Ohio has a reputation for being quite conservative especially in its smaller, more rural communities. You only need to look at its anti-gay, anti-same sex marriage, and pro-Trump voting history to know Ohio is not a good place to grow up LGBT. Still, occasionally there are stories of courage and acceptance like that of Wyatt Pertuset, a small town “jock” who found the strength to be himself as a junior in high school and has never looked back. From OutSports.com in Wyatt’s own words,
“A gay football player.
Even today it seems to be something very rare in the game.
Growing up, football was always my outlet to get out whatever I had built up inside me. When those pads came on, I felt at home.
I started playing football in third grade, and I still fall more in love with the game every year I play.
I grew up in a very small town called Richwood, Ohio, and graduated with a class size of barely 100 students. In high school I never had a problem with standing out. I made friends with everyone and tried to stay positive and nice to every kid in the school.
My coming-out story is a little different from many others you see today. Freshmen and sophomore year of high school I knew I was gay, but the thought of anyone knowing that part of me was single-handedly the most terrifying thought in my head, especially growing up with a family full of farmers who weren’t really exposed to that kind of thing yet.”