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.
Risk 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.”
“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.