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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 14, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 42
Gay Seattle high school athlete finds love and respect from his teams
Section One
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Gay Seattle high school athlete finds love and respect from his teams

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Something amazing happened on National Coming Out Day, October 11, for Dylan Baker. His life has changed for the better. In fact, things are looking really great for the football player and track and field athlete at Seattle's Inglemoor High School ever since he said the powerful words: 'I'm Gay.'

Baker admitted to OutSports.com that he was scared when he posted that message to Facebook on Tuesday.

'I was terrified,' Baker told Outsports.com. 'I read over the caption probably 50 times and kept thinking to myself that I should just wait longer until I'm out of the house or in college.'

As the LGBTQ sports blog reports, Baker decided not to wait.

The response from people on the football and track teams, many would think, was one of rejection or shame. But times have changed and now, with more and more athletes coming out in the professional leagues, college and at other high schools, the response Baker received follows a growing trend of acceptance of out Gay athletes by their teammates.

'My football and track teammates have told me that they have nothing but love and respect for me. I had so many of them come up to me at school today and give me a hug and tell me how strong and courageous I am for doing that,' he said.

And Baker doesn't report any bad behavior coming from school faculty either.

'My main coach, Scott, told me from day one that he'd have my back and that I will always be a part of the 'hurdle squad,' Baker said. 'He is probably the most accepting person I've told.'

'Every comment on Instagram and Facebook and text message I've received has been amazing,' he said.

Seattle Gay News took a look at Baker's social media and he's not joking - this kid is loved.

'Dylan you're awesome always been an awesome friend,' Tyler Smith, a student at the same high school as Baker, posted on Facebook.

'This still won't change the fact that you are amazing and great,' said another, while another friend wrote, 'So Happy for you! I hope everything is going well for you.'

Baker told OutSports.com that he thought that the reaction to his coming out as Gay would have some negative consequences, but instead, he says going to school the following morning was 'unusually normal.'

'I had only a couple people bring it up and they were just asking me questions like how long I've known, how my parents have handled it, etc.... Everyone acted like nothing had changed at all and it was amazing,' he said.

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