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Baseball Player Boyfriend Of First Out Bi College Football Player, Comes Out

Last week Conner Mertens, a football player at Willamette University in Washington, came out, making him the first active college football player to come out as bisexual. 

Well, it doesn't appear that he'll be lonely now that his boyfriend, Chandler Whitney (pictured, below), a baseball player at Walla Walla Community College has also decided to come out of the closet!

Chandler tells Outsports:

"I'd been planning to do it at some point anyway," Whitney told Outsports, "and seeing the reaction to Conner's story calmed me down."

Last week when the baseball team gathered for the first practices of the new year, talk turned to stories from winter break. Because he'd spent much of the break with Mertens, Whitney felt the time was now. He stood up in front of the team, said he had contemplated whether to tell them a secret or not, and shared a "confession" he'd been holding back from them since they first met:

"I'm gay."

The team broke into spontaneous applause. It took Whitney off-guard.

"Being where I am in eastern Washington, it's not the response I expected. I'm in Walla Walla, there's not a lot of open-mindedness on the surface."


"I didn't necessarily expect hostility, but I expected a guy or two to feel uncomfortable or awkward. Everyone on the team shook my hand, gave me a hug and said we're a family and they had my back. The guys I thought would feel the most uncomfortable said don't worry about a thing, it's not a big deal."

Big congrats to Chandler (and Conner) for coming out! And we've also got to applaud his teammates for being open-minded and accepting!

It's great to see and it must be a comfort for many athletes that are considering coming out. 


(H/T: Towleroad  via Outsports)


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It's been my experience that guys who announce that they are 'coming out' because 'they like dudes' are not bi at all, just scared to fully admit being gay.  Sadly it makes the poor kid sound undereducated by calling himself bi because he likes dudes.  When I was young and figuring things out I actually made use of the dictionary.  More of our youth should do the same.  (And quite a few adults as well!)

Serious props to you for recognizing that LGBT has a B in it for a reason.  Thanks for honoring Connor's own words.

When I read this article (on my iPhone) last night it said that he was gay. By the time I got to it on my computer today where I could more easily comment, you'd changed it to say he's bi. I'd just like to say, thank you for fixing it when the mistake was pointed out. Not nearly enough people do that.

well, will you look at that? They got it right!

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Once again we face the ugly monster of bisexual erasure. Conner Mertens is not gay. He said he was bisexual. Believe or not, that means he is bisexual. Please correct this.

Please edit this article.  Mertens came out as bisexual.  Bisexual is NOT gay.  This type of inaccurate journalism marginalizes bisexual people.  We bisexual people have a higher suicide rate than our gay peers and are far less likely to come out due to the fact that few people accept or understand us.  We are our own distinct orientation and are not to be lumped in with the gays (no offense to gay people).

Last week Conner Mertens, a football player at Willamette University in Washington, came out, making him the first active college football player to come out as gay.

This is inaccurate. Conner Mertens came out as bisexual, not gay. This is bi erasure and damaging to the LGBT community. 

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That is soooooooooo sweet - for both of them - congrats guys!!!

CONGRATS fellas! Giant step forward... 

Why congratulate fags? If you're gay you're gay. Keep it to yourself. Know your morals and respect them. 

Well sure. Just as soon as you keep being straight to yourself. You know, like, don't talk about your significant other, and never openly admire the opposite gender. Only do that in private, where no one can know. Why should you wave your heterosexuality in the faces of gays?

Hey Anonymous, how about you keep your thoughts to yourself.

im guessing your gay just don't have the balls to admit it. 

Like most of the comments below why keeps yourself anonymous are you afraid that you are gay and just want to be a smart ass and play with peoples emotions? or afraid of what people might do to you? either way your comments need to be keep to yourself. People are aloud to do what they want! You must be from Westboro Baptist Church..... those stupid can just fall off the face of the earth and everyone would be better, with their cult family values. 

It is most people with "anonymous" comments, as this, we one day find in the news being charged with child molestation charges, wife beating, parent abuse, etc.... its part of their ritual of cleansing themselves by chastising others... do yourself a favor and just turn yourself in before anyone gets hurt... thank you.... :) Peace out... :)

sounds like the lady doth protest to much...

Why are you even in this page?

Know your morals? How about knowing how to be respectful of others? YOU are the problem! And doing it anonymous, means your hiding something…


I am so happy right now that I have tears of joy...that can't begin to explain how happy I am....its about time....please stand out and be heard.

It's a great thing when young people can come out and not have negative consequences.   Things have really changed.    I am very happy for them.   Hopefully, this will start a trend, and society will start changing more quickly. 

Now all we need to do is convince Congress that we need protection in the workplace, and we will have it made.

Congratulations! You are all amazing beautiful human beings. Be safe, watch your back, and dream and live big!

Congratulations! You are all amazing beautiful human beings. Be safe, watch your back, and dream and live big!

Chandler,congrats glad the team was supportive good luck with all.

chandler in new england.

Just because it's a smaller college doesn't make it better or worse. Who cares what size the college is? That's not the point. The point IS he came out and was accepted, then his boyfriend, who goes to a different school came out, and they announced they were together. Why not be happy for them? I am. I sure as hell wish I could have came out in school and at that age! I'm happy for the couple. And why are some of you so negative? Maybe because your hot happy with yourselves? I know a LOT of gay guys who can't stand to see 2 people having a relationship and being happy in it and some of the time they try and sabotage it. Why....because they're so miserable they can't be happy for anyone else. Get over it already. These are great young, athletic men who will be able to help others come out, and one's who will give the one's who are being bullied somebody to look up to!

who gives a rat's ass

obviously you do or you wouldn't take the time to comment.


Haha right!

Escorreram lágrimas de meus olhos agora. Me encanta muito ver essas atitudes e me deixa ainda mais feliz as reações. É aí que eu tenho certeza que o mundo ainda tem salvação. Parabéns ao jogador! :)

Cudos to both of them, But didn't Connor say he was bi? Isn't it about time we quit with the false binary and accepted the spectrum shown by the research of people like Kinsey, klein, and epstein. Im almost at 30 years in my bi phase!

- tears-  of  JOY  here for them  both . . . . times have changed.  Love ya both and and me to the I have your back crew.  I am a ice hockey player.   This action should encourage many more to do the same.  Thank you for taking one more sledgehammer blow to "the Closet"  !    

I think it's weird that it tends to be a big announcement, huddle around everyone....I'm G-A-Y! Go!

Why?... You be mad cus you didn't get any love when you came out... aweeeewwww so sad.... :'(

Willamette University is in Salem, Oregon, directly across the street from the State Capitol. It's routinely ranked in the top 10 of small US universities. Missed details like this reduce the credibility of  Instinct and future stories it prints. 

This drove me CRAZY! Go WILD CATS!!!

meant Bear Cats...oops. I should work for Instinct Mag.

Good for him, coming out. More need to do this. And he is cute too.

Willamette University is in Oregon. FYI. Walla Walla is in Washington. 

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