Gay sportswriter comes out in column

Published Jan. 6, 2011 12:00 a.m. ET

A Boston Herald sportswriter held a “coming-out party” in his column Thursday when he revealed to readers that he is gay.

Steve Buckley, 56, revealed that he has battled with the idea of coming out in one of his stories for years, writing, “I haven’t been fair to my family, my friends or my co-workers. And I certainly haven’t been fair to myself.”

Buckley wrote that his mother had set him on a course for revealing his sexuality seven years ago, but a family tragedy intervened.

“Just over seven years ago, before Thanksgiving, we were getting into the car outside of a CVS when my mother said, “I think you should go ahead and do that story you’ve been talking about,” Buckley writes.


“Yes,” she said. “Just go ahead and do it. And then we’ll have a party.”

“She was talking about the story in which I would say that I am gay,” writes Buckley.


But shortly after returning from a week-long vacation, the point at which Buckley intended to write the coming-out column, his mother died after suffering a heart attack.

Years passed as Buckley struggled to find the resolve to make the announcement his mother had encouraged him to put on paper until, he writes, stories of gay men and women committing suicide guided him “to the belief that if more people are able to be honest about who they are, ultimately fewer people will feel such devastating pressure.”

“For too many years I’ve been on the sidelines of Boston’s gay community but not in the game -- figuratively and literally, as I feel I would have had a pretty good career in the (gay) Beantown Softball League,” Buckley quips.

“It’s my hope that from now on I’ll be more involved,” he writes. “I’m not really sure what I mean by being 'involved,' but this is a start: I’m gay.”

Buckley has been a regularly featured sports columnist for the Herald since 1995. He is the author of several books including “Wicked Good Year,” which details the 2007 seasons of the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics.