|Matt Dooley “Often time it’s more of what you think of yourself.”|
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame tennis player Matt Dooley said the hardest person to tell he was gay was himself.
“Saying gay for the first time was extremely tough, almost choking, because you know your life will never be the same. That was the hardest part, to move forward from there,” the 22-year-old senior said Thursday. “For me at least, every part of my being was like, ‘No, no you’re not.’ But I talk about growing. You learn to accept what you can’t change, and this is something I can’t change.”
Dooley says he has received “overwhelmingly positive” feedback since disclosing publicly that he is gay. He had told his coaches in August and his teammates on Sept. 16, the two-year anniversary of trying to commit suicide by overdosing on pills because he was struggling with who he was.
“That day I wanted nothing more than to escape the anguish of coming out to my family, my friends, and, in a way, myself,” he wrote in the article. “Death was better than accepting — or revealing — that I was gay.”
Even after the suicide attempt, he ostracized himself from his family for more than seven months because he feared their reaction and because he was still struggling to accept who he was. He wouldn’t return his family’s phone calls or emails and stayed away when they tried to visit, even though they were fully behind him when he came out.
“It’s internal homophobia,” he said. “Often time it’s more of what you think of yourself.”-there is more, please read it all
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