There are a lot of good reasons to respect NFL athlete Carl Nassib's recent decision to announce he is gay and to become the first active NFL player to come out publicly.
The fact that his courageous act increased the visibility of and support to LGBTQ youth is one. That he included a $100,000 donation to The Trevor Project's work to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth is another.
Preventing the suicide of LGBTQ youth is a serious issue and one that has become increasingly important and necessary since the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to The Trevor Project, more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth between the ages of 13 and 24 seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S., and at least one attempts suicide every 45 seconds. In its most recent survey, The Trevor Project found that as many as 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year.
But there are also factors that help youth stay resilient and positive, the survey found, among them that they see others, like celebrities, who identify as LGBTQ.
Here’s what The Trevor Project had to say in its response to Nassib’s donation:
“The Trevor Project is grateful to Carl Nassib for living his truth and supporting LGBTQ youth. This generous donation will help us scale our life-saving crisis services to reach the more than 1.8 million LGBTQ youth who seriously consider suicide each year in the U.S.
“Coming out is an intensely personal decision, and it can be an incredibly scary and difficult one to make. We hope that Carl’s historic representation in the NFL will inspire young LGBTQ athletes across the country to live their truth and pursue their dreams."
As Nassib says in his Instagram video, hopefully coming-out videos will become a thing of the past because they will no longer be necessary. It's a beautiful thought - that no one will need to "come out" because no one will need to hide their sexuality in the first place.
“I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that, like one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are just not necessary. But until then I’m going to do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting, that’s compassionate,” Nassib said.
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