Last night, and again this afternoon, I watched an interview with Scott Heggart, with snippet interviews with his family and teammates. This is a young man from Ontario who plays hockey and several other sports; a young man with a wonderful family; a young man with a lot to give.
Scott is gay. He is also an athlete. In the world of professional sports there might be two or three athletes who acknowledge their sexuality other than straight. I'm not saying that anyone, including athletes, should screech from the rooftops who they are. I'm just saying that there is stigma in sports for gay and lesbian athletes. Scott is not a professional athlete, but he is part of a so-called club of young man where homophobia can run rampant.
Scott was extremely worried his teammates and schoolmates would "discover" his secret, but having the love of his family (I don't say acceptance, because no one should accept another's sexuality. It's none of their business. Families should just love and support and understand gay or straight, bi, transgender and all makes no difference.) he set about telling people he had gone to school with and teammates he had played with who he was, this included revealing he was in a loving relationship with a young man.
Scott's interview moved me to tears, because for every young person like him, there are more that struggle and don't survive their adolescence. I think Scott will make a difference with some of those he interacts with. He works with an organization local to him dealing with bullying and he works with the You Can Play Project - an organization that promotes equality in sport, begun by Patrick Burke.
Scott revealed a lot about himself on YouTube before anyone in his real life knew. It's surprising to me that no one stumbled across his videos talking about himself and the secrets he held within. I haven't looked at all the videos (there are a lot), so I don't know how much he reveals about his darkest days. There were a few. Thankfully he survived. Thankfully he appears to have a lovely family whose love bolstered him.
If you're interested in seeing Scott's videos, look up his channel: big93scott
I picked this particular video, because it tells me a lot about how thoughtful and intelligent Scott is:
The world is full of surprises. Just happening across Scott's interview on national TV last night was a wonderful surprise. :)