This profile is part four of Queerty’s 2020 Out For Good series, recognizing public figures who’ve had the courage to come out and make a difference in the past year, in celebration of National Coming Out Day on October 11.
Name: Brock Weston, 25
Bio: Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, Canada, Weston would hear people use antigay slurs during casual conversation. And when he took up hockey, one of the first things he noticed was the culture of homophobia that pervaded the sport.
“Any inkling I had growing up that I might not be straight was immediately brushed away because I couldn’t be anything but straight,” he wrote in an emotional essay published by Out Sports earlier this year.
This continued into college when Weston joined the hockey team at Marian University of Wisconsin, where his teammates would often crack gay jokes or disparage LGBTQ people.
Coming Out: During his junior year, Weston became the subject of gay rumors on campus, causing him to suffer a breakdown of sorts. Afterward, he decided it was time to live his truth openly.
After first coming out to his roommate and coach, Weston wrote an emotional speech that he planned to deliver to his teammates in the locker room. In it, he made six requests: that they know he doesn’t stare at their naked bodies in the locker room; that he doesn’t want to be the subject of slurs or jokes; that he still puts his team before everything else; that they feel free to ask him questions; and finally, that they did not run around campus telling everyone.
“I read a speech at a team meeting for all players who would be returning the next season,” he wrote. “I cried quite a bit while reading it.”
How His family grew: Weston feared that coming out could lead to him being shunned and bullied off the team. To his surprise, the moment he finished reading his speech, his teammates all got up and wrapped him in a giant “bro-hug.”
“They reacted better than I could have ever wished for,” Weston wrote. “People I thought would disown me or become even crueler were among the first to voice their acceptance.”
After coming out to his teammates, Weston went public with his boyfriend of two years, introducing him to his family.
“Even though my family grew up with a sort of prejudice, they have been accepting and are trying to learn how to change for the better and be more open,” Weston wrote. “They have now twice met my boyfriend of two years and seem to have enjoyed the company.”