In a letter to his 14-year-old self published in ESPN The Magazine, Robbie Rogers explains the journey he took to find himself, and offers advice to young people facing the battle he once fought both in sports and outside of them:
I’m not going to tell you to come out at 14 years old. I’m not going to tell you what’s going to happen in the future either because the journey is important. But I want you to realize that God made you this way for a reason. You’re not damned or going to hell. You didn’t have a choice in this. But you do have a purpose in life, just as everyone does.
When guys say things in the locker room, remind yourself that most of them don’t actually feel this way. They aren’t really homophobic. These are people trying to please others, or think that’s what they’re supposed to say. Everyone is dealing with something, whether they’re gay or straight.
You don’t have to feel like you’re alone.
Which brings me to this: If there’s any great advice I can give you, it’s to find someone you can speak to about what you’re feeling inside, someone you can trust who won’t judge or expose you. Because you can’t walk around with a burden like the one you’re carrying. You’ve got to share this with somebody.