A major story which was picked up on American natonal newspaper USA Today featured Hawaiian professional golfer Tadd Fujikawa.
Speaking on his Instagram account Fujikawa decided to come out as gay on World Suicide Prevention Day. He is the first male professional golfer to be openly gay, though there have been a number of top professional women golfers on the LPGA tour who are have been openly gay since the 1980s.
Tadd Fujikawa is the youngest player to ever compete in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2006 when he was 15. The next year he made the cut at the Sony Open, becoming the youngest player in 50 years to make the weekend at a PGA Tour event. He is now 27 and today he wrote:
“I don’t expect everyone to understand or accept me,” Fujikawa wrote. “But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community. My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another.
“I’ve been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn’t need to come out because it doesn’t matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other’s stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. I’ve struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. 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. 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. As long as those things are still happening, I will continue to do my best to bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality. Whether the LGBTQ is what you support or not, we must liberate and encourage each other to be our best selves, whatever that may be. It’s the only way we can make this world a better place for future generations.
Last December won the Hawaii State Open after announcing he was experiencing depression and anxiety.
Fujikawa asserted that he doesn’t want this announcement to focus on him, and hope it helps spread love and acceptance to those in similar situations.
“I can’t wait for the day we all can live without feeling like we’re different and excluded,” Fujikawa said. “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.”
I once spoke to a top professional who said this – “there are no “pink” players on the mens tours and there never will be”. There is now.
In December 2018 English LPGA Player Melissa Reid came out publicly saying that she had stayed in the closet because she was wortied about sponsors reactions. But then began to question why these companies would want to have me represent them “if I cant be my authentic self”. It is odd that the LPGA has quite a number of gay women professionals in its ranks. It began with the great Babe Zaharias . Some are openly gay and others like Meg Mallon just acknowledge the fact that “oh Ive been in a relationship with fellow professional Beth Daniel for 25 years” when she made a Hall of Fame induction speech. Good for both Tadd and Melissa for making things clear. Ive always thought that there are not two sexes there are four.