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Young gay coach finds acceptance after coming out at Catholic school

Young gay coach finds acceptance after coming out at Catholic school

CREATED ON // Saturday, 16 August 2014 Author // Andrew Shaw

A positive story out of the US this week as a Catholic high school coach is allowed to keep his position after coming out. 

St. Mary High School in Dell Rapids, South Dakota decided to keep volleyball coach Nate Alfson (pictured) after he came out publicly on Outsports last week.

Alfson is believed to be the first gay high school coach to come out in the state of South Dakota.

The 25-year-old Christian, who also coaches baseball, sent the following email to Outsports on Tuesday after learning the school would keep him on:

“The meeting with the school went great. We talked about being on the same page as each other and that they were willing to walk through this with me and support me. They want me to be their volleyball coach again and that I was a great role model to the athletes.

“I couldn't be happier that they are supportive and want me to be a part of the coaching team. It's a sense of relief to be able to move forward and focus on volleyball and the girls. This season is about them and the hard work they put in. The support has been amazing and I can't wait to live a free life!”

According to The Advocate, in the US, it is legal to fire someone because an employer thinks they might be gay, lesbian or bisexual in 29 states. In 33 states, someone can be fired for being transgender.

Local commentary on Nate Alfson's coming out

Coming out last week on Outsports, Alfson wrote of his traumatic time in high school trying to fit in.

“I came into school focused on passing classes and being a successful athlete but I was increasingly feeling insecure and lonely. I craved companionship and close friendships and dreamed (and still do) of sharing who I am with someone special.

“There were times in college where I would try to get close to certain friends and hope that they would care about me so deeply that eventually I would be able to share with them that I was gay. At the same time, I was also praying and wishing that God would make my feelings towards other guys go away.

"I despised the fact that I had these feelings and would spend countless nights awake, crying, and hoping that someday I would be able to feel like I could be with a woman.

“I haven't yet told officials at the Catholic high school where I coach volleyball. This might be a challenge but I am confident it will work out for the best and the Earth will still keep turning regardless of the outcome. I hope it doesn’t affect my opportunity to be a good role model for the athletes.”


Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw

Andrew Shaw is editor of Queensland Pride.

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