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Out Athlete & Coach Help Campus Diversity

Out Athlete & Coach Help Campus Diversity


A group at Bowdoin College in Maine is making headway in helping student athletes feel like part of a community when they decide it's time to come out.

Men's tennis coach Colin Joyner said that when he was a student at Bowdoin (he graduated in 2003), he felt somewhat isolated after he gradually came out. He left to play semipro tennis, but when he returned to campus as a coach, he went back into the closet, which also proved to be difficult, so he came out to his team in 2009.

After a current student athlete, lacrosse player Ben Chadwick, came out during his sophomore year, Joyner created Anything but Straight in Athletics, a group for out and closeted LGBT athletes to feel safe and proud of gender and sexual diversity on campus.

"People would have said coming out on a lacrosse team would be a big problem," Chadwick, now a senior, said to Outsports. "As soon as someone comes out, and as soon as a team steps back and realizes a teammate is gay, they see they're still friends with him and he's still the same person."

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