After running helped him overcome depression and a long struggle to conceal his sexuality, a gay Ivy League athlete will run a marathon for LGBT youths battling depression and suicide.
Phil Claudy, an economics and English student at Dartmouth College, is raising money to run the Philadelphia marathon on November 22. He will donate the funds to The Trevor Project
, a US organisation providing support and suicide prevention efforts for LGBT youths.
In an emotional piece for OutSports
, Claudy detailed how he struggled with his sexuality as early as middle school.
Being gay, Claudy wrote, was “something that I buried deep within myself, something that I was determined I would not let ruin my happy life, my athletic aspirations, or my professional ambitions”.
“I grew up believing that my sexuality was an illness, a sickness that put me at risk of a lonely and immoral life,” he said.
He threw himself into sports and hid behind a “jock” persona in middle and high school, but spiraled into “a debilitating and life-threatening” depression when he entered college.
Taking up running proved to be a liberating experience for the Dartmouth rower, allowing him to overcome depression and finally come out to his family and friends last spring.
Now, he wants to use the sport to pay it forward. “I'm running the Philadelphia Marathon for all of those LGBT individuals who struggle with suicide and depression, for those who have yet to take the first step to recovery, for those who are struggling with the process, and for all of those who took their own lives under the incredible pressure of their depression,” Claudy wrote.
Check out his GoFundMe page to read more on his story or donate to his cause.
Zachary Quinto is Attitude’s Red Issue cover guy
Bette Midler’s incredible response to news that Justin Bieber doesn’t know who she is