Michael Sam coming out was the biggest news story of the day. It is an historic event that would have been a huge story no matter when it hit the news outlets, whether it hit this week or six months ago, as it absolutely could have.

Michael took a HUGE risk in August by telling a room full of college football players in the Deep South that he was gay. Those young men were given the opportunity to make this a story, and garner the national attention that would have come with outing a teammate who was seemingly bound for the NFL.

And how did that room full of young men respond? By following the unwritten rule about outing someone who you suspect or know to be gay: they kept their mouths shut. They let Michael be the author of his own story, by staying silent and showing maturity, respect, grace, and discipline.

The lesson here is simple, if someone you know trusts you enough to out themselves to you, remember that it is their story to share, and theirs alone, no matter how big or small the impact of their coming out might be.

Nice example Mizzou, here’s hoping that this precedent stands pat.

Rebekka Ouer, LCSW

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