OSWEGO, N.Y. — ESPN Sports Journalist Kate Fagan came to the Sheldon Ballroom Tuesday, October 10 as a part of the SUNY Oswego “I Am Oz Diversity Speaker Series.”
Fagan, a best selling author, discussed her first book “The Reappearing Act: Coming Out on a College Team Led By Born Again Christians.” She talked about her personal experience of coming out as a gay woman to her family, coaches and teammates on the University of Colorado women’s’ basketball team.
“So unlike some people where they have inspiring stories where they saw something, and then they decided, that was there moment. Mine was more like, I guess I have too,” said Fagan.
Fagan says that male and female athletes face different hurdles when coming out.
“Male athletes, when they come out, they are shattering the stereotype. Everyone is surprised. On the female side it’s like oh, you’re just enforcing what we thought. We just assumed there were a lot of gay women in sports,” said Fagan.
SUNY Oswego softball player Carly Lawless said some athletes have a tendency to face stereotypes solely based on the sports they play.
“There’s certain sports that there is a stigma for and we (the softball team) are definitely one of them, but personally I think that it’s more accepting in women’s sports than in men’s. Nobody really says anything about your athletic ability if you’re lesbian,” said Lawless.
Fagan had one piece of advice to anyone, athlete or not, struggling to come out.
“If I did the thing where I was writing to my younger self, It would be to trust people more. It was once I decided to trust other people, and actually talk about my relationship, and talk about who I was, I realized that for the most part, most people were totally fine,” said Fagan.
Fagan’s second book, the story of University of Pennsylvania runner Madison Holleran titled, “What Made Maddy Run,” made the 2017 New York Times Bestsellers list.