connor 300x227 College Football Has Its First Out Active LGBT PlayerThe story of Connor Mertens comes from Willamette University in Oregon. The freshman player had always known he was bisexual, but now that he has a boyfriend, he wanted to tell his story to give hope and support closeted kids in his hometown and elsewhere:

Conner Mertens has become the first active college football player to come out,Outsports.com reports. The redshirt freshman kicker at Willamette University in Oregon, which competes in Division III, a lower level of college football, came out as bisexual to his teammates last night and then tweeted an open letter about his decision. He and coach Glen Fowles also spoke at length to Outsports writer Cyd Zeigler about the process and what Fowles described as the “unwavering support” of the Willamette coaching staff and team for Mertens’ choice.

The letter Connor tweeted is worth reading in its entirety. Click for a larger view:

connorletter2 College Football Has Its First Out Active LGBT Player

 

In case you can’t read it, here’s a crucial part of the letter, via Outsports:

“You are not alone. You do not need to come out but you do need to know that you do not have to go at this by yourself. The aloneness you’re feeling is temporary and it will get better. This place is changing…changing for the better. I made the decision that if I could prevent one person from feeling that self-hatred, loneliness, desperation and a thousand other emotions that I felt, I would. I will be damned if I let anyone tell you that you are wrong or weird or not normal.

“Love yourself and allow others to love you. Be who you are and know you’re not alone.”

Click over to OutSports for the full story.