Bryan Ruby Makes Baseball History

Damon Parks - 07 Sep 2021

Salem-Keizer Volcanoes player Bryan Ruby has just become the first professional baseball player to come out as gay. So rare a feat does climbing out of the closet in the sport appear to be, that Ruby is now the only openly gay man in the sport – at any level.

But Ruby says for him, coming out was about leaving the darkness and being able to live authentically – and hopefully free others to live their own truths also.

What makes Ruby’s coming out all the more prominent and pronounced, is that he’s also a country music songwriter, which is another industry not traditionally friendly towards the queer community. Ruby is an established songwriter, with at least two of his songs having reached the charts.

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Wants To Make An Impact

To Ruby, coming out was from a place of believing his story can have a positive impact on all who hear it – but especially so in two industries not traditionally known for sexual orientation openness.

Speaking to the press during a recent interview, Ruby explained how his decision to be publicly out had been influenced by his remembering himself as a young 14-year-old boy. He says he experienced fear and isolation about being a baseball lover who also happened to love country music, and that he was constantly being told he’s a person who doesn’t belong. He now wants help create a world where future generations of players do not have to hide who they really are to play the game that really love.

One Story – Many Supporters

While coming out as the only openly gay man in pro-baseball could not have been easy for Ruby, he’s not been the only one to do so of late. His coming out follows similar stories from Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop and Las Vegas Raiders defenseman Carl Nassib.

Ruby says now he’s out; he hopes more people will feel the freedom to stop hiding their true identities from the world.

He likens the burden of living in the closet to being the athlete who constantly wears a weighted vest. And it’s a weight he’s been relieved to gradually get rid of.

While Ruby felt comfortable sharing his story with his mom, he was terrified of telling his father, Jon, who also used to play Division I baseball. Even so, Ruby says his dad surprised him for actually having had been the one to suspect the news all along. But at the end of the day, he had the support of both his parents as he took the public plunge. And this is something he says he’ll always value for as long as he lives.

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