"Coming out" is not just a phrase but a nearly universal experience. It is often a harrowing as well as a freeing experience and always a defining moment in the lives of members of the LGBTQ+ community. When a known person comes out, they are often met with judgments and trolling. Those who defy these hiccups become role models who help the more common and unknown people to realise and come out themselves.
As the nation celebrates the National Coming Out Day, here are a few sportspersons who shared their journey of coming out:
Ian Roberts: Rugby legend Ian Roberts said that he always knew that society does not accept gay people. After he came out, his relationship with his family went downhill.
“My parents gradually came around. By the time my dad passed away, he was totally embracing the LGBTIQ+ community. I'll never forget: My dad was reading a paper and I sat at the table with my partner and my mum. We were talking about marriage equality in Australia, he put his paper down and turned to us, saying, "Why shouldn't you be allowed to marry the person you're in love with?," Roberts told ESPN.
Greg Louganis: Olympic diver Greg Louganis did not open up about him being gay in front of the media although he says that he had come out in front of his family and friends.
“People in USA Diving knew about my sexual identity because the diving team is a really small team and we're travelling internationally. I came out at the Gay Games in 1994,” Louganis said.
Dutee Chand: Indian sprinter Dutee Chand said that her relationship with her sister got strained after she told them about her love for a girl.
“She threatened to tell the media about my same-sex relationship and, in her anger for me, went through with it. News stories were run about me in the local press, slowly it became national news, so I decided to speak up for myself,” Chand told ESPN.