We're sorry to say that we've decided to remove this story from the site.

Hunter contacted us this morning with fear that his parents might see it. The story got shared and read far more widely – and with more mainstream media – than we had imagined it could be. When mainstream sites started picking it up, Hunter got concerned and this morning asked us to remove the full story, at least temporarily, from Outsports. Just as the publication of the story is something we don't usually do, its removal is the same.

We're deeply sorry for any inconvenience.

A few people have asked me if this story is real. It is. We've confirmed it through other athletes to whom Hunter has reached out. I have also confirmed his identity. The removal of the story is for Hunter's safety and well-being.

The message of the story is not lost: There are lots of LGBT teen athletes who very much need help and support. It was through reading stories of other LGBT athletes at Outsports that Hunter has found the strength to come out to those closest to him. Seeing the triumphant stories in the last year of – and then connecting through social media with – then-high school swimmer Chris Cassingham, football player Mitch Eby and swimmer Austin Olivares has given Hunter a purpose for opening up.

While there's so much more to his story that Hunter wants to share, that will have to wait. Frankly, his story may be more powerful as he had laid it out. There are plenty of youth in the same situation, accepted by their peers and others in sports but deathly afraid of their parents' reactions. I know that's where I was as I was coming out far too long ago. Thankfully my situation changed.

Until his situation changes, he can't be reached on social media, but he has created an email address in case young LGBT athletes want to connect with him. He's at: [email protected]

If you're an LGBT athlete in high school or college looking to connect with others like you, you can also head over to GO! Athletes, the largest network of people like you in the world. They can help.

And if you want to add your story to the growing chorus of out LGBT people in sports, let us know.

Don't forget to share: