Who is Tadd Fujikawa? Pro golf’s first gay male player
Tadd Fujikawa made headlines this week when he become the first male professional golfer to come out as gay. So, who is the US sportsman?
Born in 1991 in Honolulu, Hawaii, Fujikawa first turned heads as an amateur golfing sensation when be became the youngest ever player to qualify for the US Open in 2006 at the age of 16.
Fujikawa turned pro in 2007 when made the cut for the Sony Open in Hawaii, finishing in joint 20th place. At the time, he was the youngest golfer in 50 years to play at a PGA tour event.
In 2008, he won his professional victory at the 50th annual Mid-Pacific Open in Hawaii, where a mixture of amateurs and professionals compete. He went on to win the tournament again in 2009.
Over the years, Fujikawa has also played at a number of other professional golfing tournaments, including the eGolf Professional Tour in 2010, and the PGA Tour Canada in 2016.
The golfer, who is currently ranked 2,042 in the world, has also twice won the Hawaii State Open—in 2010 and 2017.
When Fujikawa publicly came out on Tuesday, which marked World Suicide Prevention Day, he explained that he hoped his story would help others in the LGBT+ community.
Posting a photo of himself in Instagram, he wrote: “So…I’m gay. Many of you may have already known that.
“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.”
Tired of hiding
The golfer also said that he’d had enough of keeping his sexuality a secret.
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.”
Fujikawa 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.”
And, since coming out, he’s added extra info to his Instagram bio, writing: “Make a difference❤️ ️ . Change the world .”
The star also included a link to a Golf Digest story reporting on him coming out as gay.
He’s been proudly re-tweeting articles about him coming out on his Twitter.
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Fujikawa has previously spoken out about important issues.
In October 2017—to mark World Mental Health Day—he discussed his mental health struggles on Instagram.
“Not many people know this but I’ve gone through ‘it,'” he wrote, posting just two months after winning the Hawaii State Open.
“Anxiety and depression are too real. What I have gone through may not seem as ‘bad’ or detrimental as some other people. But regardless we all have our issues and problems, just in different ways.”