Ed Team

High School Track Athlete Comes Out

Filed By Ed Team | May 29, 2015 9:18 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day
Tags: Coming Out, High School, track and field

- High school track & field and cross-country runner Andrew Schweitzer, when he came out earlier this week. He is from the town of Sammamish, outside of Seattle.

The tweet reads:

If someone had told me a year ago today that I would be doing what I'm doing right now, I wouldn't have believed you for even a second. I've been given more than enough opportunities to be real about who I am, but time and time again fear said otherwise. I've decided that it's time to step out of my comfort zone and find the courage to say something that I should've said a long time ago; with that being said, I am gay. I can't even begin to explain how much time I spent hoping to change this. I had become accustomed to absolutely hating a permanent quality about myself, something I don't have a say in. I humbly admit that I do have genuinely great qualities, and I truly do recognize my value in other aspects, but none of that meant anything as long as I continued holding on to that kind of hatred. What I was never able to realize was that by letting go of the fear I will learn to accept what's an inevitable truth, and ultimately be a happier person. If I had any say at all, I probably wouldn't choose to be gay. Publicly sharing this doesn't necessarily mean I am okay with it all, because that will come with more time, I just couldn't continue lying to myself.

I think the most valuable lesson I've learned through my experience is that people are the way they are for a reason; the cards we are dealt in life make us who we are, and it's about doing the best with the hand you're given. At the end of the day, we are all struggling in our own battles, becoming different people, in the madness of the emotional ride that we all know to be high school. I personally have been given a pretty awesome set of cards, but this was my one obstacle, the one thing holding me back from my full potential.

I guess my biggest hope to get out of this is to make it clear that this should not change the perception you may have already had about me. I'm not the preconceived stereotype you may already have about homosexuality; I'm just your average guy, still the exact same person you all knew in 1st period this morning. I'd rather look back on my high school experience and think "I can't believe I did that" instead of not taking this opportunity to be real. Most importantly, for my parents, Jordan Kurtz, Emily Hoss, and Alejandro, thank you. I cannot express to anyone how vital these five were in supporting me in making this decision. They've allowed me to trust that this is the right thing to do, and for the first time in forever, I'm genuinely comfortable in my own skin, and have never been happier.

~ Andrew

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