Greg’s Pick: Robbie Rogers memoir “Coming Out to Play” is a heartfelt story that is a terrific read
It took me just a few days to read Robbie Rogers’ new memoir cover to cover because, frankly, it is just that good.
Coming Out to Play is a book about his life as a golden boy athlete who was suffering so much inside over being gay – and suffering alone.
Once he couldn’t keep up the charade any longer, it all happened very quickly: coming out to his family, getting his first boyfriend, deciding to quit soccer, and deciding to come out to the world in a post he linked to his Twitter account.
I have been well aware of Robbie since that coming out in February 2013 and have interviewed him three different times since then – the most recent being at his book party a few weeks ago.
But until I read the book, I had not been aware of how accomplished an athlete Robbie had been since he was a child.
He was a judo champion who won the gold medal at the 2007 Junior Olympics, won the NCAA championships in soccer during his only year of college, represented the US at the 2008 Olympics, and won the MLS Championship during his five years playing for Columbus Crew.
He was simply always highly sought by scouts, schools and pro teams and has two attorneys as parents who were always looking out for his best interests.
During all of this, he kept his secret and didn’t dare act on being gay until he was 25 and had simply had enough. His depression had grown progressively worse the longer he was in the closet and when he decided to come out, he also thought he was through with soccer and was ready to pursue his passion for fashion full time.
But in the book, we learn of the very organic way he found his way back to pro soccer and the LA Galaxy and how his family has steadfastly embraced him and how fabulous his life has become since he stopped living a lie.
His story illustrates how you can seemingly have it all: good looks, amazing athletic ability and success and still be miserable in the closet. It is such a moving story, so well told and very candid and detailed.
I’ve written a piece over at Gay Star News about Robbie’s first kiss that you should take a look at.
Do yourself a favor and order Coming Out to Play.
It’s a paperback that will fit nicely into a stocking as well so perfect Christmas present!