Sean Karson, a junior at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and co-captain of the Engineers baseball team, took a deep breath, and told his coaches and teammates this week that he is gay.
“They came up and gave me high fives and said they’d have my back and everything,” he said. “It was so supportive, it was ridiculous.”
“I have never been myself up until very recently,” Karson told the Boston Herald. “Everything’s been just sort of cold and calculated. I’ve been in this fortress, I guess, and haven’t let my emotions out at all.”
“I worried that I had no emotions, that I didn’t feel much about anything. It was really weird.”
Karson said he’s been following the work of the “You Can Play” project, founded in memory of Brendan Burke, whose own coming-out story continues to inspire. And he said he was deeply moved by James Nutter, the former University of Southern Maine baseball player who recently came out.
He said he did notice a couple of teammates held back when he announced he is gay, but got emails from them afterward saying “how much they respected me, but that they needed to collect their thoughts first.”
Karson, who grew up outside Orlando, Fla., said he looks forward to the day when “sports are never going to be a scary place for LGBT people again” and the locker room is “a safe space everywhere.”