Free shipping over $99 | Interest Free *no credit check* financing is available!

This Closeted Sailor Was Accidentally Outed, What Happened Next May Surprise You

by Jeff taylor July 26, 2016

Conner Curnick out navy

Conner Curnick, photo via Outsports.

Coming out in the military used to be impossible. The repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” has changed that reality, but it is still a scary prospect for many.

That was certainly the case for Conner Curnick, who worried his Navy buddies would never accept his sexual orientation were the truth to come to light. When it did, he was in tears, and he found acceptance from others as well as within himself.

Related: Seaman Makes History With Beautiful Same-Sex Kiss

Curnick tells his story in a moving personal essay he penned for Outsports. Why Outsports? Because he just so happens to be a competitive water polo player and runner, as well.

gay athlete

Curnick competing in a Reebok Spartan Race, via Outsports.

Curnick says he was heading back to his quarters at a naval base in Pensacola, Fla. after spending the night with a guy he was seeing, when he felt his phone begin to buzz.

Related: Out Swimmer Ian Thorpe Is Almost Ready To Be A Gay Role Model

It turns out someone had discovered a photograph of him with another guy on the back of his motorcycle. His friends were asking him if he was gay. He decided to tell the truth.

I was alone at the time and in tears, and I decided to come clean — yes, I’m gay, I told them. The reactions started coming in and, to my relief and surprise, they were overwhelmingly positive. While I did lose a few friends, the ones closest to me became even closer, because I no longer had to lie about who I was and for the first time they knew what was really going on in my life.

He reports that his life began to flourish when he started living as an openly gay man, although there was some push back.

This past spring, in combat training before my deployment to Afghanistan, someone found out I was gay, walked up to me and said, “I’m glad I’m not deploying with you, I wouldn’t trust a fag with my life.” This despite the fact I was one of the better marksmen and performers in my class. I use comments like that to fuel my fire to succeed in everything that I do.

He says that homophobic slurs were commonplace while he was enlisted in the Navy Special Warfare Program. Those sentiments kept him in the closet.

Related: Photos: Fleet Week Heats Up The Streets Of New York

When the truth was revealed, Curnick was surprised at the reactions.

I feared I would be rejected by people I once was friends with, terrified that the leadership above me would look at me as less of a man, or that any accomplishment I have will be attributed to me being gay, and not my merit. I was completely and utterly wrong. In fact, some of the most vocally homophobic people ended up being my biggest supporters.

He says he is now a much happier, productive and successful person and that while he still faces discrimination he is working to fight back against those antiquated ideas.

I am currently working with fellow LGBT sailors to start an organization at my base for LGBT service members to promote understanding and ensure equality in the workplace. I hope that in the future, people won’t have to “come out,” but they can simply say this is my boy/girlfriend and be accepted by everyone.

Read the entire essay at Outsports here.

Related: PHOTOS: Gay Soldiers Ask And Tell In New Portrait Project

Jeff taylor
Jeff taylor


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in Think

New Hillary Ad Champions LGBTQ Rights

by matt baume October 21, 2016

There’s a new Hillary Clinton ad from the Human Rights Campaign, and it’s quite sweet. “Equality is about of course passing laws, but it also is changing hearts and minds,” she says. “We need to build an America where nobody has to worry that they can get married on Saturday and get fired on Monday. Where kids [...]

Continue Reading →

Let’s All Freak About Taissa Farmiga And Finn Wittrock Returning to “American Horror Story”

by Derek de Koff October 21, 2016

As SF Gate reports, Ryan Murphy announced on Tuesday that Taissa Farmiga and Finn Wittrock will be returning to “American Horror Story” in the upcoming episode of “Roanoke.” Murphy informed E! that Wittrock will be playing “the most f–ked-up character of all time.” How f-ked up? “To the point where he was like, ‘This is so crazy that [...]

Continue Reading →

Another Day, Another D-List Male Reality Star With A Video Leak

by Graham Gremore October 21, 2016

Lewis Bloor. Ever heard of him? Us neither. Until his girlfriend, Marnie Simpson, posted a video to Snapchat of him strutting around his apartment wearing nothing but a baseball hat and pair of white tennis shoes. Bloor is a 26-year-old reality star from the U.K. best known for his appearances on The Only Way is Essex and [...]

Continue Reading →