June 21, 2021
  • 7:30 am Committee reaffirms mandatory denominational health plan
  • 7:27 am Rapidísimas
  • 7:23 am Video: Presiding Bishop Curry on World Refugee Day
  • 7:22 am Episcopalians approach Donald Trump’s inauguration with prayer
  • 7:20 am Episcopal racial reconciliation event draws large crowd in Lexington, Virginia

first_imgObserver File Photo Matt Dooley, a senior tennis player, detailed his life as a gay athlete at Notre Dame in an article published Monday on Outsports.com.Coming outOn Sept. 16, 2011, Dooley tried to take his own life. As he wrote in his article, “that day I wanted nothing more than to escape the anguish of coming out to my family, my friends and, in a way, myself.”Dooley talks now about internalized homophobia, about not liking yourself, about a fear of society and fears of abandonment and worthlessness.“When you’re dealing with something like depression or intense fear like that from a social stigma, it really does interfere with every aspect of your life,” he said.His tennis game suffered. He couldn’t memorize things well in class. His mind wandered out of worry and fear when he listened to lectures.Dooley, though, was able to find “a better place, and then acceptance came.” He came out to his parents in July 2012, following his sophomore year. He then came out to teammate Greg Andrews at the beginning of his junior year.“I was surprised,” Andrews said. “I wasn’t really expecting that when he did tell me, but like Matt mentioned in the article, I was just like, ‘Wow, I’m surprised, but I don’t care at all. You’re still one of my friends, and you’re still the same Dooley to me, and it doesn’t matter at all.’”Dooley then came out to his coaches in early September and the rest of the team in mid-September. The team’s reaction?“Support. It was 110 percent support,” Irish head coach Ryan Sachire said. “I can honestly tell you since that point in time, there’s not been one awkward moment. There’s not one issue within our squad. It’s just simply been something [like], okay, this is a part of who Matt is. We love Matt. We care for Matt. He’s a great teammate of ours and a great friend of our players and it’s who he is and we love him and respect him for it and we’re going to move on and be a great team.”Dooley said he wasn’t too worried about coming out to his teammates.“I expected it to be positive, but you kind of get a hard shell after a while,” Dooley said. “There’s obviously the few that I was worried about. But I also knew that if there’s a room of 15 guys and two or three were negative, they’d get squashed immediately. So I wasn’t that worried. And like I said, all 15 were 100 percent with me.”Dooley said the support he received from his team and family has been crucial to him in taking the next step to come out publicly Monday.“I guess the one thing I’d tell any student-athlete is just make sure you’re doing as much as you can to allow yourself to be happy,” Dooley said. “You’re not alone. There are other people struggling with it, too. Worst comes to worst, you’re still not alone. And that is the biggest fear. So, one, just take care of yourself. Make sure you’re not holding yourself back. That’s the biggest thing. And two, you’re not alone. No matter what it is, no matter how bad things go.” Matt Dooley returned to campus around 2 a.m. Monday after the Irish lost to Virginia on Sunday in Charlottesville, Va.A second-semester senior, Dooley is taking six credits, and he doesn’t have class on Mondays until 12:30 p.m. So he set his alarm for 11 a.m.“I woke up at like 10:30 to my phone going nuts,” Dooley said.Dooley wrote an article on Outsports.com that detailed his life as a gay athlete at Notre Dame. In the article, Dooley said he attempted suicide in 2011 because “death was better than accepting — or revealing — that I was gay.” In September, two years after attempting suicide, Dooley came out to his teammates. A few months later, Dooley became ready to go public with his story.The original piece on Outsports.com had been tweeted more than 550 times and shared on Facebook more than 5,600 times as of Wednesday afternoon. Dooley said since that 10:30 a.m. wake-up call, “it’s been 24-7,” receiving countless phone calls, texts, tweets, emails and more.“So far it’s been all positive. I’m still waiting for that first negative,” Dooley said of the reaction he’s received. “We’ve gotten emails saying we’ve already saved people’s lives, which has been great.“I’m not a Twitter guy, and it blew my mind how fast every aspect of my life could be reached in one second, because I was getting calls and texts from people I went to high school [with], people I played tennis with, people from all over the country. D-I tennis programs all over, people text me, ‘Do you mind if I share this with my team? It’s such a powerful message.’ It’s like, how did you know about this already? Wow. It was published an hour-and-a-half ago. So it’s been wild. Obviously hectic is probably saying it lightly.”Dooley said he decided to write his piece to tell people in similar situations to his in 2011 (and before) that they’re not alone and to be visible in the public sphere as a “factor of legitimacy” to the You Can Play initiative in the works at Notre Dame. In tandem with the Student Welfare and Development office in the athletic department, Dooley has been working with You Can Play, an organization that works to fight homophobia in sports.