Notre Dame tennis player Matt Dooley says coming out reaction has been positive

Fri. March 7, 2014 11:58 AM by

Matt Dooley, the 22-year-old Notre Dame tennis player who came out gay on Monday, says reaction has been "overwhelmingly positive."

Dooley came on in an article posted on Outsports.

"Saying gay for the first time was extremely tough, almost choking, because you know your life will never be the same," Dooley said Thursday. "That was the hardest part, to move forward from there."

He said he told his teammates on the September 16 second anniversary of an attempted suicide.

Of the attempt, Dooley wrote on Outsports: "That day I wanted nothing more than to escape the anguish of coming out to my family, my friends, and, in a way, myself. Death was better than accepting – or revealing – that I was gay."

The Roman Catholic school's student handbook prohibits sex outside of marriage and calls on gay students to remain abstinent.

Dooley said that while he's received enormous support, he continues to struggle.

"I've come a long way and I'm comfortable with who I am," he said. "But I also wanted to explain that I'm not perfect. I'm not completely free from any pain from it. It's still there. Still at times it just hurts. Certain issues are still just painful," he said.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine