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12-year-old to gay lacrosse player: 'the day I got that video was the best day of my life'

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Gay lacrosse players are coming together for a Memorial Day game in Philadelphia to support 12-year-old Braeden and other gay lacrosse players. If you're a gay lax player, join in!

Note: The Courage Game will take place at Adams Field in Penn Park on May 24 at 10am. If you are interested in playing, please sign up at the Courage Game Web site or check out the site for more details.

A month ago, I responded to the call of a desperate father asking if I could send a message of support to his son, a lacrosse player who had made the decision to come out shortly after turning twelve. His son, Braeden, was struggling and feeling alone due to the response of some of his peers to his coming out. Braeden was even mentioning not wanting to "be here anymore," the worst words a parent can hear their child say.

I was able to send a video of support and recruit some lacrosse players who had been profiled by Outsports in the past, including Andrew McIntoshBen Chadwick and Holden Richards, to send their own videos. It had a powerful effect on Braeden who gave me a handwritten letter when we met in person:

Thank you for making me realize that I'm not alone. Your video touched my heart and the day I got that video was the best day of my life. Your video and all the other ones boosted my confidence to where I felt like I was unstoppable.

In honor of Braeden, we are putting together a lacrosse game inspired by athletes courageous enough to be themselves and by athletes courageous enough to fully support their teammates. The game will be presented by Lacrosse All Stars and the You Can Play Project and played over Memorial Day weekend, May 23rd-25th, in Philadelphia during the NCAA lacrosse championships.

The Courage Game will take place at Adams Field in Penn Park on May 24 at 10am. If you are interested in playing, please sign up at the Courage Game Web site or check out the site for more details. You can also send an email to me, Andrew Goldstein, or Nick Welton at couragegame@outlook.com.

Andrew Goldstein was America's first publicly out male professional team-sport athlete. You can follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

Andrew Goldstein Braeden