‘True Life’ Check-In: Stephen And Desiree Share How Life Has Changed Since Coming Out

MTV’s latest “True Life” explored the stories of two gay college athletes who struggled with coming out to their teammates. We had an opportunity to check in with them to find out how their lives have changed since filming wrapped — take a look at the follow-up Q&As below.

DESIREE:

desireeblogWhat have you been up to since we last filmed with you?
I’ve just been trying to focus on finishing the semester. My friends and I still hang out as much as possible.

Are you currently seeing anyone?
As of now, I’m single. I do meet women on occasion, but I’m currently not dating.

How did you feel when you were told you were no longer allowed to cheer for your school?
When I found out I couldn’t cheer anymore, I cried like a baby. I was devastated.

How’s the transfer process going with the new school you’re looking to go to?
I’m still waiting for them to receive my transcript before they can make a decision, but I have already secured a spot on their cheer squad.

How has being out affected your relationships, social and family life?
Coming out definitely helped give me more self-confidence. It also taught me to never be afraid to be myself, no matter who’s around. My friends and family are still supportive of me.

What was it like sharing your story with us?
Sharing my story was probably the scariest and bravest thing I’ve ever done. I’m glad I was able to share this experience with MTV. They were wonderful the entire time.

STEPHEN:stephenblog

What have you been up to since we last filmed with you?
I’ve been working at my new job and coaching. It keeps me at pretty much full-time hours, so it’s been really busy. Thankfully we’re doing some awesome projects at work, so it makes it worth it. My training did take a bit of a hit the past few weeks because of traveling and extended work hours, but I’m back in my regular schedule mornings and evenings.

Have you talked to your dad any further about your sexuality?
I have been able to talk to my parents, but they’re still working to understand everything. We don’t talk about my sexuality, but my middle sister, who just found out, is actually really supportive and just wants to know more about my boyfriend.

Are you still rowing and training for the Olympics? What kind of things are you doing to prepare yourself?
I am still training and preparing myself as best I can. After graduating, I took some time off out of the water to just give my body a break. I switched to running and spinning to keep cardio. Now I’m back on the erg and on the water looking to drop my testing times. I’ve added a new weights style of workouts and I’m really pushing my “healthy diet” more.

How has being out affected your career, social and family life?
It’s been much more peaceful for me. I feel like I can focus on the “right” things now. I feel faster on the water, my skills are better than ever and I feel like I’ve just been enjoying everything. I can talk about my boyfriend with my sisters and that’s new for me. I’m not “afraid” to just let people see that part of me anymore.

What was it like sharing your story with us?
Sharing my story was what I needed to do. It pushed me to do things I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. It was like I was ready, but I was afraid of the subject myself. By doing this, I really hope that it shows that there is both a personal struggle and an external stigma, but that the recipient’s side also has a struggle. I hope that one day no one has to feel this way.