Thursday, 03 January 2013 22:06
I'm not someone who really enjoys doing the "end of the year" sort of lists, which is why I'm always happy many others
do. One that struck me was Policymic
's international collection of athletes who came out as gay (and one who also came out as HIV positive) in 2012. Thousands of people come out as LGBTQ every year. However, when a public figure comes out it raises public awareness and generates support for the larger LGBTQ community. Their prominence and public persona have the ability to impact thousands of others who may be struggling with the decision to share this personal aspect of their lives.Coming out is a matter of personal validation but it can be risky. Take for instance the ultra-macho world of male contact sports. Coming out as a gay male athlete in a contact sport can directly impact one's livelihood. On the other hand, coming out as a gay female contact sport athlete can serve to reinforce misconceptions and stereotypes of the female athlete.Either way, when a contact sport athlete comes out he or she raises awareness. Here is a list of 10 contact sports athletes, with their thoughts on coming out: (you can see the full coverage of the 10 by clicking here):10. Ji Wallace, Gymnast, Olympic silver Medalist, announced he is HIV positive:
"Being seen does have value. A voice does have value."