Terrence Bogan was, essentially, never in the closet. The Connecticut football star came out as gay to his teammates in middle school, and he’s been out to them ever since.

Now he’s sharing his story publicly in a powerful story by Mike Anthony of the Hartford Courant.

The reaction to his story in the Courant, which has also been picked up by Yahoo, has been overwhelming and positive. Bogan has already heard from a young teenage athlete who had been scared to come out, but since reading Bogan’s story has already come out to his parents.

“It made me tear up a little bit hearing that,” Bogan told Outsports. “It’s awesome. Other people tell me ‘congrats,’ but this was a ‘thank you.’ It feels so rewarding, that I’m on the right path.”

That path is taking Bogan to Trinity College this fall, where he will play football and run track. At Sheehan High School, Bogan put up eye-popping numbers coming out of the backfield: 5,735 career rushing yards and 77 career touchdowns.

Out that entire time, he told Outsports his teammates have had his back the whole way.

“My teammates have always supported me,” he said. “I came out to my teammates in middle school, so they’ve always been very supportive of me. I’ve never had a problem with sports.”

Despite all of his opponents knowing he was gay, Bogan told Outsports he’s never heard a single gay slur directed at him his entire time playing football. Not once.

In addition to his athletic accomplishments, Bogan is also a performer, having won multiple awards for his performances on stage.

None of this — him being gay or being a stage performer — deterred Trinity College football coach Jeff Devanney from recruiting and welcoming Bogan onto his football team. In fact, this week Devanney expressed on Twitter his excitement about coaching Bogan:

Be sure to check out the incredible, lengthy feature story on Bogan.

If you want to follow Terrence Bogan, you can find him on Instagram @terrence_bogan, or on Twitter @terrence_bogan.

If you’re LGBTQ and a current or former high school or college athlete, check out GO! Space. If you’re a professional or Olympic athlete, or you are a coach or sports administrator, Equality Coaching Alliance is for you.