“Coming out’s not the end of the world. It’ll be okay.”

Posted: June 22, 2017 in Football, Life experience that I can't fathom, New entries, NFL

https://www.outsports.com/2017/6/20/15835374/ryan-ocallaghan-gay-nfl-new-england-patriots-kansas-city-chiefs

I don’t know what it’s like to be gay nor have I ever tried to kill myself. My stance on human beings is that they should not kill themselves. Most especially if there is a chance they can live a life not filled with suffering.

Ryan O’Callaghan was a millionaire/professional, world-class athlete who started for two NFL teams. He was not afraid of the crushing workload that accompanies being an NFL starter. The thought of openly discussing his sexual orientation with friends or family, however, was too daunting.

After his Football career, O’Callaghan said he was planning to end his life because he could no longer use football to hide his sexual orientation from others.

O’Callaghan eventually met with a specialist who encouraged him to come out to his friends and family.  O’Callaghan has been away from football for many years and has created a life not shaped by hiding his feelings or lifestyle. “I love life now” He said after having told his friends and family about his struggle.

I don’t really know how to help people struggling with suicidal thoughts. The reality of O’Callaghan being as hard working, intelligent and successful as he was, and still had fears he felt he could not navigate is telling of the seriousness of societal rejection from close friends and family. I definitely haven’t been the most accepting of people in my life who’ve chosen not to continue the same course that I have. I think I still don’t entirely understand what it is like to be on the other side of that fence. Listening to Ryan talk about his experience, and others share about their challenges, have helped me to understand a little better the gravity and darkness others may feel.

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