Staff Writer @MikeShamboUMass sophomore Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay male athlete in Division One college basketball. Derrick is a starter for the team and the decision to come out was far from easy for him to make. “It was powerful for these players to see one of their brothers be so vulnerable,” said one of his teammates, who said he had to turn away from the group in the room lest they see him get emotional. “These are some inner-city kids, some rough, tough kids who Derrick wants to be friends with. They understand who he is a little bit better now.” UMass had recently hired Derek Kellogg as their new coach and after he finished his own introduction to the team, Gordon stood up to reveal his secret. The entire room began to get emotional and many players came to the realization that things they may have implied in the past about Gordon’s sexuality must have been extremely hurtful. “I think this kind of thing can unite us more than anything," Kellogg said. "And now it's out in the open so I think that helps make it more comfortable. ... He wanted to finally be himself. He didn't want to hide anymore. We support him 100%.” This is another step in the right direction, but it goes to show that this is still something that many gay youths have trouble expressing as they fear the ramifications. A big congratulations goes out to Derrick and hopefully this will inspire others going forward. Check out “Being True,” Derrick Gordon’s inspirational video about coming to terms with his sexuality and struggling to find acceptance:
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