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Coming Out

College baseball player, boyfriend of Conner Mertens, comes out as gay

"You know that college football player at Willamette who came out? I'm dating that guy."
Monday, February 3, 2014

It was just last week when Willamette University kicker Conner Mertens announced he is bisexual, becoming the first college football player to publicly identify as a member of the LGBT community while still active in his sport.

Chandler Whitney

Outsports.com
Chandler Whitney

Now his boyfriend, a baseball player at Walla Walla Community College in Washington state, has come out as well, reports Outsports.com.

Chandler Whitney says he wanted to come out to his teammates, he just didn’t know how or when.

“I’d been planning to do it at some point anyway,” Whitney told Outsports, “and seeing the reaction to Conner’s story calmed me down.”

Last week, when Whitney’s team gathered for the first practices of the new year, talk turned to stories from winter break. Because he’d spent much of the break with Mertens, Whitney felt the time was now. He stood up in front of the team, said he had contemplated whether to tell them a secret or not, and shared a “confession” he’d been holding back from them since they first met: “I’m gay.”

“You know that college football player at Willamette who came out?” He asked his teammates. “I’m dating that guy.”

Witney said the team broke into spontaneous applause.

In the days since he came out to his team, Whitney said he has experienced no change from his teammates. Nobody shies away from him in or out of the locker room. It’s business as usual.

Read more about Chandler Whitney at Outsports.com.

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105 more reader comments:

  1. awwwwwwwww

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:32pm
  2. <3

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:32pm
  3. Sweet!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:32pm
  4. Wonderful. Congratulations

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:34pm
  5. Thats soo cute lol

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:34pm
  6. :)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:35pm
  7. Congrats on coming out, it takes a lot of courage to do it. I hope this can help a lot of people who are still in the closet to come out as well.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:35pm
  8. Good for you young man!! Be out and PROUD!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:35pm
  9. Proof that the two sports can coexist in harmony!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:36pm
  10. Welcome to the party.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:36pm
  11. I q­­­­­­­u­­­­­­­­it ­working at ­shoprite ­and ­now ­I ­make ­$30h ­- ­$­72h­...­how­? ­I'm working ­online­! ­My ­work didn't ­exactly make ­me ­happy ­so I ­decided ­to ­take ­a ­chance ­on ­something ­new­… ­after ­4 years ­it ­was ­so ­hard ­to ­quit ­my ­day ­job ­but ­now ­I ­couldn't ­be ­happier­. Heres ­what ­I do..... w­ww.­ℂ­a­s­h­4­6­.c­om

    Replied on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:29am
  12. awesome

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:36pm
  13. CONGRATS!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:40pm
  14. but hes not gay if he’s bi, they’re two different things

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:40pm
  15. Please explain Megan...

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:01pm
  16. gay = into same gender bi = into both genders ;)

    Replied on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:23am
  17. Awesome. Serious question though.

    If we find it inappropriate for a straight guy to be in the girls looker room

    Why do we not find it an issue if the guy is gay & in a guys locker room.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:42pm
  18. Because they haven't changed gender. They still have the same "parts" as the others in the dressing room and do not have the same "parts" as the opposite gender. The locker rooms are separated based upon gender, not on the likelihood that someone may find the body of someone else in that locker room sexually appealing.

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:53pm
  19. Ok. Cool

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:44pm
  20. Jony that’s a good question. Are you saying we should segregate the gays from the straights? Are you uncomfortable when another boy looks at you?

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:45pm
  21. Eh not that cute… And I generally love white guys lol

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:45pm
  22. Very nice!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:45pm
  23. Hot

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:46pm
  24. They’re coming out like somebody sprayed gas lol

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:46pm
  25. And yes very nice. :)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:46pm
  26. No actually on the contrary. It’s hypocrisy when people would get outraged if a boy was allowed to change in the same locker room with the girls and he is straight and on the cheer squad.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:47pm
  27. This made absolutely no sense whatsoever. He is bisexual, not secretly a female. This is a really idiotic comparison.

    Replied on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:52pm
  28. Jean François Loza no, not at all. Just want to know ppls logic behind it.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:48pm
  29. Jony but what if the girls get uncomfortable? I can see that being a issue. I don’t really care personally. Lol

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:49pm
  30. Good man!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:50pm
  31. No his BF is not bi.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:53pm
  32. Jean François Loza so if girls would get uncomfortable cuz a guy would be “looking at them” your saying that if a straight guy feels uncomfortable changing of front of a gay dude that we should dismiss it.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:56pm
  33. Jony probably not. There has to be a mutual respect. If the guy is uncomfortable then maybe one of them need to step away. It’s weird I know but that’s how people can react

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 9:57pm
  34. Congrats to you guys

