February 14, 2018 | Posted in Celebrity by
Anyone who participates in any sport knows the feeling of wanting recognition for their hard work. 2017's California Rookie of the Year, 'Superstar' Jake Atlas is no different. What does set him apart, however, is what he chose to do to celebrate.
The 23-year-old Los Angeles native recently announced a little more than just his new title on Twitter.
I’m proud to be the first openly gay Southern California Rookie of the Year. pic.twitter.com/1kLBhFbRjq
— Jake Atlas (@iamjakeatlas) January 25, 2018
In 2010, Jake came out to his family and close friends as a Sophomore in high school. Since then, he's kept his sexuality under wraps in the ring.
"I chose to wait to come out publicly because I was afraid," he told GayStarNews. "I have always been afraid."
He continued, "Wrestling is also a very masculine sport that is sometimes not the most progressive. I was afraid of any hate, backlash, and rejection from it. I was afraid that it would hold me back from achieving my lifelong dream of one day wrestling for the WWE."
Many athletes not only find coming out difficult, but once they do it can sometimes come with backlash from fans who aren't quite supportive of their lifestyle or decision to be open with it. Luckily for Atlas, the opposite is true. He says the reactions he received were much more positive than he expected.
"The reaction has been incredibly positive from close friends, peers, and promoters," he says. "I have had the opportunity to share stories with others in the same community and find support to help me embrace my sexuality."
Jake's decision comes at a time when many athletes are choosing to be their true selves and embrace their sexual identity. Oh, and for those of you who are curious, he is "definitely single" at the moment. You better hurry, though. This cutie won't last long!