The times they are a changin’.
Now that the NFL has a gay player, and everyone is cool with it, others are feeling pretty good about the prospects of being a football player out in the open, sexually speaking. Ryan Russell made NFL history when he came out as bisexual back in 2019. The three-year NFL veteran, who’s played for the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is currently a free agent.
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Russell continues to use his platform to raise awareness for LGBTQ visibility in sports.
Russell doesn’t regret a thing about coming out as bisexual.
Via Yahoo Life:
“To me, visibility is hope,” Russell explains of Bi Visibility Day, a day aimed to raise bisexual awareness, celebrated every year on Sept. 23. “I think it should be readily available for everyone, no matter who you are, how you look or who you love.”
“To go from someone who did not see a lot of visibility, and in turn did not have a lot of hope, to now, hopefully being visible and being a beacon of hope, even if it is the combination of so many trials and tribulations, now I understand why I went through them and why they happened. And that feels good,” he says. “I feel unstoppable. like I could do anything.”
“Education, I think, is always the first hurdle,” Russell says. “The understanding of bisexuality is so different for everybody because the definition of bisexuality has changed and grown so much, especially when we evolved conversations around gender and nonbinary people.”
“Historically, I think for a lot of people, my family and myself included, bisexuality was about two genders. It was about men and women,” Russell says. “I understand now that bisexuality, for me and my definition, there is an attraction to my own gender and genders outside of my own. It has opened up conversations to include everyone who at one time not only did their sexuality seem valid, but also their gender identity and who they actually are.”
“I think for men, it’s like you get hit with almost this triple whammy, for lack of a better term,” he continues. “You’ve been taught at a young age that the most important thing about your male identity is your masculinity. So if you feel a need to protect it, instead of nurturing it or allowing you to experience your femininity or allowing whatever to come to you naturally, you begin curating things of masculine figures instead of letting genuine creation come from within who you are in your own soul.”
“You can’t really be understood or understand anyone else until you do the work, until you empower yourself with knowledge,” he adds. “I think one of the things that bisexual people across the board, I think, face is feeling as though we need to defend our sexuality — that may have been a hurdle I’ve had, but also a hurdle that I haven’t jumped because I don’t do that. Like, I don’t feel the need to validate my sexuality for anyone. You ask me a question, I tell you, we move on.”
Props to Russell on bringing awareness to bisexuality.
Hopefully he’ll find his way back to the NFL…