The Courage Game

milkboys News & Opinions, Sports & Activity 17 Comments

Why does visibility in sports matter? Why is it important that people in professional sports, idols to many kids and adults, don’t have to hide who they are? Here’s why:

When 12-year-old Braeden Lange was being bullied by classmates after coming out to his friends and family this spring, he was so distraught he considered suicide.

Desperate to help, his father started scouring the internet for resources, and stumbled across a decade-old TV feature of out former Dartmouth College lacrosse goalie Andrew Goldstein, the first openly gay male athlete to play in any American professional sport league.

A simple email from Lange’s father to Goldstein, now a doctor and medical researcher in Los Angeles, sparked the conversation that eventually created Philadelphia’s first Courage Game, a lacrosse contest intended to encourage and support gay youth while promoting equality.

Want to know how the story continues? Check out the video below:

Comments 17

    1. @green_dinosaur
      ❦Thanks for posting the links for the enlarged copy of Braeden’s letter and his video😀

  1. Did anyone else experience one or more abrupt stopping of this video before it’s “end”?

    The time says 11:05, but at that point, it seems to stop again as if the story wasn’t really completed.

    But, what I saw is a great video. And he has a very interesting color of eyes — are they a blue-grey color?.

    1. It also stopped abrupt with me, feels like you miss something.

      Wonderful story tough and have to agree on the eye color, lovely blue-grey combo

    2. The video on the espn.go.com website has the following properties:

      Format profile: Base Media
      Codec ID: isom
      Duration: 11mn 6s
      Overall bit rate: 1 156 Kbps
      Encoded date: UTC 1970-01-01 00:00:00

      Codec ID: avc1
      Codec ID/Info: Advanced Video Coding
      Duration: 11mn 6s
      Bit rate: 1 050 Kbps
      Nominal bit rate: 1 200 Kbps
      Width: 864 pixels
      Height: 480 pixels
      Display aspect ratio: 16:9
      Frame rate mode: Constant
      Frame rate: 30.000 fps
      Color space: YUV
      Chroma subsampling: 4:2:0
      Bit depth: 8 bits
      Scan type: Progressive
      Bits/(Pixel*Frame): 0.084
      Stream size: 83.3 MiB (91%)
      Writing library: x264 core 116

      So the Duration is 11 minutes and 6 seconds
      a screenshot of the last frame of the video:

      http://postimg.org/image/inefeayud/

      I agree with you Penboy in that there does seem to be an abrupt stopping of this video
      (of course I didn’t want the video to end at all really: maybe there will be a movie ;)

  2. What Braden doesn’t know, is that as a white, well-to-do, blonde haired gay male (who has facial features to suggest he’ll be a hell of a looker when he grows up), he has nothing to worry about. Wish it was the same for all gays and lesbians and transgendered.

    That said, this video gave me a big big smile!

  3. Apparently this is also leading to acting and modeling for Braeden. He is one in a group of people posting as Kixnlawlcy on instagram. For his profile he wrote:

    What’s up everybody? It’s Braeden! And I’ll be running Friday’s on this account. Here’s a little bit about me: My name is Braeden Lange I’m am 12 years old and I am a huge fanboy over Kian lawley and the o2l boys. Now you all may be thinking (he’s a boy, why does he like Kian lawley?) I’m here to explain that. Now I may not have been with o2l since the beginning but I can tell you that it seems like I’ve known them forever. I discovered o2l last summer. I was feeling really down because I knew that I was different than everybody else. Last summer I realized that I was gay. And I was so scared to tell anybody about it. I was just so upset all the time and it was hard for me to find happiness in my heart. But then I discovered o2l. When I was upset about anything, I would go to my room, and watch their videos. Back then the best feeling was just being tucked in your covers, under your blanket, pulling an all nighter o2l marathon. I would watch all their videos. They made me happy. They gave me hope. So I would watch o2l almost every night but then something big happened. December 8th, 2014. Connor Franta came out to the world. And that ignited a spark for so many people like me. I came out exactly two months later. February 8th 2015. Connor Franta was the reason that I was able to come out. He gave me the courage to do it. If he could do it, so could I. And I’m happier than ever now that I came out. I’ve gained so many friends and I’ve earned so much respect. I’m now a model and actor and have done auditions with Aeropostale, Ralph Lauren etc. But I’m also an athlete. I’m the captain on my lacrosse team and its my job to lead my team. By setting example. I have a sportcenter piece coming out August 30th. About my story and how others have helped me along the way. I’m so thankful to be so privileged and respected by my peers, teammates, friends and family. You can also look up “Courage Game” on Google. Go do it now and see what you find. It’s too much for me to explain so I’m going to let you guys go read about it. Even though Connor Franta helped me come out to the world, my two favorites are tied between Kian and Connor.

    http://instagram.com/kixnlawlcy/

  4. Read through ALL of this post carefully before replying to it.

    This quote by Braeden caught my attention for a couple of reasons:

    “One person said, ‘Do you suck [D-word] for money? I think that was the worst, probably.”

    And in many ways, this is the crutch of his entire [critical] situation. The obvious reason:

    This is such a common “bully-line” that other boys say in an attempt to put down a classmate they even think is or may be gay. What’s pathetic is how one-sided this put-down really is. Do other boys go up to a boy that’s mentioned sex and say, Do you lick pussy [for money]?” just because they’re assumed to be straight?

    Straights (and definitely the religious) don’t even stop to think about what they’re saying as long as it sounds like a ‘difinitive/mean enough’ put-down to a gay person. They really take after their parents in this regard, even trying to “one-up” them.

    .

    Another thing about that quote is two-fold. First, as would be obvious, his response is to deflect any overt (or even covert) sexual elements of being gay because it’s most probably embarrassing to him — and typically natural for a 12 year old in today’s society (particularly America’s).

    Also, it’s difficult for one around his age (and yes, even younger) to admit and accept that [the penis] really is a major part of being homosexual (not all, obviously [see below]) and for males, the primary reason we’re called “homo-sexuals” (although the actual meaning of the word is actually human sexuality). After all for males, without the obvious penis desire, we wouldn’t be called “homosexuals”.

    And of course, this gets intensely psychological and emotional as well when one recognizes the real physical aspects of homosexuality. I’m not denying that a gay male also experiences the same love and intelligence that heterosexuals experience. But just pointing out the fairly obvious physicality of it and that young teens and preteens also recognize this deep inside them without actually saying it.

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