Hampton Football Star Makes History As First Player From An HBCU To Come Out As Gay

"I’m gay," the HBCU athlete wrote on his Instagram Story. "This is who I am, this is who I've been, and this is who I'm going to be."

October 21, 2022 at 6:40 pm

Byron Perkins, an athlete at the one-and-only Hampton University, has shared that he is a proud gay man and made history in the world of HBCU athletics.

 

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Perkins shared the news earlier this week through social media.

“I’ve decided that I’m going to make a change and stop running away from myself,” the D-1 footballer shared in a now-expired Instagram Story, according to The Washington Post.

“I’m gay, let it be known that this is not a ‘decision’ or a ‘choice.’ Yes, this is who I am, this is who I’ve been, and this is who I’m going to be,” Perkins continued. “Simply put, I am who I am.”

He went on to further explain that he wanted to open up about his sexual identity in the name of seeking “authenticity.”

“I’ve been self-reflective and trying to prioritize what makes me happy and makes me feel alive,” Perkins shared in another Instagram Story, The Washington Post reports. “I thought it could be just football and school, but there was a component missing. And recently I’ve been able to figure out that I haven’t been fully happy because everyone didn’t know who I was. Authenticity is everything to me.”

“I have come to understand that life is precious and I could be gone at any moment, therefore, I will no longer be living a lie,” the Chicago native elaborated. “No one should have to live a life crippled by what society thinks.”

 

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The athlete went on to link up with Outsports for an interview on his revelation, and he shared that he hopes his coming-out journey will be inspirational to other HBCU-goers.

“Especially at an HBCU, young Black gay men need an outlet,” Perkins told the outlet. “They need a support system. There hasn’t been an out gay football athlete at an HBCU. I want to end the stigma of what people think. I want people to know they can be themselves.”

“It’s about that kid who’s going to see this and think he can be himself, too,” he added.

Perkins went on to address that, while people’s particular religious views may lead them to disagree with homosexuality, he’s still a devout Christian who just happens to be gay.

“You can be gay and be religious,” he proclaimed. “I’m a God-fearing man. I love Christ. I just want to be better than the man I was the day before, and I want to help people.”

 

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Shoutout to Byron Perkins for sharing his truth and simultaneously making HBCU football history.