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:00pm
  35. Here’s your toaster…(much love)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:02pm
  36. Way to go! Proud of you both!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:04pm
  37. Who cares..? I don’t understand why this is such a big thing.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:06pm
  38. So hot!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:08pm
  39. Proud of the both of you.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:12pm
  40. Yay!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:13pm
  41. what a great couple they make

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:18pm
  42. He is so cute

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:19pm
  43. Im sure lots of people were either like, awesome, or damnit. lol

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:19pm
  44. <3 this.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:24pm
  45. what a nice news

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:26pm
  46. Good for you – great lookin’ couple.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:27pm
  47. and cute as hell

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:28pm
  48. cheers kid…

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:33pm
  49. Go Conner, millions stand with you!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:35pm
  50. no one caress

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:42pm
  51. The wonderful thing about this: when the baseball player told his team that he was dating the football player, the team broke out into applause!!! I remember the Stonewall riots… And now teams are applauding! Okay, maybe we all are capable of changing….

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:50pm
  52. Own your truth, man!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:56pm
  53. why wasn’t there a news story when I came out?

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:56pm
  54. Very cool!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 10:59pm
  55. Next…. More please… The more who come out, makes it less difficult for others to do so… And thus making it unimportant..

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:02pm
  56. good luck

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:02pm
  57. Be happy gentlemen.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:06pm
  58. BE HAPPY!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:09pm
  59. Now that is awesome! Congrats!! I play baseball for the University of Arkansas club baseball team and I’m out to my teammates and everyone else and have a wonderful boyfriend :)

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:18pm
  60. These boys are brave and ADORABLE!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:22pm
  61. Love these kind of story.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:24pm
  62. Awesome!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:27pm
  63. Beautiful story! Our younger generation is awesome on this issue! Sorry to say I still experience much prejudice where I am but it’s all getting better by the day!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:33pm
  64. Tammy Ludwig read these comments and see why it is so important to celebrate!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:36pm
  65. what a great post. I’m proud of him and his team for their reaction!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:37pm
  66. good for both of you! I’ve never made it a secret – but don’t have to put it in the paper either – people have always just known!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:40pm
  67. That’s awesome!!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:47pm
  68. Congrats.

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:49pm
  69. Good for them! <3 they’re cute!

    Posted on Monday, February 3, 2014 at 11:52pm
  70. be proud of who you are and the choices you make!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:02am
  71. Si vede dalla faccia

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:03am
  72. Awesome guys!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:14am
  73. Way to go! I’m so jealous right now

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:18am
  74. Bravo!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:12am
  75. Best wishes to the pair of you!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:17am
  76. someone send these boys a gift basket with the first season of Queer as Folk, Golden Girls and Ru Paul’s Drag race along with some scones and a Cher/Madonna album.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:19am
  77. Beautiful!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:21am
  78. lucky guy! x

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:21am
  79. Jenna Alcalde isn’t that your college?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:25am
  80. That’s so nice.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:48am
  81. Nicole Chris pretty amazing.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:52am
  82. Awesome! :-)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:05am
  83. I am proud of both of you…..i wish you all of the happiness the world may bring you……..

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:10am
  84. Evolution certainly did a great job on you.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:58am
  85. Well, speaking as a gay man, if my boyfriend “announced” he was “bisexual”, he wouldn’t be my boyfriend anymore. Hell, if I wanted a “bisexual” I’d stay single and keep seeing so called straight men on the DL.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3:05am
  86. Nice

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3:21am
  87. I wonder if they’d be up for une petite menage.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3:35am
  88. This takes a lot of courage and I am so happy and proud for both of you :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 3:57am
  89. Very cool; congrats to you both!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:21am
  90. Now ! This is soooo cool ! Cheers to both .

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:14am
  91. Good for him honey and you too…..be happy <3

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:20am
  92. one day i pray where we don’t have to come out to the world, and we can just love anyone as we please. but at least its looking better then it use to be.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 7:07am
  93. AWESOME! We need more brave people like him!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:15am
  94. Attitude! I LIKE IT!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 8:40am
  95. Lucky for Him he’s not a Russian citizen.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 9:02am
  96. (y) <3

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:14am
  97. Well, if your boyfriend comes out, then does that mean you are gay too? Lmao

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:22am
  98. If he’s the boyfriend of course he’s going to be gay….bit of an error there

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 11:32am
  99. This is long overdue. Congratulations.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:21pm
  100. They are both so damn cute!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:55pm
  101. Awesome.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:23pm
  102. They’re both lucky to have each other

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:30pm
  103. good

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:30pm
  104. Layne Boydston ring a bell?! The memories haha

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 1:54pm
  105. BRAVO…BRAVO…BRAVO…WELCOME TO AMERICA, finally…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 2:55pm