For a few years now, the sports world has been evolving drastically as more athletes come out as gay or trans. But in the most recent case of a sports star coming out, it wasn’t an athlete making the major announcement; instead, it was ESPN news anchor Israel Gutierrez.
The famous NBA columnist decided to come out this weekend in a blog post:
“I’ve been agonizing for months trying to figure out how to do this. It’s been incredibly difficult, to the point where I usually talk myself in circles and end up making very little sense. So I decided on this simple blog entry. No formalities, no restrictions, just me letting you into a portion of my life I’ve kept largely separate from my professional career,” he writes.
“I’m gay, which plenty of people, I’m sure, have either deduced or just guessed as much over the years,” he adds.
Gutierrez goes on to explain that most of the people in her personal life knew of his sexuality. However, he decided to come out because the special man in his life: his fiancé, David Kitchen.
“But this isn’t me ‘coming out.’ The truth is, I’ve been out to friends and family for more than six years. The reason I’m tackling this now is, primarily, because I’m getting married on Sept. 12. And besides the fact that it would be annoying to tell my story every time someone sees my wedding ring, it just seemed like a natural time to get this out in the open,” he writes.
Gutierrez goes on to explain that he was deeply closeted as a child and remained in the closet well into his adult years. He explains that his denial of his sexuality was so strong that “starting in my early teens until somewhere in my late 20s, I’d blow out my birthday candles with the same wish: ‘Please don’t let me be gay.’”
“As far back as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed sports, enjoyed competition. But there was always, especially in my teenage years, a confidence barrier I could never break through. I couldn’t really explain it then. I mean, I probably knew deep down that it was because I was gay, and for some reason that made me feel I wasn’t on the same playing field, almost literally, as straight men. But I was already in deep denial about my sexuality, so acknowledging that would’ve probably broken me back then,” he also shared.
Well, we’re happy that Gutierrez has finally decided to share his truth with the world and that he’s found love but that’s not all that he has to say about his life. Read some more powerful excerpts from his blog post after the cut.