Kevin Maxen has made history by becoming the first openly queer male coach in men’s professional US sports. Currently an associate strength trainer with the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, the 31-year-old made the announcement in a public statement released by Outsports on Thursday, July 20.
“I don’t want to feel like I have to think about it anymore,” he said. “I don’t want to feel like I have to lie about who I am seeing, or why I am living with someone else.
“I want to be vocal in support of people living how they want to live, but I also want to just live and not feel fear about how people will react.”
Maxen added: “It wasn’t until recently – and with the immense love and support of my family, my friends, colleagues and peers, and the courage and sacrifice from my partner – that I realized I have the right and responsibility to love and be loved, and that maybe sharing this will hopefully give someone else the strength to accept their own life and take control of their own story.”
View this post on Instagram
Speaking about the struggles of being closeted, he explained, “You have other coaches who have significant others, and they’re talking about their significant others…And I felt guilty that I couldn’t do the same thing, that I was letting myself down.
“I want the person I’m with to be able to share that with me,” Maxen continued, particularly referencing his relationship with his partner Nick.
View this post on Instagram
“For a while I had such an anger for myself and hatred that I thought was from a fear of what others might think about who I am,” he said.
“But that wasn’t it. It was an anger and hatred of myself because I put myself in a life where I was living by other people’s rules and not by my own.
“And I was right to be angry at myself for thinking that I had to live in the image of anyone else.”
Concluding his interview, Maxen stated: “As a Black Jew who has dated both men and women, who has been a strength coach at the highest level of professional football, I’ve learned that how I look, what I believe in, and especially who I am physically or emotionally attracted to should not impact the way I or other people view my worth.
“And It should certainly not dictate what I feel I am capable of accomplishing.”
Kevin Maxen follows in the footsteps of other openly LGBTQ+ sports coaches, such as former San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers, and one of the most successful coaches in women’s basketball Curt Miller. Furthermore, when looking for advice on coming out and building acceptance in American sports, Maxen contacted Carl Nassib, who made history in 2021 as the first openly gay active NFL player.
© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.