Akil Patterson is a 28 years old, a Greco-Roman wrestler, University of Maryland wrestling coach and he is gay. He came out in January in a interview with Outsports.com which cover gays and lesbians in sports. He was featured this week in the Baltimore Sun!
Akil played football for the University of Maryland from 2001 to 2003. During these years to deal with his secret he became a binge drinker and he partied alot. His drinking caused him to get into trouble which lead to an indefinite suspension from the football team. Akil finished his college football career and earned his degree at California University of Pennsylvania. He told his teammates that he was gay in 2006.
It’s still not perceived to be a safe space for an athlete to come out,” said Hudson Taylor, a three-time All-American wrestler at Maryland and friend of Patterson’s who is now an assistant coach at Columbia. Wrestling is up close and personal, so a person’s sexual orientation may make some uncomfortable.
After coming out in Janaury, Akil has heard from a number of athletes including one from California. He was struggling with his sexual idenifty. The athletes he heard from just wanted to know that it was okay to be whatever they wanted to be.
Read the full story at the Baltimore Sun here: After coming out, former Maryland player feels he has a second chance
Watch Akil’s It Gets Better video: