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First Openly Gay Player to Compete in March Madness

by Hayley Miller March 17, 2016

Twenty-four year old athlete Derrick Gordon could soon make history as the first openly gay basketball player to compete in the NCAA March Madness tournament.

Gordon is the senior guard for Seton Hall University, which will play Gonzaga University later this week. He has played in every game this season thus far and is expected to play Thursday.  

Gordon first came out in 2014 while playing for University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

"When kids aren't able to come out, I know why," Gordon told ESPN in April 2014. "It’s a scary thing. That's one of the reasons I’m doing this."

Over the past few years, more and more notable athletes, including Michael Sam, Jason Collins, Robbie Rogers, Orlando Cruz, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey and Tom Daley,  have made the brave choice to live openly and authentically.

Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion -- from fear to euphoria. Coming out -- whether it is as LGBT or allied -- is a deeply personal journey for each individual.

For more resources on Coming Out, visit HRC’s Coming Out Center.

Hayley Miller
Hayley Miller


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