Watch: Out Bi Fordham U. Football Player to Serve as LGBTQ+ Executive of New Student Athlete Group

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Monday September 7, 2020

Fordham University linebacker Jaden Vasquez is used to plowing through stiff opposition, but he was surprised at how easy it was to come out as bisexual when his teammates and coaches showed him nothing but acceptance and support.

Now the student athlete is taking on a new challenge: Even as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the next football season for his university league, Vasquez is taking on a leadership role as the LGBQ+ Executive for the Jesuit-run school's new student-athlete group, Fordham University Connect, which describes itself as "a student-athlete run organization that aims to erase the stigma around vulnerability in sport," reports Bronx news outlet Channel 12.

The news channel reports that Vasquez has always known that he is bisexual, but it wasn't until last autumn that he came out to the world.

"I was always holding back on my personality," the athlete told Channel 12. "Am I gonna come off as feminine? Am I gonna come off as someone who people are going to discriminate against?"

Eventually, Vasquez started to test the water by telling a few of his teammates. They responded by encouraging him to be open to everyone else, so Vasquez came out of the closet by - well, coming out of a closet in a humorous video he posted to Instagram.

Vasquez worried about what might happen next, but that act of bravery - and humor - brought Vasquez nothing but love. "It was no big deal because it's not a big deal," Joe Conlin, the school's head football coach told Channel 12. "That's who he is, and we love him."

Vasquez old Channel 12 that he hopes to inspire other student athletes to come out of their own closets.

Watch the Bronx News 12 clip below.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.