Out College Athlete Andrew McIntosh Won't Be Alone
Andrew McIntosh will be speaking at the First Congregational Church (The Big Red Church) at 2131 N Van Ness Blvd, on Friday, July 30th from 7:30pm to 8:30pm. Admission is free.
VISIT: Andrew McIntosh: Coming out while a college athlete - Facebook Page
When “out” college lacrosse player Andrew McIntosh speaks at The Red Church the evening of July 30th, he won’t be alone. A
Travis Stephenson, who’s a member of the university’s men’s water polo club team, came “out” as gay while playing water polo at
Stephenson was the team captain of both the swim team and the water polo team.
“Most of the team was fine with it, except one, who happened to be my best friend,” Stephenson added. “The sad thing is, he actually attends
Stephenson said that coming out had other repercussions. While playing water polo at
McIntosh first told his story on-line in February, 2010. In an essay published on the Outsports website, McIntosh wrote, “I had just finished my junior-year lacrosse season at
McIntosh says he’s known since high school that he’s gay, but didn’t feel good about it and tried to mask it. His attempts to mask his sexuality led him to transfer two different times. In May 2009, he decided his efforts to run away from his feelings were (as he told me) “driving me crazy; I’m going to live with this—or not.”
McIntosh writes, “At home I reflected on my life: How will people remember me after I take this bottle of pills so I can just die and no one will ever know I ‘m gay? I could see my funeral being played out: The images brought me to tears as I watched my father, brother and former teammates as pallbearers, all of them wondering why I decided to end my life. ‘How could Andrew do this to himself? He had it all’.
“I had experienced no lonelier point in my life. I felt no one could understand my feelings. Who the hell is gay and plays sports, especially lacrosse?
“I remembered the first time I tried to kill myself, after I lost a football game in high school. I thought I should have just hanged myself then and I wouldn’t be dealing with any of these problems…Why I am in love with my best friend Mike?...Why don’t I love some girl like the rest of my friends?...Why couldn’t I just be like everyone else?”
McIntosh was struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide when he saw the movie “Milk.” McIntosh said “it was the first time I realized that there are other people out there who are closeted and do not want to live. There are people like me. And it was then that I began to wonder: Are there other gay athletes too?”
The next day McIntosh decided to tell someone he was gay, so he told one of my best friends from home. “I would say Mike is the reason I realized I am gay: I had fallen in love with him in college, and I felt ashamed of it,” according to McIntosh. “Mike was a teammate of mine in high school and became a great friend throughout college. He is also captain of his college lacrosse team. I invited him over to my house after we worked out at the gym. I told him I watched “Milk” the night before, and that I really liked it and related to it. That was my first lame attempt at coming out. Then I hinted that I was questioning who I wanted to be with sexually.”
After he told his friend Mike, McIntosh decided to tell his sister, who is also gay. “I felt she would know some ways to cope with the depression I was feeling. When I called her, she said she had been waiting for that call for years; she was the only one I ever told who didn’t seem genuinely shocked. She and her partner were great resources. One website they told me might help me with the coming out process was called Outsports. And in Outsports I immediately dove into a goldmine for coming out stories just like mine.”
After telling his family, McIntosh told his coach and teammates. All of them have been supportive. McIntosh will share that part of his story when he speaks at 7:30 pm on the 30th.
McIntosh tells me that lacrosse is “big” on the East Coast, much like youth soccer is in
He played in high school outside
Lacrosse is a team sport of Native American origin that is played using a small solid rubber ball and a long-handled racquet called a crosse or lacrosse stick. The head of the lacrosse stick is strung with loose netting that is designed to hold the lacrosse ball. Offensively, the objective of the game is to use the lacrosse stick to catch, carry, and pass the ball in an effort to score by shooting the ball into an opponent's goal. Defensively, the objective is to keep the opposing team from scoring and to dispossess them of the ball through the use of stick checking and body contact or positioning.
The sport is played in colleges and universities at both the club and intercollegiate levels. There are currently 60 NCAA sanctioned Division I men's lacrosse teams, 37 Division II men's lacrosse teams, 166 Division III men's lacrosse teams. Currently, 209 collegiate men's club teams compete at the Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association level, including most major universities in the