Welcome Back, Robbie

“You could see it on my face; I had a huge smile of enjoyment. Okay, I’m back, this is normal and very supportive. I keep saying the word: normal, normal, but it was. Once I got on and I saw the support, I just zoned in…It was good to be back and I’m excited to move on from here…I’ve kind of been on this huge journey trying to figure out my life. And now I’m back here. I think kind of where I’m supposed to be.”

On a night where the weight of history seemed overwhelming, the most remarkable part ended up being how unremarkable the entire moment seemed. Months after coming out of the closet and retiring from professional football, Robbie Rogers made his debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 77th minute of Sunday’s match against the Seattle Sounders, becoming the United States’ first openly gay, male professional athlete. Robbie jogged onto the pitch to a chorus of support from the announcing crew and the Los Angeles crowd, who both recognized the significance of the moment, but just as quickly, the focus turned back to the game. It all seemed so normal.

That’s definitely a sign of progress, but we’ve still got a ways to go. Here’s to a world in which athletes like Robbie can be just that, athletes. [Posted by Maxi. GIFs via]

For the past 25 years I have been afraid, afraid to show whom I really was because of fear. Fear that judgment and rejection would hold me back from my dreams and aspirations. Fear that my loved ones would be farthest from me if they knew my secret. Fear that my secret would get in the way of my dreams.

Dreams of going to a World Cup, dreams of The Olympics, dreams of making my family proud. What would life be without these dreams? Could I live a life without them?

Life is only complete when your loved ones know you. When they know your true feelings, when they know who and how you love. Life is simple when your secret is gone. Gone is the pain that lurks in the stomach at work, the pain from avoiding questions, and at last the pain from hiding such a deep secret.

Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay. Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently…

I realized I could only truly enjoy my life once I was honest. Honesty is a bitch but makes life so simple and clear. My secret is gone, I am a free man, I can move on and live my life as my creator intended.

A statement from Robbie Rogers, the 25-year-old American international who has just come out of the closet and announced that he will be stepping away from soccer in a blog post on his website. We’re proud of your bravery and we all support you, Robbie

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