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Friday, December 19, 2014

WV HIGH SCHOOLER COMES OUT, DANCES WITH HOMECOMING KING

Michael Martin, an all-state soccer goalie at Musselman High School in Inwood, West Virginia, came out publicly this fall in an epic way: by slow dancing with the homecoming king.
He writes on Outsports:

Growing up in rural West Virginia, it's not the easiest place to be a gay teenager and it took me a long time to come out to myself and others. Yet there we were, Jem and I, on an October night this fall, slow dancing with each other. We attend schools in different counties and met through friends and I was thrilled that he asked me to his dance so we could be together. He was wearing his gray vest and pink bow tie while I had on my black shirt with a gold tie. We danced to "Love Story" by Taylor Swift, which was a perfect song for my first dance with a guy.

We both started the dance with our female friends who were our "dates." The final song came on and Jem and I danced for a brief time. It was my first school event where I was with another guy, even though we came to the dance separately. I held his hand when we went to get refreshments and when we took breaks from dancing. It was a weird feeling for me, since I had just barely started coming out. I was nervous yet excited. After the dance we went to his house. That is where I asked him to be my boyfriend. I posed the question by writing it on the dry erase board on his wall. 

He quickly said yes.

Two weeks later, the pair repeated the feat at Michael's high school:

My homecoming dance at Musselman -- two weeks after the dance at Jem's school -- was the big moment I revealed being gay to my school. Jem was the date of girl at Musselman and her outside guest for the dance, while I went "alone." The girl knew Jem and I were together. I was on the homecoming court, which was a big honor and something I never thought would happen. Only some people knew about me before the homecoming, so it was a shocker for some seeing me dance with another guy.

Jem and I danced all night to the most popular pop songs. But it was the slow dance that I most remember that night at the school cafeteria -- "Remember When" by Alan Jackson. It was the best night ever. Jem and I got asked a lot if we were together and we said yes. "That is so cute!" some girls said. It made us felt accepted.
Michael notes that although the reaction from his classmates has largely been positive, he's heard that some have used anti-gay slurs behind his back. But his friends stand up for him, he says, which makes him proud.

His family "was not accepting at first," he writes, but they're coming around. "I just had to keep telling them that I can't change who I am and that I am the same teenager that I was before," Michael added.

Michael credits openly gay L.A. Galaxy soccer player Robbie Rogers with inspiring him to come out, and says he hopes his story will inspire other teens in sports to come out and play without fear.
He graduates next spring and hopes to continue playing soccer in college as an openly gay man.
Welcome out, Michael!


SOURCE: THE BILERICO PROJECT

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. Happy holidays to you and Noel!

    ReplyDelete

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