‘I am gay.’ Ex-UK punter comes out as gay to inspire others


Kentucky Wildcats kicker Landon Foster prepares to take the field during the second half against the Ohio Bobcats at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, September 6, 2014 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky defeated Ohio 20-3. Photo by Michael Reaves | Staff

Rick Childress

Landon Foster, a former UK punter, came out as gay Wednesday in an article for OutSports—an SBNation blog for LGBTQ issues.
“I am a four-year Kentucky football letterman,” Foster wrote in the article. “I am an only child. I am a white, 6-foot-2 man. I am gay.”
Foster says in the post that his new goal in life is to inspire diversity and inclusion in the sports and business worlds.
In the post Foster describes his junior and senior years at Kentucky as being filled with “constant feelings of anxiety and inferiority,” because of the nationwide focus on LGBT rights like the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage and Kim Davis’s refusal of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Foster writes that his decision to come out publicly is contrary to his decision to keep his sexuality private during his college football career. 
Accounts of several celebrities and sports stars coming out as gay inspired Foster but in college those stories weren’t enough for him to take on the culture of “big-time football.”
“(A) culture I felt is still unwelcoming to gay players,” Foster wrote. “Living in the closet in front of 80,000 fans each and every Saturday manifested itself into a constant state of anxiety, perceiving every interaction as a constant test of being outed and potentially causing a distraction to my team and my university.”
Foster states that his public declaration can inspire others who are struggling the same. 
According to ESPN, Foster hails from Franklin, Tenn. He punted for the Wildcats from 2012 to 2015, averaging 41.8 yards per punt. As a freshman he was named an All-American. 
“I am sure I will receive some backlash for writing this, but if there is one person it helps, then it will be worth it,” Foster wrote. “I have been through hell, especially during my college years, trying to come to grips with who I am while also representing my university and football team. I was representing these institutions in a state that garnered national attention for anti-LGBT sentiment just days after I had come out to my parents, weeks before my senior season, and ultimately leading to my departure from the sport that I always envisioned as being a part of my life.”