The Benedictine College Ravens forward, Jallen Messersmith became the first active college basketball player to come out as gay following the rise of out athletes from pro and collegiate sports. His Mormon Church family provided support, but the religious leaders anti-LGBT attitudes caused him to leave his childhood church. Messersmith is now comfortable with his sexuality after a dark past of bullying. After being home-schooled, he entered high school and began to use his experience of being bullied to fuel something positive – basketball. The Ravens are now ranked fourth in their division.
The rise of openly gay athletes within pro and collegiate sports continues to build confidence for other athletes to come out.