These are some trying times we’re living in. But thankfully because of them, one presence in the sports world has decided to come out.
Like many of us, 29-year-old Matthew Lynch has had a tough time of it lately. A couple of months ago, Lynch had a stable job as a Division I men’s college basketball coach. Specifically, he served as the assistant coach and director of basketball operations at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. But now, Lynch’s job has come to a complete halt.
Like many out there, Lynch was let go from his job amid the pandemic. But, the former coach has chosen not to let that get him down. Instead, he’s decided to use it as the catalyst for being “completely open and honest” about his sexual orientation.
Matthew Lynch recently came out through an open editorial that he wrote and published through OutSports.
“This is a scary time for everyone and the unknown is always difficult to deal with. But I have made a decision to use this time to become completely open and honest with myself and the people around me,” Lynch wrote. “I’m gay.”
He later added:
“I am probably a little crazy to decide to make this so public with everything else that is going on (like being unemployed, or a worldwide pandemic or a hiring freeze throughout the coaching profession),” Lynch wrote. “But I wanted to try and find a way use a negative time for something positive. I don’t know if I will be able to get another college basketball job as an openly gay coach, but I refuse to take any job where I am not my authentic self. I refuse to die with the lie.”
The former coach then went on to express how difficult it has been for him to admit that fact.
“Those are two words that 10 years ago I wasn’t sure I was ever going to admit, let alone say out loud. I always thought I would ‘die with the lie.’ That is how I approached so much of my life, to keep it a secret, to never let anyone know that side of me, to hide and bury all those feelings.”
After getting lost in the drive and focus of his career, Lynch eventually came up for air. What he realized then was that it had become too hard not to express his sexual orientation openly. He then shared the fact with a close friend and fellow coach by passing a note to him.
“He read it, smiled, got up and gave me a hug, then slapped me on my butt and said, “You probably like that don’t you?” We erupted in laughter,” Lynch shared. According to him, he has also received support and welcome from players after coming out.
Like many before him, Lynch says the reason he’s coming out to the general public is that he hopes to act as a role model for LGBTQ people in the world of sports.
“I think it’s important for me to be publicly out. Not only for me and my mental health, but for anyone else out there like me,” he wrote. “The goal isn’t to come out of the closet, it’s to eliminate the closet.”