US: op-ed Breaking up with boyfriend started gay college track athlete on path to acceptance

Isaac Reed III, 20, is a junior at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. He is a member of the track and field team specializing in hurdles and triple jump. He is majoring in Psychology and minoring in Economics.

Growing up with two parents who were preachers and with numerous other relatives who are pastors or preachers has made it very hard for me to accept I am gay. It’s something I still struggle with, even after being accepted on my college track team.

My struggles with accepting myself even caused me to lose a boyfriend, though that whole event wound up with me finally starting to embrace who I am.

I am on the track and field team at Denison University in Granville, Ohio. Coming there two years ago from Southern California made me leery about revealing my being gay. I assumed a bunch of white frat boys wouldn’t accept a gay, black teammate, but the real problem turned out to be me.

It was September 2016 when I started to see this guy at Denison. He was really open about being gay and I was not. He told me he would never tell anyone about us but he wanted me to come out and I didn’t want to. We regularly argued over this issue.

One night we went to a Waka Flocka concert and my boyfriend and I got separated in the crowd. My friend asked me who I was looking for, and all I kept saying was “I am looking for bae.” She kept asking who “bae” was, but I didn’t want to tell her. Soon we saw a few of my teammates and my friend asked them if they knew who my “bae” was and they all said no.

I took a chance and told everyone that “bae” was a guy. They were happy for me and told me they accepted me. Later, I told my boyfriend and he was delighted. Problem solved? No.

Instead of relief, I felt an emptiness in my stomach and an anger, because I realized that I told all my friends and teammates I was gay. I left his room feeling mad and didn’t want to talk about it again. This led to the guy and I breaking things off.

I knew I wasn’t comfortable being gay, and I assumed my friends and teammates would also be uncomfortable. I thought that they would not want anything to do with me. I know it sounds all messed up, but that was my thought process as an 18-year-old. Read more via OutSports