College soccer captain Couper Gunn has come out as bisexual.
In a recent open editorial through OutSports, Couper Gunn, the captain of the men’s soccer team at Colby-Sawyer College, shared his journey of coming out in the education system, the school’s sports circles, and online.
Gunn says that being closeted felt like “mental claustrophobia.” But then, while working as a camp counselor for a private school in Massachusetts in 2019, he felt the urge to wear his “Show Your Pride” shirt.
“One morning, after the first session of the day at camp and before I went to lunch,” he recalled. “I went back to my room to shower and change and I saw the shirt in my bag and thought, this is it. I put on the shirt and began the walk to the dining hall.”
After experiencing an initial moment of fear and anxiety, Gunn noted that by the end of his walk to the dining hall, he felt confident and “10 feet tall.”
“The third and final part of the walk began as I approached the entrance to the dining hall,” he wrote. “I knew this would be the first real test of my courage. As much of a cliche as it is, I felt 10 feet tall walking in to that building. My chin was up, my shoulders were back. I knew who I was. And the world (or at least my world) was about to know too.”
Gunn says it was his relationship with queer women on his college’s rugby team that led to his confidence and coming out journey. During his freshman year at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire, Gunn’s dorm suite was near several of these athletes.
“Just hanging out with them showed me how normal being queer was,” Gunn explained. “After I had finally accepted myself, they were the first four people that I came out to. That winter, before break, I started just talking with them about boys who I found attractive and even something as small as that was empowering and freeing.”
Gunn then came out to his parents and brother. Then, around the same time he wore the pride shirt at camp, Gunn decided to come out through a social media post. Gunn took a picture of himself in the “Show Your Pride” shirt and posted that online.
The college athlete, who’s majoring in History and Political Studies and minoring in Education with the plan of getting his master’s in Education, says there’s power in being open and out. It spotlights the fact that queer people “are normal… but also extraordinary.”