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March 28, 2016

'Out!' Star Jesse Jackman Pitches Plea to Gay Athletes

SAN FRANCISCO—As a former high school and college athlete, TitanMen exclusive performer Jesse Jackman has a lot to say about the hot issue of coming out in professional sports. He shared some of his insights in TitanMen’s new baseball-themed movie Out!, for which he co-wrote the screenplay. But he also offered up more insights in a recent video recording titled “It Takes Balls,” posted on the movie’s companion website, OutBaseball.com. In the movie, Jackman drew on his personal experience struggling to reconcile his attraction to men while participating in the masculine arena of team sports. “I needed a movie like Out! when I was trying to confront my demons in the locker room twenty years ago,” Jackman said. “If I had seen this film when I was in college, it might have helped me accept myself then as the proud gay athlete I have since become. I hope Out! acts as that catalyst for someone today.” Released on March 23, Out! tells the story of baseball hall-of-famer A.J. Benson (Jackman), who decides to come out during a live television interview, hosted by sportscaster Jim Weaver (TitanMen exclusive Dallas Steele). Jackman’s commitment to the story is evident in an interview he penned for the film. Steele’s role as a celebrity news anchor also mirrors reality, as he enjoyed a 20-year career as a newscaster prior to becoming a Titan contract star last year. In “It Takes Balls,” Jackman relates his experiences in the hope of inspiring other LGBTQ athletes. “When I was growing up, I never really fit in,” says Jackman in the three-minute video. “I liked sports, but I never felt like I could play them and be comfortable in my own skin... but when I was in my early 20s I found a gay ice hockey league. The level of companionship and camaraderie was just absolutely remarkable.” Jackman, who has also played in gay rugby and flag football leagues, goes on to encourage gay and lesbian athletes to join LGBT-friendly clubs. “There’s hope out there,” Jackman concludes. “You don’t have to be good, as long as you’re out there having fun. It changed my life and it’ll change yours.”

 
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