Former Villanova Wildcat Comes Out
It’s been four years since Will Sheridan has played for Villanova’s Big East basketball team. And a lot has changed since then, according to ESPN. The former all-star – all six-foot-eight-inches of him – tells the world about a fateful night as a freshman at the Catholic University on the Main Line.
That’s the first time he came out to his friend and then-dormmate. “I just said, ‘I need to tell you something,'” Sheridan – now 26 – tells ESPN, “I’m gay.”
At the time, the decision to come out could have meant sports suicide, especially at the conservative Catholic school. But after graduating, Sheridan, who comes from nearby Delaware, says he was ready to make a bigger statement, in part, to his friend’s acceptance. He never requested a new roommate. And he never used the revelation against him.
But Sheridan – who wasn’t publicly out at Villanova – recalls antigay taunts at many games, especially against rival Saint Joe’s. He shrugged them off. And while many of his former teammates admit now they knew he was gay – they didn’t seem to care. Sheridan – whose parents are both police officers – proved to be a valuable player and eventually become a starting forward with the Division I team, helping them to three NCAA tournaments. It would only be later that Villanova Wildcats Coach Jay Wright would find out Sheridan’s secret.
Now, the former Wildcat is a musician who packs clubs in New York City. His video “Welcome to the Jungle” even scored virally on YouTube. He also works in fashion.
“I’m trying to have a voice, and I want that voice to reach as many people as it can,” says Sheridan. “I mean, look at me. I’m black. I’m gay. I’m like a quadruple minority, and I feel like a little piece of me resides in everybody. Maybe there’s a kid out there who doesn’t think he’s OK, and he can look at me and say, ‘OK, he played basketball. He went overseas. He has a music career and now he’s living his life. Now he’s who he wants to be and he’s happy and confident and comfortable.’ It’s my responsibility to talk about that.”
Sheridan recently shed more light on coming out in sports: