Gay high school baseball coach in South Dakota
Nate Alfson used to fear road trips on his college baseball team and lived a life in the closet. Now out, he knows what true happiness is.
Dawson Roscoe is a minority of minorities. The biracial high school junior at Kelly Walsh High School - of both European and African descent - lives in Casper, Wyoming, where 1% of the population is black. Roscoe doesn't have to tell anyone he's not a white man in lily-white Casper.
Yet over the summer he felt the need to share a piece of himself the people around him didn't know. The text message he sent to friends and family one early morning last summer at 1:37am read like this:
Hey... it's dawson typing here with a random announcement haha.
Just wanted to say to my friends and distant family that i like guys and like girls; that I see a person for who they are and all their delightful qualities not based on whether his or her gender and how I honestly couldn't be happier finally saying it that I'm bisexual.
I would have just told people one at a time in person but then I realized I would have to explain it 24/7 and that would be exhausting. I understand I will no matter what but I feel it was right to. I've held these feelings in for wayyyy too long. Longer than the normal person should hold a secret. I noticed that people come in and out of your life for a reason and how me liking guys as well could be a big deal to some of my friendships. Well would those people really count as friends if they wouldn't accept me for me and remember why we are amiable and warm in the first place? That's for them to decide.
You can either go up or down in life and I'm choose to go up where greater and higher opportunities lie. I'd like to remain and hopefully get better in athletics and in choir throughout high school and - if I choose to - in college. I didn't intend to write this or even come out as a junior but I felt there was never going to be a perfect time.
Many ignorant and delayed people still exist in this world and I feel like I should make an effort to address that it's alright to be different from the crowd. I have definitely faced adversity for being biracial and not always following the crowd so I expect ill reactions from some individuals. I would just like to say, "Hey, it's 2014 and the world is forever changing and I'd rather get things off my chest before time goes by before I can."
Just let me and other people in life be happy and let them like whomever they please. Don't stop them.
Thanks again to those who read this and my special friends and family for the support.
It's interesting to note that Roscoe identifies as both "bisexual" and as a "gay athlete." When I asked him about the different identities that some may find in conflict, he said labels really aren't important to him.
"I am attracted to guys and girls, and I never wanted to be 'labeled' anything in life. But I realize there comes a time when it would be most recommended. I just like to do my own thing and still continue to learn who I am and figure out what's next for me in life! I don't want to falsely label myself bisexual if at some point I realize I'm gay or whatever. When I was revising my coming out letter i reflected on Tom Daley's coming out video and several others before and after him. I never had a specific date to come out but I felt when the time was right for me then I would be true to myself."
Roscoe has suffered torment over being biracial. While he has grown into a strong, powerful young man in high school, several years ago before his growth spurt he was bullied for looking different from nearly everyone else.
"I'll always remember those who tormented me. I don't accept bulling and will always stick up for those who are being harassed."
He may have been concerned about a return of the bullying when he came out to friends and family, though conversations with college football kicker Conner Mertens helped allay those fears. Instead, he's found the reaction from people in Casper has been positive. The one negative reaction was from a good friend of his who was upset she hadn't received the text message from him, but had heard others talking about it at school.
"It has changed my life in so many positive ways and made living life easier as a student and athlete. People from my team know, which is nice. And I haven't heard anything negative so far. I have no idea if my coach knows, but he has appreciated my running abilities from day one, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.
"Life has never been better."