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HomeNewsIn a college football first, HBCU player comes out as gay

In a college football first, HBCU player comes out as gay

A Hampton College soccer participant got here out publicly as homosexual, a primary for a soccer participant at a traditionally Black school or college, in accordance with Outsports.com, an LGBTQ sports activities information website. 

Byron Perkins, a Division I defensive again for the Hampton College Pirates, got here out as homosexual in an Instagram story shared Wednesday.

“I’ve determined that I’m going to make a change, and cease operating away from myself. I’m homosexual, let or not it’s identified that this isn’t a ‘determination’ or a ‘alternative.’ Sure, that is who I’m, that is who I’ve been, and that is who I’m going to be,” Perkins wrote within the story, in accordance with Outsports.com. (Instagram tales are solely out there for twenty-four hours, so Perkins’ unique story is not viewable).

Whereas a number of Division I soccer gamers have come out as homosexual throughout their school careers — together with the Faculty of Idaho’s Cy Hicks, Amherst Faculty’s Avery Saffold and Kansas State’s Scott Frantz — Perkins is the primary to take action at one of many nation’s 101 HBCUs, in accordance with each Outsports and Perkins.

Perkins, a junior at his college, which is situated in Hampton, Virginia, about 40 miles from the North Carolina border, informed Outsports that his teammates’ response to his revelation has been “superb” however blended. He mentioned his coaches have been supportive. 

In Wednesday’s Instagram story, Perkins thanked the family and friends who’ve supported him up till now, even those he “will lose” following his popping out. 

“You could have all helped me within the strategy of constructing the younger man I’m right this moment,” he wrote. 

Perkins informed Outsports that he’d like to assist different homosexual Black males who’re battling their sexuality. 

“There hasn’t been an out homosexual soccer athlete at an HBCU. I need to finish the stigma of what individuals suppose. I would like individuals to know they are often themselves,” he mentioned. “It’s about that child who’s going to see this and suppose he may be himself too.”

Since Perkins’ announcement, customers throughout the web have shared their help for his bravery. 

“I’ve to say, this took plenty of bravery, energy from Byron Perkins,” one Twitter person wrote, partly. “I’m certain the younger man has heard his fair proportion of slurs from teammates unaware that he’s homosexual. So bravo, x 100,000.”

One other individual wrote on Instagram, “Thanks and congratulations on being true to your self and empowering different sturdy black males to do the identical.”

“Congrats. A lot optimistic in your future. Be genuine and be one of the best model of your self on and off the sphere,” one other Instagram person wrote. 

Cyd Zeigler, the co-founder of Outsports, famous that “so many ‘first’ homosexual athletes — John Amaechi, Jason Collins, Michael Sam — have been Black males.”

“To now have Byron step out within the coronary heart of masculine sports activities tradition at an HBCU exhibits how far these males have superior the dialog,” Zeigler mentioned in an e-mail. “And as Byron mentioned, now there’s been this vital first, others will really feel they are often their true selves, too. Braveness is contagious.”

Comply with NBC Out on TwitterFb & Instagram.

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