ESPN Around The Horn personality Israel Gutierrez recently came out of the closet in an emotional blog post that detailed his personal triumph as well as the adversity he faced leading up to his moment of truth.
There are still plenty of moments when I feel like I have to hide myself.
For example, I’ve gone to the same barber for 15 years. I love going to the shop, having great conversations with everyone in the room. But it’s also a devoutly Christian core of people that I speak with. Their dedication to the church is exemplary, and it’s possible I’ve heard some comments about homosexuality that I vehemently disagree with. But I hold back because I know these are great people with good hearts and are merely echoing what they’ve been taught.
Then there are moments when I’m so angry, I temporarily lose faith in people. Like when my partner went to a bar in Key Largo with a couple of good friends and was told, “get out of here, faggot,” by another patron.
It’s a reminder like that one that make holding my partner’s hand in public absolutely frightening for me. Still. But I will get past that. And this will help.
He also tipped his hat to those sports figures who came before him with revelations of their own.
I want to thank a handful of people who probably will never see this, but these people are my heroes, and I’m certain are heroes to so many others.
There’s Gareth Thomas, the Welsh rugby player I referenced earlier, Martina Navratilova, Greg Louganis, Billy Bean, John Amaechi, Wade Davis, Robbie Rogers, Jason Collins, Michael Sam, Derrick Gordon, Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe.
I also want to thank so many of my friends and co-workers, particularly those that helped guide me throughout portions of these last few years, including Dan LeBatard, Kevin Arnovitz, Tim Reynolds, Jorge Sedano, Ethan Skolnick and Jemele Hill. Anyone who I might be omitting, you know who you are. Just know you’ve all been tremendously influential.
Read the entire “Hello World” post here.