Elite Illinois High School Wrestler Is Out, Proud, And An Instant Inspiration.
Hearing the stories of acceptance and inclusion will never get tiresome. It is necessary that we share them in order to give hope to those that feel hopeless. Outsports.com always does an excellent job of telling inspirational stories, and we love reading them, especially when it seems there is so much hardship around. Here are some excerpts from such a story.
It was only a couple weeks after starting to date his boyfriend that Stevenson High School’s gay star wrestler, Dylan Geick, decided the closet wasn’t for him.
“I really didn’t like having to sneak around,” Geick told Outsports, “so I came out to the kids at my lunch table one day after last season. It kind of exploded from there.”
“Exploded” is, in this case, an understatement. Just minutes after coming out to the students at his lunch table a year ago, his phone began to “blow up” from other students and teammates asking if the news was true. By nightfall he had heard from other wrestlers at seven different high schools in the Chicago area asking the same thing or offering support.
When he came out it surprised some people that this elite wrestler was gay.
"It's an amazing environment [coach Cook] has put together," Geick told the Chicago Tribune after the state meet. "The motto for Stevenson wrestling is 'Always Together.' We live it, we share it. We're a family."
“It just so happened that all of those kids, even those who maybe had a homophobic view before were able to see past that, and are still my friends, and we are much closer even now,” Geick told his school newspaper, The Statesman.
“I don't know if I would be able to come out in high school if it weren't for the environment the coaches have built there."
"As a higher-level wrestler, with a decent amount of respect from the wrestling community, I think they had the respect for me as a wrestler and an athlete that that stuff wasn't going to matter."
Geick made his being gay pretty clear last June when he posted this Instagram picture from [Chicago Pride] (that’s Geick on the left, while his boyfriend, Grant, is planting the kiss):
Now Geick hopes that by sharing his story he can help other gay athletes feel like they are not alone. About a year ago, as he struggled to come to terms with who he was, he stumbled across the story of Ohio State wrestler Mike Pucillo, who came out publicly after he graduated. It was reading that story that gave Geick the confidence he was not alone.
“I really didn’t know any gay wrestlers. The first thing I Googled was ‘NCAA gay wrestling’ and that was the article I found. So it's cool that I get to share my story.
I hope I can have the same effect on a high school kid." - Outsports.com
There's a lot more to read over at Outsports.com so head on over and read about him attending his first pride and with his boyfriend, how he handled the one and only competitor to throw shade, as well as how he felt when he visited his future college and what his new coach said to him about the campus and the environment.
Thanks for sharing your story. We know it helped someone out there and now, when someone does a Google search in the future looking for inspiration, your name and story will come up, too.