It was around a year ago that Dylan Geick decided he wanted to be out and proud about his sexuality at High School. He’d just begun dating his boyfriend, Grant, and quickly decided he didn’t want to keep it a secret.
He says the news came as a complete to surprise to many of the other students at Stevenson High School, Illinois – not least his teammates on the wrestling team.
In an interview with Outsports, yesterday he said, ‘I really didn’t like having to sneak around, so I came out to the kids at my lunch table one day after last season.
‘It kind of exploded from there.’
News spread fast. Practically the whole school knew about it within hours. By the end of the day, Geick says he’d been contacted by wrestlers at seven other high schools, either asking if the news was true or offering their support to his decision to come out as gay.
He said he has yet to have received a single negative comment from any teammates or coach. He’s also largely not be subjected to taunts from opponents.
‘As a higher-level wrestler, with a decent amount of respect from the wrestling community, I think they had the respect for me as a wrestler and an athlete that that stuff wasn’t going to matter.’
Being himself did no harm to his performance in the wrestling ring. Last week, the Chicago-Tribune called him ‘the face of the Patriots’ program for two seasons.’
He will wrestle for Columbia University next season, and last weekend he placed fourth in a State wrestling meet.
Resisting the urge to post the many amazing pictures from pride today, but this one had to go up. If it weren’t for the influence of this talented, amazing, sexy, and very tall young man, I would never have been out and living a life true to myself. I had an amazing time today. Thanks to everyone who chooses love over hate. #pride2016 #loveislove
The only incidence of homophobia he recalled was when one competitor checked out his Instagram page ahead of their meet and left a nasty comment about Geick being gay. Geick has posted many photos of him and Grant on his page and there’s also a snap of them at Chicago Pride last summer.
‘To be honest, [the comment] fired me up, and I focused it into the match. I blew that kid out when we got on the mat.’
Both Geick and his boyfriend will both be transferring to New York colleges next season to study.
In a posting to his own Facebook page yesterday, Geick thanked those who had supported him over the past year: ‘Almost exactly a year ago I was struggling with the decision of coming out when I stumbled across a story on Out Sports.
‘Then yesterday I was on the phone with the very same man who broke that story, this time talking about me.
‘I’m proud to now be part of a publication that had a huge impact on my own journey and happiness. One of the coolest parts of coming out was hearing from students on social media saying I’d helped them in some way. Hopefully this article does some more of that.
‘Thanks for all the love, support, and acceptance I’ve received in the last year, it’s been truly amazing.