Justin Rabon and Kaitlyn Long both grew up in Wisconsin, but in very different situations. They both landed on the track and field team at the Univ. of Minnesota, where they became best friends.

The two joined Outsports for a personal, intimate conversation about their experiences being Black and LGBTQ in the Midwest. They both live in Minneapolis right now, and they have been deeply impacted by the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing protests.

Rabon grew up in Milwaukee before he ran track & field for the Univ. of Minnesota. He currently works in IT recruiting, and he has recently been bringing supplies to protestors and the needy in the Twin Cities, along with his boyfriend, Brad Neumann.

Long grew up in a suburb of Madison, Wis., where she was raised by her adoptive white parents. She went on to compete in shot put and hammer throw for the Univ. of Minnesota.

They opened up about experiences they have had with racism, interactions with the police, and their perspectives on the events that have erupted around them over the last two weeks since Floyd was murdered.

Kaitlyn Long and Justin Rabon have been besties since their days competing for the Golden Gophers. They’ll share personal stories with each other and with us on June 9.

If you’re a current or former LGBTQ high school or collegiate student-athlete, visit GO!SPACE, where you can connect with other LGBTQ people in sports.