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Michael Sam opens up about ‘terrible’ racism in the gay community

By Will Stroude

Michael Sam might have faced a backlash from middle America when he came out to a frenzy of media interest in 2014, but in the latest issue of Attitude – available to download now – the American football star reveals how shocked he was to be confronted with racism from within the gay community itself after taking the plunge publicly.

The 26-year-old features across an exclusive 10-page spread in Attitude’s May Issue, in which he discusses everything from his experience growing up gay as a Jehovah’s Witness to the racism he’s been subjected to on social media from other gay men.

“I will say this, since I came out, I did not realise how much racism there actually is in the gay community,” he tells us.

“It’s terrible. People have told me I’m not gay enough, people have told me I’m not black enough. I don’t know what that means. You want to be accepted by other people but you don’t even accept someone just because of the colour of their skin? I just don’t understand that at all.”

The former NFL star continues: “How are you saying that, ‘oh, I want people to accept me because I’m gay but I don’t accept you because you’re black, or because you’re white or because you’re Asian’. I don’t understand that.

“It baffles me how screwed up society is. Because where I’m from. we don’t judge a person by the colour of their skin, we judge them by the character of their heart.

“There are a lot of people whose hearts are cold and that’s sad. ”

You can check out Micahel’s full shoot and interview in the new issue of Attitude, available to download now at, in shops, and to order from


Also in Attitude’s May Issue, alongside all you usual news, reviews, fitness & travel:

  • In honour of our All-American theme, Attitude presents our Gay USA Special, taking you on a tour of the places, pin-ups and pioneers of gay life across the pond.
  • Lukas Graham, the chart-topping Danish band behind 2016 pop smash ‘7 Years’, talk to Attitude about their overnight success, the death of a father figure and whether gay men are “manly”…
  • We meet Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato, the RuPaul’s Drag Race producers who’ve turned their cinematic hands to a new documentary about notirious photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.
  • American singer Parson James discusses the racial divide in his family, dealing with a drug-addict parent and coming out in deeply conservative South Carolina.
  • We exclusively unveil the first chapter of Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You, which critics are already heralding as the “great gay novel of our times”.
  • Comedian Sara Pascoe sees whether she can pass for a ‘mo in How Gay Are You?

The new issue of Attitude is now available as a digital download from It’s in shops now, and print copies are available to order from

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