He's an athlete, a former Division I basketball player who was good enough to start for most of his four seasons, pivotal seasons as the Wildcats blossomed into a national power.
He's a musician, with a video ("Welcome to the Jungle") that has gone mini-viral on YouTube and another one ("302") about to drop this week.
He's an artist, a performer who is packing the club scene in New York, people responding to his music and his message.
He's a businessman, a manager at a world-renowned fashion retailer. And he happens to be gay.
"I'm trying to have a voice, and I want that voice to reach as many people as it can," he said. "I mean, look at me. I'm black. I'm gay. I'm like a quadruple minority, and I feel like a little piece of me resides in everybody. Maybe there's a kid out there who doesn't think he's OK, and he can look at me and say, 'OK, he played college basketball. He went overseas. He has a music career and now he's living his life. Now he's who he wants to be and he's happy and confident and comfortable.' It's my responsibility to talk about that."
Sheridan says he was out to teammates and dated guys while he was at Villanova. "He wasn't out publicly in college, he didn't entirely hide, either. ... There was plenty of stereotypical ammunition and rumor mill gossip to load up opposing fans."
"I remember at some games, especially Saint Joe's games, they were unreal," said Sheridan, recalling taunts about specific homosexual acts. "At first, I was like, 'My grandma is sitting right there,'" Sheridan said. "And as a human being you feel it when people say nasty things. But then I thought, 'That's just stupid. If you were gay, you'd like to do [those things], too."
The taunting and hostility from fans—and possibly from fellow players—surely speaks to why so few premier athletes are willing to publicly come out. "Sheridan [graduated] four years ago [and] is only the second former Division 1 male basketball player to publicly come out of the closet as gay," reports Outsports. "John Amaechi was the first. Former Long Beach State 49er Travon Free previously came out as bisexual."
It's an excellent article and well worth the time to read. Sheridan's profile is also ESPN.com's top-ranked and most-sent article today. Congratulations and keep 'em talking, Will. Visibility means everything.
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