Japanese-American professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa has come out as gay.
In 2006, Fujikawa became the youngest player every to qualify for the US Open at the age of 15. He is one of the first pro golfers to come out, and the first US Open player to do so.
On Tuesday (11 September), Fujikawa made an Instagram post to announce his coming out.
‘So… I’m gay,’ he begins the post simply. ‘My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another.’
He reveals later in the post he wasn’t sure about whether or not he wanted to come out publicly.
‘I thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows,’ he explains. ‘But I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope.
Fujikawa writes he used to hide and hate who he was because of what people would think or say, and it led to mental health problems.
‘Now I’m standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone’s life,’ he continues. ‘Although it’s a lot more accepted in our society today, we still see children, teens, and adults being ridiculed and discriminated against for being the way we are. Some have even taken their lives because of it.’
While this continues to happen, he wants to do his best ‘bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality’.
The post ends:
‘I can’t wait for the day we all can live without feeling like we’re different and excluded. A time where we don’t have to come out, we can love the way we want to love and not be ashamed. We are all human and equal after all. So I dare you…spread love. Let’s do our part to make this world a better place.’