Gay college student trainer formed bond with athletes he treated

Look out, Ferris State University: There’s a new gay in town and he’s here to leave his mark.

This was my motivation in the fall of 2012 entering my freshman year at Ferris State University in Michigan. I came in with the mindset that I was not going to let anyone tell me who I am. I define myself.

My first year at Ferris State, I had came out to my roommate and hallmates. They were thrilled to have me as a G.B.F. (gay best friend). I went through my freshman and sophomore years having the courage and confidence to be myself.

In 2014, I had applied for a job within the athletics department as Student Athletic Trainer. With my knowledge of sports this would be the kind of job I would enjoy and stick with until I graduated.

Getting up Monday through Friday at 6 a.m. to be at work at 7 to prepare to be student athletic trainer was both challenging and rewarding. Soon I was working closely with the student-athletes on the football, hockey and basketball teams.

I decided I was going to be honest with the athletes I was working with. The best advice I got was: “Some may approve of you, some may not understand it, but never let it define you and get in the way of doing your job.”

I remember how nervous I was for my first football practice, with my palms getting clammy, as I anticipated the guys asking for assistance. But all nervousness left me was when I was greeted warming by some of the players I knew from having shared classes with them.

: Jaaay_Duuurty; : mistah_lamarr or via email (

Story editor: Jim Buzinski