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In Coming-Out Post, Tadd Fujikawa Tells the Closeted: 'You Are Loved'

Tadd Fujikawa
Tadd Fujikawa

The first male professional golfer to come out as gay hopes to help others who are suffering in silence.

Tadd Fujikawa has become the first male professional golfer to come out as gay.

Fujikawa opened up about his identity Monday in an Instagram post that detailed his coming-out journey.

"So ... I'm gay," Fujikawa declared. "Many of you may have already known that. I don't expect everyone to understand or accept me. But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community. My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another."

"I've been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality," he continued. "I thought that I didn't need to come out because it doesn't matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other's stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope."

Fujikawa, 27, made history in 2006, when at age 15 he became the youngest golfer in history to qualify for the U.S. Open. In 2007, he also became one of the youngest players in history to qualify for a PGA Tour event; he was 16 at at the time.

In his coming-out post, Fujikawa revealed how being in the closet weighed on his spirit and was detrimental to his mental health. Monday was also National Suicide Prevention Day, although Fujikawa noted in his message that the timing was a coincidence.

"I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say," he wrote. "I've struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. Now I'm standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone's life."

Fujikawa also encouraged others who "are in a similar situation" to reach out to him for a support. He also gave a message to them: "You are loved and you are enough ... as is, exactly as you are."

"We are all human and equal after all," he concluded. "So I dare you ... spread love. Let's do our part to make this world a better place."

Read his full message below.

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