We at bradrobertben want to hear from other athletes who are dealing with their sexuality. You can use your name or not. We can offer you 100% confidentiality but we will need to know who you are before publishing.
We offer this great article sent to us by a swimmer:
The College Boy
Trying to tell your life story is a pretty overwhelming task; there are so many experiences we all go through that are worth sharing that picking and choosing where to being isn’t easy. So I’ll start by trying to explain who I am and my unique life story.
I’ll start with the basics: I am a 19-year-old Caucasian male, I am originally from Chicago (Midwest boy here), and I am a sophomore student-athlete (swimmer) at an Ivy League university. Thus, my college experience isn’t exactly typical. My average day involves waking up around 5:45, swimming for a couple hours, lifting weights for about an hour, quickly grabbing breakfast, going to class all day, another couple hours of swimming, dinner with my team, then back home to study for a few hours. My daily routine sometimes changes (some days I don’t lift weights, for example) yet that is a typical day in the life of me. My life priorities: study-swim-eat-sleep. Being a student-athlete at a university as difficult as mine and competing in one of the most time-consuming sports take a lot of work, but hey, no pain no gain.
I live in a house with 5 of my teammates, and we’re all pretty close. My whole team is pretty close. We spend more time together than a group of around 30 guys ever should … all day, every day. Let’s just say we all know each other too well. I am lucky to be a part of such a great group of guys.
My family, while we have our issues, is a good one. From the outside, I’m sure we look like the perfect family; my parents are still in a loving relationship, both are in incredible physical shape (my dad’s 8-pack is better than mine), me and my sisters get along well enough. My sisters both are/were athletes as well, we are all relatively good looking (my sister is a model). I grew up in one of the most affluent areas of the nation (the North Shore of Chicago for all of you from around there). I have been blessed with a life filled with incredible and unique opportunities.
I am a big sports fan. My friends mean the world to me. I am an incredibly hard worker. I love almost all music. Blah blah blah.
Oh yeah, and I’m gay (closeted). (Well, bi, but in our society I have found that bisexuals are grouped with and viewed extremely similarly to homosexuals).
Now all of you reading this probably understand that the previous sentence is just a small part of what defines me. Its placement at the end of my brief description of myself is fitting; it is not the most important thing about me. It is not what defines me. It is not the reason I like the things I like, or I do the things I do.
Yet had the average heterosexual person written this passage, the first sentence of my description would’ve read something like this: he is a 19-year-old gay man in college. See, what I have found is that homosexuality not the same as most defining characteristics of people. It tends to become THE defining characteristic of a person. Put otherwise, if a straight guy were to describe his gay friend to someone, his homosexuality would probably be the first thing he would mention about him. The only other thing like this probably is race. So that’s the first thing I have observed about being gay in our society. People make too big of a deal about it. That is one of the biggest reasons I am a closet case. But I’ll go into that in another post.