Tadd Fujikawa becomes first men’s professional golfer to come out as gay
Tadd Fujikawa has become the first male professional golfer to come out as gay, saying he hopes his story will help others in the LGBT+ community.
The American sportsman from Hawaii posted a photo of himself in Instagram on Tuesday, which also marked World Suicide Prevention Day, alongside a caption explaining why decided to go public about his sexuality.
“So…I’m gay. Many of you may have already known that,” he wrote.
“I don’t expect everyone to understand or accept me. But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community.
“My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another.”
The 27 year old, who is currently ranked 2,042 in the world, made headlines in 2006 when he became the youngest player to qualify for the US Open at the age of 15. At the time, he was just an amateur.
Fujikawa turned pro in 2007 when he qualified for the Sony Open in Hawaii, becoming the second youngest player to make the cut. He finished in joint 20th place.
In 2017, Fujikawa won the Hawaii State Open.
He continued: “I’ve been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows.
“But I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was.”
He added: “Now I’m standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone’s life.”