Openly gay US footballer Robbie Rogers has written a moving letter to his 14-year-old self, which carries a reassuring message and says that “people are becoming more accepting.
In the letter, published by ESPN, Rogers, 26, asks: “I don’t wanna live through this, why I can’t be like my brothers and sisters?”
Accompanying the letter, Rogers, a devout Christian describes how he would sometimes pray, and says he wished that he had known that everything would be okay after he came out.
He wrote: “When guys say things in the locker room, remind yourself that most of them don’t actually feel this way. They aren’t really homophobic. These are people who are trying to please others, or think that’s what they’re supposed to say. Everyone is dealing with something whether they’re gay or straight. You don’t have to feel like you’re alone. Which brings me to this: If there’s any great advice I can give you, it’s to find someone you can speak to about what you’re feeling inside, someone you can trust who won’t judge or expose you. Because you can’t walk around with a burden like the one you’re carrying. You’ve got to share this with somebody.
“I know I said I wouldn’t tell you what your future holds, but I will tell you that everything’s going to be fine — one day you’ll be happier than you ever thought possible,” he continued.
He had returned to training with the Los Angeles team three weeks ago, and is now the first openly gay Major League Soccer player.
He said he was inspired to return to the sport after attending the Nike Be True LGBT Youth Forum in Portland in May.
The 26-year-old went public about his sexuality in a post on his personal website in February. He since explained in an interview, his reasons why coming out as gay meant he had to retire immediately as a professional footballer.
Rogers was one of 12 sports stars including Andy Murray, asked by ESPN to write to their younger selves. He plays for LA Galaxy, and hopes to play for the US at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.