A lacrosse captain comes out
Catching up with the weekend headlines on the Yeardley Love case at the University of Virginia, which several of us here at the Post are attempting to cover, I came across a link in Inside Higher Ed to a posting at Outsports, a Web site co-founded by an old friend from way back.
Turns out the post has nothing to do with U-Va. or the Love case. It's about a lacrosse team captain from Oneonta State University in New York who endured years as a closeted football and lacrosse player before finally coming out.
Andrew McIntosh said he gained confidence from reading the accounts of other gay athletes on Outsports, and then he began the process of coming out himself, first to his best friend, then to his sister, then to his coach.
The coach, Dan Mahar, was more than supportive. So were his co-captains, when he let them in on why "George Michael was on my iPod all the time." They accepted him, too, and soon the group was so comfortable with the idea that McIntosh was getting mirthful text messages about gay cruises and faulting his teammates for failing to shave or get a decent haircut.
"Life is great," writes this man, who not long ago was close to ending his life with a bottle of pills.
I'm not sure what I knew about lacrosse players before being plunged into collegiate lacrosse culture last week. I do know what some of our readers think they know, based on some of the comments on our stories these past few days. They seem to think men's lacrosse players are the worst sort of jocks, with prehistoric views on relationships and sexuality, and a closed-minded approach to the world in general.
I don't think anyone reading Andrew McIntosh's story would come to the same conclusion, at least not about Coach Mahar and his team.
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Daniel de Vise
May 10, 2010; 10:59 AM ET
Categories: Athletics , Crime | Tags: Andrew McIntosh, Oneonta State, University of Virginia, Yeardley Love, college lacrosse
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