Being Out is a feature that looks at LGBTQ people in sports who have come out since Outsports first published in 1999. Today: College football player Wyatt Pertuset
No matter when his athletic career ends, college football player Wyatt Pertuset will always be a part of history.
When he scored a touchdown in the 2018 season, he became by all accounts the first publicly gay college football player to score a touchdown. The feat earned him a mention on ESPN, heady stuff for a player from a Division III school, Capital University in Ohio.
“Being an openly gay player, it meant that much more to me to score that touchdown,” Pertuset said at the time.
Pertuset is finishing his senior season for the Crusaders, who are 0-5 with a young roster. The wide receiver has nine catches this season and is also his school’s punter.
Since coming out in 2017, Pertuset has been a role model for other LGBTQ athletes who want to be out and still play the sport they love.
Here are Pertuset’s answers to our Being Out questions.
What do you love the most about football?
What I love most about football is the family that comes along with the game. You spend all of your time with the guys around you that unbreakable bonds form. The type of guys that will do anything for you and will stick with you years after you’re done playing.
I also love the feeling that I’m very fortunate to get the opportunity to still be playing the sport I love, so it makes it a really special feeling to get to perform every Saturday.
What does it mean to you to be LGBTQ+ in sports?
I honestly am thankful to get the opportunity to be one of the few. I’ve gotten to talk to a lot of people because of it, telling me their stories and asking for advice. It makes me happy to be able to help other people in any way possible.
What advice would you give to LGBTQ+ kids in athletics or who want to participate in athletics, the kind of advice the younger you wish you had heard?
Do whatever it is that you want to do in life and don’t think twice or look back. You’ll regret not trying things that you really wanted to do just because other people might have some judgment against it.
Who is someone that inspires you?
Someone that inspires me to do the things I love in life and worry about the rest later, would be one of my professors, Dr. Janette McDonald. She is one of the most genuine, caring and at peace people that I have ever met and provides confidence in me with my studies and life if I’m running low. I hope to be at least half the person that she is.
What is your most memorable sports moment?
The most memorable sports moment for me would definitely be our goal line stand to beat our rivals from Otterbein University last year. It was one of the most intense games that I ever got the opportunity to play in and will go down as one of my favorite times in college.
If you are out in sports in any capacity as openly LGBTQ and want to be featured in Being Out, drop Jim an email (email@example.com).