Former NFL Player Tells LGBT Students: “Be True To Yourself”

Former NFL defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo will speak to students at the College of Charleston on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.  He will share his message of “Being True to Yourself” at 7:00 p.m. in the Stern Center Ballroom.  The event is free and open to the public.

Tuaolo played professional football for nine years. In 2002, after retiring from football, he made headlines when he announced that he was gay during an interview on HBO’s Real Sports. Tuaolo is now a public advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. He travels the world, telling his story and talking about his book, “Alone in the Trenches: My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL”.

“I think Esera Tuaolo’s appearance is important to the College and community because he represents two groups that don’t visibly come together often enough, the LGBT and athletic communities,” says Jessica Dugan, a junior at the College and president of the Gay-Straight Alliance. “Tuaolo is a role model for athletes and college students who may be contemplating coming out because he represents the fact that sexual orientation does not define an individual.”

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is observed annually by members of the LGBT community worldwide on October 11. The civil awareness day encourages individuals to open up about their sexual orientation and promotes greater self-acceptance among LGBT people and greater acceptance by the community at large.

Tuaolo’s visit to the College is sponsored by the Office of Student Life and co-sponsored by New Student Programs, Residence Life and Housing, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Cougar Activities Board.

For more information, the Office of Student Life or call 843.953.2291.