MR. Gus Johnston is this week's Real Man We Admire.
It’s been nearly two weeks since pro basketball player Jason Collins came out of the closet and became the first active player on a major American sports team to be openly gay, and we’re still double dribbling with pride over his history-making revelation. The times, they are a changing! While Collins might be the most high-profile sports figure to go public about his sexuality, we can’t help but think about another sportsman whose coming out story might not have made international headlines but was no less inspiring: this week’s Real Man We Admire, Gus Johnston.
This ginger-bearded Australian field hockey player scored big with sports fans Down Under in late 2011 when he posted an emotional 12-minute video on YouTube in which he outed himself as gay and gave an honest and open assessment of the complex relationship between homophobia and sports. In the film, titled 'The Reality of Homophobia In Sport," the ginger-bearded goalkeeper looked directly into the camera and announced, ''My name is Gus Johnston, I'm a writer, art director, filmmaker, and a hockey goalkeeper, and I'm also a gay man.”
While field hockey isn’t as high-profile as American basketball and certainly not the most popular sport in Australia (that would be cricket), Johnston’s story was still an important one. Up until that point, only three Australian male athletes had ever come out (another being Olympic...