Taylon Crume will be a sophomore at UofL this fall, studying political science (law and public policy) and psychology. The 19-year-old recently penned a column for Outsports.com detailing his coming out story.
In his personal essay, Crume provided background of his long soccer career, which began at age 4: “(I was) always the first one on the field and the last one off,” he said.
Eventually Crume experienced bullying because of the way he dressed and spoke.
“It didn’t bother me until I read a blog one night about what it’s like being a gay man in a hyper-masculine society. As I was reading I was noticing how everything the author wrote in his blog was relating to me in coincidental ways,” he wrote in the post.
Though Crume began to question his sexuality, his faith and his family’s faith presented a conflict at times. But he was struggling with soccer the most, noting that he started playing out of anger and sadness.
“For years until I came out I manipulated soccer into becoming a gateway that drove me past my own insecurities, my depression, and my hate towards myself and others because it was simply my only go-to. I would run myself to literal exhaustion every day,” Crume wrote.
During high school, he suffered a knee injury which prevented him from playing in college. This, Crume said, “drove him deeper into that self-hating pit.”
When it came time to choose a college, Crume decided on UofL, calling it “one of the most culturally diverse colleges in Kentucky.”
Crume found soccer again through occasional pickup games on campus, and also played intramural basketball with his fraternity. It was during a basketball game when he felt comfortable enough to come out to a friend.
Shortly thereafter, Crume came out to two more friends, all the while still playing pickup soccer, which continues to gives him a “distinct adrenaline rush and heart full of happiness.”
“I want others to hear my story because I want people to know that everyone deserves love no matter your race, sexuality or religion,” Crume said. “I want others to know that there is light at the tunnel, but it takes deep soul searching and courage to get there. I’m still learning to be me and I am living every day happier than the last because I know I’m accepted and loved by others.”
Crume’s full coming out story is available online.