You should check out this powerful essay we posted by Charley Sullivan, the associate head coach of the University of Michigan's rowing team. In it he talks about being unapologetically out his entire career and how it has made him a better coach.
While I know it’s fashionable, and even somewhat expected, to say “I’m just a such-and-such who happens to be gay,” I on the other hand see myself as a gay coach – an openly, unapologetically, even obnoxiously queer coach. There’s no “I happen to be and let me understate the gay part” here.
Rather, being openly gay – with all that has taught me about myself and how I want to be in the world, how I have chosen to live what I hope is an authentic life, and how this is such a source of joy to me – has, in my opinion, been one of the major strengths I have brought to my coaching. I hope to bring a message to gay coaches that not only can being out be a key component of our coaching success, but also that there are insights and experiences we can bring to athletics from our experiences as gay people that can make us better coaches if we will let them into our work.
Sullivan writes about how being himself has brought him closer to his athletes since there is no insincerity there; he is authentic and says it translates into being a better coach. I would love to hear what others, especially coaches, think about what Sullivan has written.