After driving for a while, the man “wrestled me out of the car. He sexually abused me. He drugged me. He raped me. He changed my life. It’s a struggle to just write a few lines about it, but it’s part of who I am now.”
The traumatic episode set Nathan back. He started dating girls again — started bottling himself back up in an effort to hide the pain.
It was another year until he was able to open up again and tell someone about what he was going through.
To his surprise, he was embraced.
It turned out to be so much easier than I suspected. I spoke to each teammate, one by one, and for the most part they have supported me. My coming out didn’t change the way the coaches treat me either; They consider me as any regular basketball player, not ‘the gay basketball player.’
This season I played in every game, usually in the top five on my team in scoring coming off the bench and contributing every way I could to the team to succeed.”
A photo posted by Nathan Fort (@nathanbeast30) on
That isn’t to say everything’s been easy, or that Nathan has tied all his loose ends up into a neat little bow.
Some students stopped talking to him after they found out he’s gay, his parents are on their own journeys leading hopefully towards understanding and acceptance, and Nathan will continue to face internal and external obstacles surrounding his identity.
But that’s the point, isn’t it? To wage on, fighting the battles as they come, celebrating each victory along the way.