Villanova Swimmer Shares His Coming Out Story With Outsports
Villanova University swimmer Ryan Murtha opens up to Outsports about his recent decision to come out to his swim team. He shares a speech he prepared for the team, which he had saved on his computer in an inconspicuously named file called “Tax Returns 1994.”
So this is tough for me and I apologize for taking so long to tell you guys this, but it took me forever to admit to myself and then it’s been really hard to work up the courage to say it.
I’m gay. I’ve tried to bury this part of myself for a long time but slowly grew to accept it over the past year and a half. I want you guys to know that this isn’t something that I chose. I was just born with it.
Anyway, I want you to know that I’m still the same person that I’ve been. I hope you guys don’t see me any differently because of this. I don’t think it should define me totally; it’s just one of many parts that make up who I am.
But if for whatever reason you don’t like me because of this, I guess I can’t blame you because for a long time I hated myself for being gay, too. I made myself believe that living with this shame was worth not losing any of my friendships. But I don’t want to be ashamed anymore. And I’ve kind of felt like I wouldn’t be able to 100% accept myself and move on until I could be truthful with my friends. That’s you guys. So if you’re down to stick around and still be my friend, I can’t even begin to say how grateful I would be.
If you have any questions or if you want to talk to me about it, feel free.
What happened next was nothing short of movie material, explains Outsports: “One teammate broke the silence with clapping. Then another. It was like a scene from a movie, with the entire team eventually joining in the celebration, cheering. They circled around Murtha and hugged him, assuring him that he was the same guy they’ve loved since he arrived on the team, and this wouldn’t change a thing.”
Then they all went to celebrate at Chipotle, where “various teammates approached him to reassure him everything was going to be fine. They weren’t going to turn their backs on their friend and teammate just because he happened to be gay.” Read the rest of the story at Outsports here.