Coming out: Brendan Burke’s journey, a story of love and acceptance

Coming out: Brendan Burke’s journey, a story of love and acceptance

The son of former pro hockey player and current Toronto Maple Leafs General Mnaager Brian Burke has come out publicly as gay — and Burke has come out just as publicly in support of his son.

Brendan-and-Brian-BurkeESPN sports columnist John Buccigross tells Brendan Burke’s story in a poignant second-person narration, inviting the reader to put himself into Brendan’s shoes, while describing this young man’s journey into self discovery.

An excerpt from the article:

“Your dad thinks through everything. Dad is big, confident and continuously radiates a persona that is rough, gruff, unrelenting and unapologetic. He has a cold, expressionless poker face straight out of a Clint Eastwood movie. Yet, he does this all with the most subtle of Irish smirks that says there is more behind this thick skin.

And there is.

He calls you “Moose” because you have always been a big kid. He cares very deeply about you and your happiness. You say he has always been there when you needed him. And he has a great sense of humor. Imagine that.

But on this night in 2007, you are petrified of your dad. Because you, Brendan Burke, at 19 years old, are about to tell your dad, Mr. Testosterone, that you are gay.”

In a statement in the article from the elder Burke, “I had a million good reasons to love and admire Brendan. This news didn’t alter any of them.”

While Brendan came out to his father two years ago, his story only reached national attention recently following a USA Today column on gay slurs. Brendan read the column and decided to tell his story.

Read the full article at

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