“Our current student-athletes and prospective student-athletes could look at it and say, ‘Well, I could feel at home at this university,’” Dooley said. “So that’s been the main goal of that.”He said once he was ready to share his story, he wanted to do so as quickly as possible before he was through as a student-athlete, before someone could ask why he didn’t do anything while he was in school playing. Helping othersOnce Dooley told his teammates and Sachire he was going to get involved with helping others, Sachire and Dooley went to senior associate athletic director Mike Harrity, who serves as associate athletics director for student-athlete development and community programming. Dooley has since worked closely with Student Welfare and Development program coordinator Ally Stanton, who has been the office’s main contact with You Can Play.You Can Play was launched in 2012. One of its co-founders, Patrick Burke, is a 2006 Notre Dame graduate. Burke’s brother, Brendan, who was a student manager of the Miami (Ohio) hockey team, died in a car crash in February 2010, a few months after he publicly came out as gay. Patrick, who says You Can Play “is our tribute to [Brendan],” is also the Director of Player Safety for the National Hockey League (NHL). You Can Play is an official partner of the NHL and Major League Soccer. The organization has also done extensive work with Major League Baseball and the National Football League, among others.In the collegiate world, You Can Play has done different on-campus presentations at dozens of schools, and it has a video project in which schools can send in their own ‘You Can Play’ videos. Burke said once Stanton got in touch with him in late 2013, You Can Play began planning its Notre Dame initiatives. One of those initiatives is getting Irish student-athletes to participate in a video “to show their support for LGBT athletes,” Burke said.“Our videos are pretty simple,” Burke said. “Our motto is ‘If you can play, you can play.’ If you’re good enough to help a team win, then your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. So whether it’s tennis, whether it’s softball, whether it’s fencing, whether it’s football, if you’re a contributing athlete, then who you love off the field, ice, court, whatever, doesn’t matter.“It’s a very easy way for athletes to get involved and just say, ‘Yeah, I went to Notre Dame because I want to win championships. If the person next to me can help me win a championship, that’s all that matters.’”Burke said they’re also working through the logistics of an on-campus presentation — either in late summer or early fall, if not in the spring — in which You Can Play will address as many athletes as possible.“They’re called invisible athlete forums, and we bring in LGBT athletes to speak about their experiences in a locker room where a closeted athlete often feels invisible,” Burke said.Burke said he is not surprised at the initiatives in the works at Notre Dame.“Nothing we do contradicts Catholic teaching,” Burke said. “Our message is simply that you should treat other people with respect and dignity. And that’s lifted directly out of the Catechism [of the Catholic Church].”Burke said in the first couple months of You Can Play’s launch, the organization received a letter from a canonical lawyer, a priest whose job is to study canon law for the Church, who said You Can Play’s mission statement falls directly in line with Catholic teaching on homosexuality.“Everything we do, everything we preach — take care of each other, show each other love and respect — that’s all exactly in line with the Catholic teaching,” Burke said. “So when people ask us, ‘Are you surprised that a school like Notre Dame would support a gay athlete?’, I’m happy. It’s come a long way since when I was there. I know that. It’s only been eight years now, but I can tell for a fact that a lot has changed since I left.“But I don’t think it’s surprising anymore. The vast majority of Notre Dame students are supportive of their LGBT classmates. … I’m proud of Notre Dame for getting behind this, for getting behind Matt. I’m happy that they’re behind it. But I don’t know if ‘surprise’ is the word that I’d choose. I think that would sell Notre Dame short if I said I was surprised that they rallied to support one of their students.”And that student, in turn, hopes to change things for other students. Before heading to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where Dooley will continue his studies (he has been exposed mostly to orthopedic surgery and internal medicine but is keeping an open mind), he wanted to embark on the You Can Play initiative “so that it can do its most beneficial work for anybody that needs it.”“Going back to the roots of You Can Play, it’s all respect and not politics,” Dooley said. “You don’t have to agree with someone’s sexual orientation, but it doesn’t have to do with that. It doesn’t have to do with your sexual orientation, your gender, your race. It’s all about just respecting your teammates and your peers.“Everyone can get behind that.”Sports writer Mary Green contributed to this story.Tags: Matt Dooley, Patrick Burke, Student Welfare and Development, You Can Playlast_img read more

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first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Support women in the workplaceApril 2 symbolized the date that all women must work into 2019 to make the equivalent of what men earned last year.But today, June 10, is the day working mothers in particular must work to catch up to working fathers. That is 11 days later than it was in 2018 (May 30). Moms lost pay equity ground this year.This matters because more than 70 percent of moms with young children are working, meaning their earnings are critical to their families’ financial security. Equal pay is not a gender issue; it is a family success issue.As a longtime volunteer with the Junior Leagues of New York State Public Affairs Committee and a working mom, I encourage everyone to contact their state legislators to respectfully request they work to develop policies and pass strong workplace laws that recognize the dynamics of the modern family by supporting working women. Indeed, with session in Albany winding down, ask them not to go home at the end of the month without moving on a host of pay equity bills, including the state salary history ban.Denise Murphy McGrawNiskayunaThe writer is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties.To save planet, take action, dump TrumpI’m writing to ask Americans to wake up and save our country and planet. To do this, you need to vote President Trump out of office.This administration is gutting our Environmental Protection Agency