An Athlete’s Life in the Closet: One Tar Heel’s Tale

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4 Responses

  1. D. Stroman says:

    You are a courageous champion! Thank you for sharing and making a difference. Celebrate yourself and remain positive. You will attract those who love and support you. Onward!

  2. Juliet says:

    Good on you! Every athlete that comes out makes it easier for the next one. I look forward to the day when top professional players finally break this barrier. One day, it won’t even matter.

  3. Mark Jahad says:

    Bickford, it takes a lot of courage to share an article like this to the public. It takes even more courage to try to battle these demons through life by yourself. I always respected you as a player, as a teammate, and as a friend. You were a leader on our CASL team and an amazing and gifted soccer player. I’m sorry to hear how your career ended in such a depressing chain of events and this is my first time hearing that you are gay. After reading this, I just wanted to give u some peace of mind for the future… Just because you are openly gay doesn’t change the fact that you are a good person with a good heart and an extremely hard worker on and off the field. If people don’t like you because you are gay, that’s not something you can control so worrying about it does no good because you can’t change what others think. If a coach doesn’t play you, even at your peak, that’s not something you can control so stressing yourself out does no good. Everybody has what society considers “problems” and most of the time that “problem” can’t be “fixed”. So do yourself a favor and control the things you can control. You can only control your attitude and how you treat people in life. Hold your head up high and live life with no regrets my friend. Onward…

  4. Mack McCoy says:


    Thank you for sharing this part of your story. You’re a good man for standing up. Mark J. is right. Worrying is pointless. As a fellow worrier, I know it’s easier said than done, but do your best to ignore what you cannot control. That includes poor coaches who fail to provide feedback or use their best players for unknown reasons. It’s not worth your time or energy.

    I wish you nothing but the best. Of course, life tends to be more challenging than that, but I bet you can handle it. 😉

    Take care.

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