Michael Sam shared his thoughts on coming out publicly, racism in the gay community and homophobia in the black community in an interview with Attitude Magazine.
The former NFL player, who appears on the May cover of Attitude Magazine, says the reaction to his coming out was positive and he hopes he helped some people.
“It was amazing. There was a friend who told me to give his cousin a call – she had tried to commit suicide twice. After she heard my story she promised herself she would never do it. People kill themselves because they can’t handle the pressure and that stress. It’s very sad. If by me living my life, I can save someone, I would do it again,” Sam told Attitude.
Sam says it’s hard to be accepted as a gay, black man not by the black community, but by the gay community.
“It’s terrible. People have told me I’m not gay enough, people have told me I’m not black enough. I don’t know what that means. You want to be accepted by other people but you don’t even accept someone just because of the color of their skin? I just don’t understand that at all. How are you saying that, ‘oh, I want people to accept me because I’m gay but I don’t accept you because you’re black, or because you’re white or because you’re Asian,'” Sam says.
Sam, who currently plays football for the Montreal Alouettes, says he’s found the black community to be more progressive about acceptance.
“I can only go by my experience and the people I’ve been around. I think it’s more accepting, actually. There are a lot of black, openly gay people. A lot of people have [gay] friends, cousins, brothers, sisters… They have at least one openly gay person, at least it’s more accepting, that’s my experience,” Sam continued.
“People tell me they have family members who are gay and it doesn’t freak them out and no black person ever freaked out at me, ‘oh you’re gay’. None. There are people who are over religious who go, ‘oh, you’re a fag, you’re going to hell.’ That’s everywhere. Ted Cruz is pretty much anti-gay,” Sam says.