Melbourne NBL player Isaac Humphries comes out as gay


Melbourne United NBL player isaac humphries comes out as gay
Image: Twitter

Melbourne United NBL star Isaac Humphries has shared he is gay, and become the only openly gay basketballer playing in a top-tier men’s basketball league.

The Australian athlete made the announcement in a video shared to his social media accounts, in which he gives a moving speech to his NBL teammates and coaches.

“I have hidden something about myself my whole life, from everyone I love, and even myself sometimes,” Humphries tells them.

“It is a truth about myself that I have wanted to deny for a long time, but now I feel comfortable in telling you all. That truth, is that I am gay.

“I have been through extremely dark times during this journey, but I have been through so much growth and I am now happy with who I am.”

Humphries said, “We, as professional athletes, have a responsibility to set examples for people.

“The truth is there are so many people in other worlds that are struggling every single day and don’t know how to get up, don’t know how to exist.

“I know how that feels, and I want to represent those people.”

Humphries said he wanted to set an example for the next generation of athletes.

“That’s my goal behind this: make sure people know you can be whatever you want, no matter who you are or what you do,” he said.

“You can be Big Ice and be gay, and you can still be a great basketball player and be gay. You can do whatever you want.

“It has nothing to do with your sexuality, or who you are, or who you’re meant to be, or who you’re expected to be.

“I just want to be myself. I discovered this is my purpose in life, and I’m gonna give it my best go.”

 

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A post shared by Isaac Humphries (@isaachumphries7)

‘A big wake up call for me’

Isaac Humphries also opened up to his team about the “dark times” he’d gone through while hiding his sexuality.

“A few years ago, I fell into a very dark place, a very lonely place,” he said.

“I couldn’t be who I am, and I attempted to take my life. The main reason behind me becoming so low and being in that point is because I was very much struggling with my sexuality and coming to terms with the fact that I’m gay.

“I hated it about myself, I was disgusted at myself. I thought that I couldn’t be that person within our environment, within a basketball environment.

“It wasn’t until I was in a community that’s full of pride and happiness and joy. It was a big wake up call for me.

“But then came the big question mark of how do I be a basketball player? How do I join a new team when I’ve finally come to terms with this about myself and I don’t wanna hide who I am anymore.

“I decided that, if I’m gonna join a team, that I’m gonna come out publicly, and just make sure people know that you can live. And you don’t have to hide, just because you’re an athlete.”

Isaac Humphries’ NBL club ‘just so proud’

Humphries joined Melbourne United this year after previous stints with NBL teams the Sydney Kings and the Adelaide 36ers. He’s also played for the NBA in the USA.

He’s the only openly gay male pro basketballer playing in a top tier league in the world.

And Humphries just the second male basketball player to come out as gay while playing in a top-tier league after NBA star Jason Collins came out in 2013.

Melbourne United coach Dean Vickerman said he was full of admiration for Humphries.

“We love Isaac here at the club. For him to feel comfortable to be his true self here is great, and we couldn’t be more proud of him,” Vickerman said.

“We can’t underestimate how difficult this must have been for Isaac. But I’m really excited by the fact that he can be completely open and honest with his teammates and now ultimately, the world. It’s huge.”

 

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A post shared by Isaac Humphries (@isaachumphries7)

Melbourne United CEO Nick Truelson also added the club is “wholeheartedly supportive” of their player.

“Our whole organisation is just so proud of Isaac,” Truelson said.

‘It’s the right of every player to be accepted’

Pride in Sport, a national non-profit sporting inclusion program, applauded Humphries for sharing his story.

But spokesperson Beau Newell said Humphries’ experience was an example of “the fear many athletes have in coming out”.

“Many athletes self-edit their existence in sport and expend a good deal of their daily energy on hiding their true self from others,” Newell said.

“We know that experiences of prejudice and harassment, or not being able to live openly can impact on the mental health of LGBTQ people.

“It is the right of every player to be accepted and affirmed, on and off the sporting field. We know that when this happens, mental and physical health outcomes dramatically improve.

“Sport has an amazing opportunity to provide a safe and inclusive environment to all people, including people with diverse genders and sexualities.”

If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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