Mike Pucillo, a 3-time All-American and 2008 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Champion Wrestler, has come out as gay in an article by Jason Bryant at The Open Mat.
Pucillo says he’s struggled with his sexuality for years and spent his high school years hoping he wasn't gay:
“You’ve been told that [being gay] is a bad thing your entire life. You hear it from your teachers, you hear it from your friends, you hear it from your coaches, you hear it from your parents.”
But finally, about a year ago, Mike had the courage to come out to his family and his friends and now he hopes his example will help someone ease struggling with coming out:
“I want people to know that you aren't alone. If I can just help one person get through, then I will be happy. If I can do that for one person, it's worth it for everybody out there to know my story… I know there's going to be people that don’t like it. To those people, I would say, ‘I've spent 26 years being uncomfortable. It's not my problem anymore.’ 'The only reason why I feel it's important to tell my story is I know there are a lot of other people out there that are like me who are in high school or about to go into college, whether it's wrestling or football or baseball or basketball or not in any sport, who are struggling with it. The more stories they hear about it, the easier it is for them.”
Pucillo spent a year as an assistant coach with the Buckeyes before quitting in 2011, saying he was afraid to recruit a kid to the sport because of what some might think of a gay coach recruiting a young man to the sport.
“Are their parents going to want their son to be at a school where one of the coaches is gay?”
Here’s hoping that by coming out, and inspiring others to do so, Mike Pucillo will open doors for gay athletes and gay coaches to come out.
And so, in that spirit, as we like to do here at HOMO HQ, we are sending Mike a copy of The Gay Agenda — and with so many people talking about it, let’s once again make it clear that The Gay Agenda is one page, one word, long: equality — and we’ll also send Mike the Obligatory Coming Out Toaster Oven.
Welcome out, Mike, welcome out.
photo source: FloWrestlingstory source: GayStarNews