The 2013 Greggys: Coming Out of the Year goes to soccer pro Robbie Rogers of the LA Galaxy
What has been so cool about trying to decide on the Coming Out of the Year is that there are so many solid candidates from which to choose from.
There’s Wentworth Miller, the former Prison Break star who used his coming out as an opportunity to blast Russia’s anti-gay laws.
There’s Jason Collins who had just finished his 12th season in the NBA when he came out in a Sports Illustrated cover story.
There’s Jodie Foster who turned her Golden Globes acceptance speech into a long-waited public coming out.
There’s WWE’s Darren Young who came out so confidently on the fly when TMZ stopped him at the airport to ask him about marriage equality.
And there’s Maria Bello and Tom Daley who came out as bisexual within days on each other via a NY Times Op-Ed and YouTube video, respectively.
So why does Major League Soccer pro Robbie Rogers win the Greggy?
Because the LA Galaxy player has handled his coming out with such grace and eloquence. He has been unfailingly thoughtful in his interviews since coming out on Twitter last February.
And after initially retiring when he made his announcement, Rogers returned to the sport he loves and went out there, game after game, as an openly gay man to be cheered or jeered.
I interviewed Robbie twice in the spring including on a historic day: when the US Supreme Court allowed gay marriage to return to California. We were both standing in a private area at a rally in West Hollywood and I went over and had a quick gab.
Here is an excerpt:
GH: How are you handling all of the attention you are getting now? You seem so calm and collected all the time despite all that is going on around you.
RR: ‘It’s easy to be that way because I’m just being myself. When you’re honest about things, it’s simple you know?’
GH: Are things going well for you on the field?
RR: Yeah, yeah definitely. Have had some good results the past two games and I’m getting fit and starting to play better again and going back to my form. It’s been exciting and I feel like there’s a lot more to come. I’m excited to see how the next few months play out.’
GH: How have the fans been both in LA and on the road?
RR: ‘Everyone’s been cool with me. I’ve gotten standing ovations in different cities. Very supportive. There might be a time when someone says something but I just want to feel bad for them – it doesn’t really affect me. So many people have been so supportive.’
GH: So when you go out there, you’re just thinking about soccer?
RR: ‘Yeah. It doesn’t matter where you are. When you are in other stadiums, there is always going to be fans saying stuff to you whether you’re gay, straight whatever. So you just kind of learn to deal with that and just focus on the game.’