"Guys, the last year has been a rather difficult one for me and I have spent a lot of time soul searching and trying to figure out which end is up. One thing in particular has taken me quite a long time to come to terms with, and I want to address it here and now because it's way past due."
That's how University of Texas swimmer Matt Korman began an email to his teammates last week, acknowledging for the first time that he is gay. Outsports.com reports that the student, a college junior, had previously come out to his parents, but waited to reveal the news to his teammates as he was afraid of their reaction.
Finally, he could no longer hide his identity.
"Within the past year, I have fallen into a state of depression, which has deeply affected my life," he wrote. "I have had a hard time sleeping at night, eating, and have lost a lot of interest in swimming. For the first time in my career, I was ready to quit swimming at the end of the summer. Not many people have noticed something has been wrong. The ones that did, I just blamed all the stress on my schoolwork, which has been my scapegoat. But, I miss sleeping at night; being happy and being the person I used to be when it didn't really matter.
Although this has been something I have known for a while, it hit me particularly hard more recently as I have realized that I'm not getting any younger and would like to start dating and enjoy the simple things of life that I have been missing out on. When I was younger I thought I was only curious or it was just a phase for me, but have come to terms that I'm actually gay. (There, I finally said it.) For a long time I tried to be someone that I am not. By opening up and talking about it I have learnt that this is normal and its okay to be who I am. I have accepted myself for who I am. There is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not something that I choose. It just is."
His teammates' response, Korman told Outsports, has been incredible; he's received "zero negative feedback" in response to his candid note.
In fact, it was one of the other swimmers who brought the news to the outlet's attention in the first place, writing, "In the past week, one of my teammates came out to us in a beautifully written email. I would love for y'all to contact him and possibly tell his story. He's an incredibly bright young man with a great future in swimming at Texas. We have all been 100% supportive and have tried to provide him with the best environment possible, simply changing nothing."
Others have also been moved by the note, tweeting their support to Korman.
You can read the full text of Korman's email here.