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David Testo Breaks a Barrier

November 10, 2011

Needing a bit of good news today, I was surprised to see it came from a very unlikely source from the Crew’s past. David Testo was a forward who played 33 games, scoring a goal and registering four assists for the Crew in 2004 and 2005. He was a more technical player on the incredibly hard to watch 2004/05 Columbus teams. Today, he also announced that he’s gay.

I have had friends who have struggled with coming out publicly. They have had to hide a part of themselves to fit in and I’ve seen the toll it takes. This is part of who they are and it’s exhausting to always be on guard. Being a professional athlete in the public eye, Testo felt the same way:

Living the life of a professional athelete and being gay is incredibly hard. It’s like carrying around a secret, carrying around baggage, just never allowing to be yourself and it’s incredibly energy draining.

I am impressed that he felt confident enough to come out publicly. It’s an incredibly hard decision to make and it takes strong personal courage and the backing of family, friends, and teammates. I am glad that he has that support structure. I also hope that his decision may help those struggling with their sexuality. Despite great advances in gay rights in recent years, it is often still extremely hard to be gay.

On the field, he has spent the last five years in lower leagues with two years in Vancouver and three in Montreal until being released last month. It’s a stretch to think he will get another chance in MLS, but he has already made his mark on the sport. That is the more impressive legacy.

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