Said Patterson: "For once in my life I'm going to be me now. I survived all this being gay. I lived with that for 50 some years. I had a friend with me for 40 years and I lost him...it was tough guys. It was tough."

As Bleacher Report notes, the show was filmed in 2012 but the announcement didn't become public until last night.

Watch the emotional moment, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Wrestling Legend Pat Patterson Comes Out as Gay: VIDEO" »


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