Coming out week 2009: ‘There’s more to me than just being gay’

Kelly Petryszyn

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Editor’s note: This is the first of a week-long series of students’ coming out stories.

For William McSuley, coming out was not about telling others so much as it was about coming to grips with it himself.

After he told his friends and family, not much changed.

“Even though everyone accepted me, I couldn’t accept it myself,” said the sophomore Spanish major.

To learn to deal with his sexuality, McSuley turned to books by gay authors. One particular book, “A Soccer Field is Empty,” by Mark Roeder, helped him come to a realization about his sexuality.

Roeder’s novel focuses on two soccer players in love who come out as gay. While the other characters in the book viewed the players as gay after they came out, McSuley simply saw them as soccer players who happened to like guys.

“It really opened my eyes that there’s more to me than just being gay,” he said. McSuley has a passion for Spanish, learning, exploring and meeting new people.

He hates the phrase “coming out of the closet” because he said it’s about accepting oneself, not stepping out of a closet.

“My sexuality is a part of who I am as a person,” he said, “but not who I am entirely.”

Contact diversity reporter Kelly Petryszyn at [email protected]