Scott Frantz has become one of the first ever college footballers to come out as gay.
The Kansas State offensive tackle came out to his teammates after a childhood of depression, anger and self-hate, he told ESPN.
A week after that, he came out to his family.
With incoming Arizona defensive end My-King Johnson also out as gay, Frantz will be one of the first two out top-level college football players to ever compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Frantz recalled sitting in a meeting with the rest of the squad, “just crying.”
He continued: “I felt sick, because I had something on my chest that I wanted to get out there that I’ve never told anybody – and that was that I’m a gay man.
“And I remember – I stood up and I felt like passing out.
“I had to sit down on the ground; I was crying. (My teammate) Alex Barnes came over to me, put his arms around me.”
That was enough for the young footballer to finally reveal his true self.
“I told him my story. I told him that for as long I remembered, I’ve struggled with who I am.
“I didn’t think that anyone could love me, didn’t think that they could accept me.
“I was afraid of who I was. I was angry of [sic] who I was. And I just felt myself needing to say it. So I did.”
And the response was beyond anything he had ever hoped for.
“I’ve never felt so loved and so accepted ever in my life than when I did that.
“And ever since then, it’s been great.
“I’ve grown so much closer to my teammates since then. So it’s been an amazing experience.”
He was asked why, after coming out to his teammates, he felt the need to come out to the nation.
“I ultimately am sharing this story because I want to reach out to all the other kids who are just like me, who feel like they can’t be accepted, can’t be loved because of who they are,” Frantz said.
“I spent my whole childhood hating myself because of who I was. I was angry; I was mad; I was depressed at times.
“And I want to share my message to tell other people in my spot that you can be loved, you can be accepted, you can be who you are and it’s just not a big deal anymore.”
Last month, openly gay college soccer player Austin Hodges, 19, opened up about being accepted by his University of Houston peers but rejected by his family.