It was 10 years ago that high school football player Corey Johnson came out to his team in Massachusetts, and Corey marked that anniversary recently with an appearance at the GLSEN Boston conference. Bay Windows caught up with him and asked why his story got so much attention nine years ago:
Part of it was timing. I came out, my story was publicized just a year, year and a half after Matthew Shepard was murdered, and the country at the time was yearning for a positive story with so much anti-gay stuff going on at the time, post-Defense of Marriage Act, all that stuff. And so my story was a positive story, and it was iconoclastic, with the small-town football player. So I think people wanted to have a positive story and relate to that.
You can still email Corey at the same address he had nine years ago. He's told me he still gets emails regularly from students, athletes and other people. Pretty amazing that his story resonates so many years later.