By Ken Reed

Micah Porter, a legendary high school track and cross country coach in Colorado, recently announced he’s gay, the first Coloradoan and one of only a handful of gay prep coaches nationally to have taken that step.

Porter’s teams have won four Colorado state championships and he has coached 33 athletes to individual state titles. He has been named Jefferson County (CO) coach-of-the-year 12 times and Colorado state coach of the year once. He’s also been named teacher of the year at D’Evelyn High School, where he teaches in the social studies department and is one of the school’s most popular teachers.

“For the first time in my life, I have a level of happiness and confidence that I have never had,” said Porter. “It’s a leap, and I don’t know where I’m going to land. But I’m in a much better place and happier.”

Porter’s announcement adds to a growing list of positive developments in the battle to eradicate homophobia in sports. This past spring, NBA player Jason Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated cover story. Also, over the course of the last year, many prominent athletes and coaches have publicly aligned with advocacy organizations for LGBT athletes and coaches such as Athlete Ally (See League of Fans article) and You Can Play.

Porter struggled with his decision for several years, suffering from depression during the process.

“I just didn’t have a gay model to go off of, I had no gay friends. … I just decided it was time to break through,” Porter said.

His athletes took the news well.

“Everything is exactly the same as it used to be,” said Jaguars senior Carter Prescott, who is a contender to win the Jefferson County cross country title. “He has always been a role model. He came out and we admired him even more, with all of the strength it takes to deal with it …. He’s just a role model.”

It takes courage for all of us to be true to ourselves. The amount of courage required of gays and lesbians to live authentically in our society is even greater. Now that he’s out and feeling more confident, happy, and energized than he has in years, Porter wants to help and educate others.

“I intend to use this new energy to help athletes and coaches who are struggling with their sexuality as well as educate others about the necessity to be compassionate and tolerant of others different from themselves,” said Porter.

Now that’s an honorable and important mission; helping other athletes and coaches throw off the shackles of an inauthentic life so that they can experience the freedom of being who they are at their core. Porter will be working with the You Can Play project on this educational effort.

“For the first time in a long time, I’ve had people tell me I look happy. For the first time in a long time, I am,” said Porter.

Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans


Comments are closed.

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.