The junior third baseman wrote that he’s coming out to everyone in his life now, as he feels he would have regretted not coming out while still an active baseball player.
“I never thought I’d get to the point of being comfortable enough with myself to be out as an athlete,” he wrote. “However if I didn’t choose to come out before the end of my college career I think I would regret it the rest of my life because that decision would be made out of fear.
“I was worried that this would impact my future opportunities in athletics but I’ve realized that my accomplishments will not matter as much to me if I chose to accomplish them while hiding in fear of who I am.”
Zapp wrote that he knows there are still lingering issues in sports in regards to acceptance of the LGBTQ community, and he hopes by sharing his story publicly, he can help change that.
“I hope that by sharing this it can create awareness for others that are struggling with their sexuality and self acceptance,” Zapp wrote. “Nothing is going to change if we don’t talk about it so I have posted this to come out for myself but also in hopes of creating awareness on this issue.”
He told Outsports that the response from past and present teammates and coaches, as well as other people in his life, has been “really good.”
“The amount of people that took the time to read through that super long post and then send a heartfelt message to me is amazing,” Zapp said.
Some of his teammates have left wonderful messages of support on his Instagram post:
- proud of you dude!!! inspiration to everyone. all love
- got your back bro!
- Proud of you brother
Zapp’s story reflects the experiences of the vast majority of LGBTQ athletes who have come out to their teammates. As our Out In Sports study showed earlier this year, acceptance of LGBTQ athletes is the norm in sports today.
As a sophomore, Zapp started 46 games for the Redhawks during the 2021 season.
If you’re an LGBTQ person in sports looking to connect with others in the community, head over to GO! Space to meet and interact with other LGBTQ athletes, or to Equality Coaching Alliance to find other coaches, administrators and other non-athletes in sports.