This has been a historic month for the growth of hockey and here we have another massive step forward for pro hockey.
Zach Sullivan, defenseman of the Machester Storm in the EIHL, came out as bisexual on Sunday, January 26th.
He is believed to be the first out bisexual professional men’s ice hockey player. This weekend was the EIHL’s first Pride Weekend which is why Sullivan picked now to go public.
Some people might not understand how important this is to thousands of people.
Kids who play hockey and are maybe just figuring out who they are, have someone to look up to and say “if he can do it, so can I.” People, of all ages, have someone to look at and know that there is nothing wrong with being bi, or gay, or lesbian, etc. Sullivan is a hero to all of the people who were told they can’t achieve their dreams because of who they love. A hero to the people who endured years of hearing the casual homophobia and having to keep everything in out of fear of rejection or backlash.
By doing this, Sullivan is going to change and improve so many lives. Whether it’s kids who want to go pro or even people who love the game and have someone they can look to who is just like them. He is a beacon of hope for so many people.
He’s a hero to me, as a fellow bi who loves the game, because he had the courage to stand up and be honest regardless of what could have happened. Coming out is terrifying and nerve-racking, as someone who has done it (talked about that here), and to be the first person in pro hockey to do it? I could never. It takes immeasurable courage and leadership to be the first person to do this. And that’s what Zach Sullivan has. He is going to inspire not only generations that come after him but even those who are playing now and are trapped in the closet.
I feel like I can’t put it into words of how happy and emotional this makes me because finally there is someone in men’s pro hockey for all LGBT+ people to look up to and know they are not alone. Thank you for your bravery, Zach Sullivan. Thank you for taking the terrifying first step into a brighter future for the betterment of the sport we all love. You’re truly a hero.
Here is an amazing interview with him after his coming out with .
Here is another interview with BBC RM Sports radio that has me in tears as well.
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Featured Image: Manchester Storm