"They Were The Last I Ever Would Have Thought To Have Confronted Me Like That And Be So Welcoming'

1010 WINS — A gay student athlete at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has opened up about a “confrontation” he had with football players during an off-campus party. But this encounter went quite differently than he would have expected.

Last fall, 20-year-old Jace Anderson had begun his process of coming out to close friends. At a party, he was approached by a group of fellow athletes when one of the students asked if he was gay.

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“They were all football players, all linemen,” Anderson says in a self-produced YouTube video, and that he had seen the guys on campus before but didn’t know them.

“I find myself on the balcony with these guys, and my friends, they go inside. And this is kind of when things start turning.”

“He literally just confronted me about it,” Anderson says. “I didn’t really know how to respond to that, so I was just like, ‘Yeah.’ And then he goes, ‘Hey, we just wanted to let you know we think that’s awesome.'”

Although the meeting ended with Anderson being commended, he was still visibly anxious.

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“They each gave me a hug… because they could tell I was still very uncomfortable about the whole thing, I was obviously nervous. They probably knew that they caught me off guard. But that whole interaction, it just blows my mind.”

Anderson explained in an interview with 1010 WINS that he decided to take to YouTube to explain his experiences being a gay individual in an athletic setting because he remembers a time when he felt like he was the only one going through his situation. “Yes, you hear of out gay athletes such as Gus Kenworthy or Michael Sam,” he says, “but it almost seemed unreal with their popularity because they were already at the top.”

“Coming out, in general, is a difficult thing to do regardless of the case. You’re finally sharing a part of you that you’ve hidden from your family and friends for so long.” Anderson says he feels “honored and blessed” to be in a position where his story can be heard and make a difference in people’s lives.

“Truly grateful.”

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–Joe Cingrana