Ryan O’Callaghan’s newly released book shares his struggle of being closeted while in the NFL and his trek towards coming out.
Last year, we shared with you the news that retired National Football League Lineman Ryan O’Callaghan had come out. The former Dallas Cowboys player planned to marry his lover of two years, Joshua Ross, and decided it was the perfect time to come out to the public. This also made him the first NFL player to enter a same-sex marriage.
And it was our friends over at Outsports who broke the coming out story through an exclusive interview. At the time, O’Callaghan said that he was empowered to come out to the world after reviewing immense support from his family and friends.
”The kindness of my friends and my family and my teammates,” Rohrer told Outsports. “It’s just been fucking ridiculous how nice they have been, and how supportive. And how they don’t care about any of that. They just love me, they always have. Nothing’s changed. Nothing’s changed.”
”To know that at a time like this, that they have my back, it’s fucking amazing,” said the 59-year-old. “I never expected it. I figured the world is fucked, but it’s not. It’s amazing. It’s fucking amazing.”
But that doesn’t mean coming out wasn’t hard for him. Recently, O’Callaghan has released an autobiographical memoir titled “My Life On the Line.” While the novel shares the former lineman’s entire personal history and career, the book also tackles the topic of O’Callaghan’s constant suicidal thoughts.
Fearing rejection from his peers and the public, O’Callaghan often spent his years as an athlete with the desire to escape in the most violent of ways. In fact, one chapter ends with the following line, “Once my NFL career is over I’ll get in the truck, drive to the property, open this gun cabinet, and shoot myself in the head.”
Add on to that the fact that O’Callaghan also developed an addiction to painkillers during that time, and you’ve got a pretty emotionally heavy read. But, the point of the book is to show the glory and horrors of the professional football world. Especially of being closeted within it. And thankfully, O’Callaghan no longer lives either of those lives.
So while the novel may get dark and heavy at certain points, the overall message is a triumph from adversity. If you want to read this survival story yourself, you can buy it online or find it in most book stores.
Sources: Outsports, USA Today
For those in need:
LGBTQ Youth Suicide Hotline: The Trevor Life Line: 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline (trans specific): US: (877) 565-8860. CANADA: (877) 330-6366
Veteran Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, chat online, or send a text message to 838255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255