Canadian Scott Heggart, a 21-year-old from Ottawa, is getting a lot of attention for the Ottawa Citizen story about his coming out process as a gay hockey player. It's a nicely detailed piece that delves into Scott's journey from being totally in the closet, to coming out to his parents and siblings and eventually his high school teammates.
I read the story and found it compelling, but no more so than the dozens of similar stories we have run on Outsports. They all are valuable chronicles and help to change the culture. But where Scott's story is unique is that he did daily YouTube videos where he told of his journey.
He didn’t miss a day. The 365 videos are intense, instructive, intelligent. Some are short updates, in others he talks about gay marriage, or whether gays can be “cured.” (Short answer: No.) He wades into U.S. politics and takes on the religious right.
In a series of poignant interviews, he asks the members of his family, one by one, whether they thought he was gay, and what their reaction is now that they know. He asks his dad to offer advice to other fathers struggling to support a gay child.
“This isn’t about you,” Randy says to the camera. “This is about your child. They haven’t changed; it’s your perception of them. If you loved your child before you found out they were gay, that shouldn’t change … If you think you’re having a hard time, imagine how they felt.”
Scott is very well spoken and poised in the videos, not surprising that he is now a communications major in college. "Mike" is a regular Outsports commentator who writes the blog "Imprisoned in the Closet." From what little Mike, 22, has disclosed in comments, he is from Texas and either a current athlete or played competitive sports. Here was his reaction, in an Outsports comment, to Scott's videos:
I just finished watching a couple of his videos, and I got goosebumps because of how similar his story sounds compared to mine. I’m not one to cry either, but as the last video went on, I couldn’t hold back any longer. The beauty and honesty of his message is simply amazing, and it touched my soul like it’s never been touched before.
It's great to have Scott's story resonate so well (his videos have had 539,000 views) and hope he continues to be a voice for gay athletes.