Ryan Atkin, the first professional English soccer referee to come out publicly as gay, is glad with his decision despite some disapproval he received following a TV appearance.

Atkin appeared ITV and the hate he is referring to are some idiotic comments about being gay posted on the Facebook page where the video is being shown. Stuff like, “who cares?” coming from someone who cared enough to watch the show and then post a comment. Welcome to the comments section of any website, where idiocy is too often the norm.

The response to Atkin’s coming out last week, though, has been very positive. In his first game on the pitch after his story was made public, he said there was no response, which is actually a good sign. The FA, the ruling body of English soccer said, “Ryan's declaration marks an important moment in the game.”

His story also reached people for whom it mattered.

“I've had a lot of messages from around the world from people from countries especially where being gay or lesbian is illegal, and it's really important to have an environment where people feel comfortable to come out,” he told Lampard.