US student tennis star Matt Dooley has come out as gay in an article where he speaks about his past struggles, including an attempt at suicide by swallowing a bottle of pills.

The 22-year-old Notre Dame student, who came out as gay in an article for Outsports last week, said he has had “overwhelmingly positive” feedback since.

In the article, Dooley revealed that in September 2011 he attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on pills as a way to “escape the anguish of coming out to my family, my friends, and, in a way, myself.”

He added: “I didn’t even think it was worthwhile to leave a note; I had convinced myself that I wouldn’t be missed.

“Death was better than accepting — or revealing — that I was gay.”

He went on to explain how coming out to his parents and a close teammate taught him to value himself and accept his sexuality as “just an essential part of who I am.”

He said: “I’ve learned to respect myself and expect it from others.”

Writing on Twitter after the article was published, Dooley said:

He added: “Sharing my story has, of course, been trying at times, but if it can help just one person to accept themselves and live a more full and complete life, it will all be worth it.”