and refusing to acknowledge climate change is real. Their plan is to manipulate the data models so the EPA will no longer track the future impact of global warming after 2040. Looking out only 20 years will predict a much brighter future, but that will ignore the increasing effects of climate change.Perhaps you will shuffle off this mortal coil before then and you don’t care. Well I say shame on you. I have read all these letters purporting to be pro-life, or pro-business, or pro-economy. The greatest positive impact you can have with all those agendas is to support every effort to confront and help develop solutions to climate change. How? Just do a Google search for every-day things you can do. Or call one of the many non-profit groups devoted to saving our environment. And most importantly, vote this president out of office.Tom Brokaw coined the phrase, America’s “Greatest Generation,” those who survived the Great Depression and served in World War II. With apologies to the environmental activists out there, when history is recorded, the current crop of adults might be called the “Greediest Generation.” Climate change is not brain surgery; it’s science. You do not get to make up your own facts. I implore everyone to do something. The work will be hard, but if you truly believe America is great, we can do it.Michael WinnSaratoga SpringsAdvocate for policy for the ‘whole child’The June 3 “Area school districts warned about racially disparate suspension rates” Daily Gazette article is an excellent indication for parents and concerned adults to continue advocacy of the state Board of Regents’ ‘whole child’ social and emotional education policy.The state government has established laws, Education Law Article 17, authorizing the Board of Regents, the education commissioner, school boards, administrators, faculty and residents to establish a curriculum of social and emotional health education and supportive services.School boards’ code of conduct include disciplinary measures involving suspension from school, but implementation of ‘whole child’ guidance services during this punishment period of education is neglected.Social worker counseling with the individual to address the social and emotional problems can enhance development of the ‘whole child.’As we know, adult white nationalists and drug-dealing bullies point out by their behavior their lack of social and emotional development and lack of comprehension of love thy neighbor as thyself.The immense responsibility for educators, parents and residents to embrace the ‘whole child’ guidance policy with enhanced social and emotional learning services for youth and adults requires consideration.Advocacy for expansion of school districts and municipal partnership to improve their county shared-services plan could improve public health and behavioral services for adults and youth.The consolidated funding application process of the regional economic development councils can access funds to enhance 21st Century Community Learning Center services in our communities.Michael McGlynnWatervliet Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionChange behaviors, change the planetI’m reading “Climate Church, Climate World” by Jim Antal. The book gives examples of how thinking has changed to the positive by people gathering together, using their voices and strengths to change situations. Of course, his goal is to change minds and actions related to climate change, but examples include slavery, voting rights and attitudes towards gays. I mention this book because China is having a plastic-container problem now that its population is ordering so much home-delivered food.Ads here encourage Americans to follow China’s example. Recently, FedEx said it needs to deliver products seven days a week year-round to keep up with the demands by Americans for stuff. This ordering leads to unanswered questions. Where do we put the plastic containers when we are finished with them? What are we doing with our lives that we can’t leave the house to go shopping? What happens to the stuff at the end of our lives? As we are pushed to be less active and less reliant on our humanness, and more reliant on Siri and the ilk, we need to ask ourselves who we are as a people. Are we being pushed to become a nation of hoarders supporting our national economy? Or are we the creative and energetic Americans who built things and acted with independence? It’s sad that people speak of binge watching certain shows as if it was a great accomplishment — probably while eating food they ordered in plastic containers. This does hurt our Earth.Janice WalzScotia St. Mary’s shows how much it cares As we approach the end of the school year, I want to personally thank the teachers and the principal at our Catholic School, St. Mary’s Ballston Spa. I can personally recount many instances when the teachers showed kindness to my daughter when she needed it.One night, I dropped her off at the Kids’ Night Out School Halloween party, and upon not seeing her friends right away, my daughter stayed by the front door, hesitant to enter the school.Our principal, Mrs. Fitzgerald, didn’t skip a beat. She came right over to my daughter, complimented her on her costume and led her to where her second-grade classmates were waiting. It’s these little acts of kindness from the educators that show parents that they genuinely care. Now in third grade, my daughter likes to doodle and write notes on her classwork. Sometimes discouraged with the math, she’ll write in the margin “This is hard!” Her third-grade teacher, Mrs. Eddy, will take the time to jot back an encouraging note such as “Why? You’re doing great!”My family feels truly blessed to send our children to St. Mary’s School in Ballston Spa. I would encourage all parents to give St. Mary’s a call to schedule a tour. The dream of having a child who wakes up on a Monday morning excited to go to school isn’t a dream at all. It’s a reality for us at St. Mary’s.Jennifer VanDeCarrBallston Lakelast_img read more

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