#GayAthlete

Gay Boxer Orlando Cruz To Be Honored In Chicago

Legendary Boxer Orlando “El Fenonmeno” Cruz is famous for being a fantastic boxer and also being an openly gay one.

Cruz came out as gay in 2011 to the acceptance of friends, family, and fans. Having that weight off his chest helped him become the third ranked boxer in the division of featherweight for the World Boxing Organization Latino.

Now, he’s being honored by the city of Chicago in two upcoming events.

Orlando Cruz will be honored during Chicago’s Puerto Rican People’s Parade in Humboldt Park and then later honored at Chicago’s Pride parade.

Ricardo Jimenez, a director at the Puerto Rican Cultural Center in Humboldt Park, said they chose Cruz for the honor because they want to spotlight the life and career of a successful gay man.

“I thought it was very important, today, when we talk about LGBT rights, Latinos start to accept the reality that (LGBT Latinos) are part of society and are to be respected,” Jimenez told the ChicagoTribune.

Cruz, who normally lives in Miami, will be heading up to Chicago to participate in both of these events. He’ll be crowned the first “Cacique King” of the Puerto Rican parade in honor of Puerto Rico’s Taino roots.

That said, this announcement comes during an important time in Cruz’s career. He says he’s planning to retire after about two more matches.

Afterwards, he wants to focus on youth empowerment and possibly opening up his own gym to train the next generation of boxers.

On top of that, Cruz wants to help LGBTQ youth who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. He says he doesn’t want youth to have to struggle like he did when he was younger.

 “To the young people that are going through what I went through — be yourself,” Cruz said in Spanish. “Don’t be scared about what you feel, don’t be scared to say your feelings, to look for professional help. And don’t for anything try to take your life.”

If you want to see Cruz for yourself, and you’re in the Chicago area, you can see him at both the People’s Puerto Rican Parade and the Chicago Pride Parade.

The People’s Puerto Rican Parade starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at the intersection of Division Street and Western Avenue. Then, the Chicago Pride Parade starts at noon June 24 at Montrose Avenue and North Broadway.

Venezuelan Olympic Diver Robert Páez Came Out

Olympic diver Robert Páez just came out as gay.

The professional athlete from Venezuela, who participated in the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, published a new open editorial through Outsports to share the news.

In the post, the 23-year-old shared that his upbringing in Venezuela originally caused him to feel panicked about his interests and his sexuality.

 

A post shared by Robert Páez (@robertpaez) on

“I believe that I was born gay. As I got older I became more aware of it, and as I grew – like with so many others – it became my great dilemma. It was a source of worry that I was interested in things like dancing and fashion, things that in my culture were for women and gays. I shied away from doing many things. I was at times ashamed to go out into society, to face who I really was."

"At age 15, while other kids were playing soccer and eating ice cream with girls, my mind was struggling with endless thoughts and questions.”

But, now Páez shares that he’s more confident and secure than he’s ever been before. Páez says that now’s the time for him to open up about his sexuality and his life experiences, so that he can act as a role model for others.

 

A post shared by Robert Páez (@robertpaez) on

"Many times we as gay men, fearing who we really are, find a girlfriend to make our family believe that we are what they call a “real man.” I wish I could show other gay men that we are not deceiving anyone, but we are cheating ourselves of being faithful to who we are as people."

"In sharing my story, I hope to help make homosexuality as common of a word as heterosexuality. We have to read it, say it, and accept it with clarity and maturity. He have to understand that we are all equal."

If you want to read more of Páez’s story, you can do so over at the Outsports article. Otherwise, check some of Páez’s Instagram pics down below to get a better look at the man.

 

A post shared by Robert Páez (@robertpaez) on

 

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Openly Gay Baseball Executive Billy Bean Befriended Formerly Homophobic Player Daniel Murphy

Billy Bean has done a great service for Major League Baseball.

Former player Billy Bean has since stepped up in sharing the news that he's befriended a man who formerly "disagreed with his sexuality.

After retiring his cap as a professional player, Bean became an exectuive in the sport. Right now, he's sitting as the Vice President in the commissioner’s office.

Though his work as an executive, Billy Bean has worked towards making the American Baseball world more LGBTQ-friendly. One way that he does that is by talking to teams about LGBTQ issues in the sport.

Of course, as OutSports reports, that can cause problems sometimes.

In 2015, baseball player Daniel Murphy stated how he “disagreed” with Bean’s sexuality after having one of those team discussions with the man.

The former New York Mets player said:

“I disagree with his lifestyle. I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect.”

Not only did Bean stick to the high road by responding with, “I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth,” but he persisted in communicating with Murphy.

 

 

 

Fast forward to today, Murphy, who plays for the Washington Nationals now, says that he’s become good friends with Billy Bean.

As Bean told SNY TV in New York:

“The good part of the story is that over time, because of the interest of so many people, both sides, him and his wife contacted me and we started a friendship, and he said that I helped him to start to consider things from a different perspective and I thought it was generous of him to do that. ...”

“I’m sure that he’s never had a gay friend that’s in his current life. The fact that we have baseball in common, he can see from a distance the work that I try and do and I can watch the influence he tries to have with the platform he has.”

Billy Bean is a great example of why we need openly gay leaders in all fields of life. By being open theses leaders not only show others that its possible, but they can start discussions about LGBTQ-issues in their given field.

We want to thank Billy Bean for his efforts for both LGBTQ people and the baseball community. He’s truly a hero.

h/t: Outsports