On Wednesday, former Kentucky football player Landon Foster publicly came out as gay in a story he wrote for SB Nation’s OutSports.com. And the former Wildcats punter wants to use his story to inspire others about acceptance.
Foster wrote that he doesn’t think people should be insecure about who they are, the way he used to be when he was trying to find a “perfect” life and was questioning who he was.
“I am who I am, and I am who I have been. Now the steel curtain around my heart has been lifted so I can begin living, so I can be,” Foster wrote in his story. “This isn’t something I chose, but it’s something that I am. For much of my life, all I can remember are my feelings of self-hatred and my longing to be straight. I wanted to fit in, and I did everything I could to ‘make’ myself straight.
“One thing I have come to realize is I cannot thrive personally, athletically or professionally if I am not first proud of myself. It took me 24 years to come to grips with my sexuality. Now I am proud of it. I have to be proud of it. It’s how I was created. It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change my compassion for others. It doesn’t change my work ethic. It doesn’t change my values.”
Foster played four seasons at Kentucky from 2012-15, serving as the team’s punter all four years. He recently did a Ted Talk video on YouTube discussing the barriers of comfort and acceptance in peoples’ lives.