Sports journalist Israel Gutierrez comes out as gay
The ESPN presenter came out in an emotional blog post to his fans.
In the post – titled “Thanks for Reading” – he describes how he struggled to come to terms with his sexuality, but how his life changed forever after meeting his fiancé David Kitchen.
Gutierrez used the blog to announce the engagement, but said he also wanted to speak out for other people struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.
“More than anything, I just want to tell my story,” he wrote.
“It’s probably going to feel like too much information to some of you.
“But it’s the best way I know to explain what life can be like for conflicted, confused gay men and women everywhere, so I appreciate you putting up with me.”
He describes his negative experiences with gay bars, where he said he felt alienated and alone.
“‘I don’t fit in. This isn’t me. Nobody in this place knows what I’m going through,’ [I’d think]… every time, I’d end up unhappier when I left.”
He also touchingly describes how every birthday was a emotional struggle, as he used the opportunity of blowing out his birthday to wish his homosexuality away.
“Starting in my early teens until somewhere in my late 20s, I’d blow out my birthday candles with the same wish: ‘Please don’t let me be gay.’”
However, Gutierrez says he that after seeing rugby star Gareth Thomas come out, he felt brave enough to do the same and after meeting his fiancé he started coming out to friends and family.
Guiterrez is not the only sports personality to be inspired by Thomas.
Last month, rugby league star Keegan Hirst became one of the first players in his sport to open up about his sexuality, and his battle with the ‘macho’ image of Rugby League.
He is the first British player to come out as gay while playing the sport, although he is second openly gay Rugby League star in the UK.
And just last week, the first English professional rugby union player also came out.
23-year-old English Sevens international star Sam Stanley is also the nephew of New Zealand’s 1987 World-Cup winning centre Joe Stanley.
Thomas himself came out in 2009, while playing Rugby Union and moved to Rugby League in 2010.