This high-school football star came out as gay at his prom
This high-school senior and footballer has shared his coming out story, and how he danced to Taylor Swift at his prom.
Michael Martin, who idolises gay LA Galaxy footballer Robbie Rogers, wrote about his coming out story on OutSports.
Hailing from West Virginia, the 18-year-old slow danced at his prom with a boy in front of his classmates. They later became boyfriends, and said they felt immediately accepted when they were asked by students if they were together.
Read an extract from his story below:
It was something I thought I’d never do — dance a slow dance with the homecoming king at his high school.
I am an 18-year-old senior all-state high school soccer goalie for Musselman High School in West Virginia. I also have been on the school’s football, tennis and swim teams. And I am openly gay. Growing up in rural West Virginia, it’s not the easiest place to be a gay teenager and it took me a long time to come out to myself and others.
Yet there we were, Jem and I, on an October night this fall, slow dancing with each other. We attend schools in different counties and met through friends and I was thrilled that he asked me to his dance so we could be together. We danced to “Love Story” by Taylor Swift, which was a perfect song for my first dance with a guy.
We both started the dance with our female friends who were our “dates.” The final song came on and Jem and I danced for a brief time. It was my first school event where I was with another guy, even though we came to the dance separately. I held his hand when we went to get refreshments and when we took breaks from dancing. It was a weird feeling for me, since I had just barely started coming out. I was nervous yet excited. After the dance we went to his house. That is where I asked him to be my boyfriend. I posed the question by writing it on the dry erase board on his wall. He quickly said yes.
Jem and I danced all night to the most popular pop songs. But it was the slow dance that I most remember that night at the school cafeteria — “Remember When” by Alan Jackson. It was the best night ever. Jem and I got asked a lot if we were together and we said yes. “That is so cute!” some girls said. It made us felt accepted.
My soccer hero and the man who inspired me to come out is Robbie Rogers of the Los Angeles Galaxy. I loved how he announced he was gay and did not quit playing soccer. He gave me hope and confidence to be true to myself. Once he came out I started to contemplate doing the same myself and being proud of who I am. Robbie should be every soccer player’s idol, gay or straight.