In part 1 of our interview with Robbie Rogers, the soccer stud reflected on his return to soccer as Major League Soccer’s first openly gay active player. Purposefully so, we had sat down to chat at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, as Robbie sought to connect with more LGBT youth in the area. I know, I know — swoon. I can guarantee you may fall in love with him that much more!
During his time at the organization’s Youth Center on Highland, Robbie toured the facility and met with a handful of youth (many of whom participate in sports) who were interested in talking to the athlete about his story. On the tour with CEO Lorri L. Jean, Robbie learned about the various aspects of the center, such as its GED completion program and an emergency shelter that temporarily houses homeless youth. It was def an eye-opening experience, and we’re thankful the center opened its doors to our cameras to share the experience with you, below!
After the tour, Robbie sat down for a Q&A with an awaiting group of youth, who could give Barbara Walters a run for her money. The group — from the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s LifeWorks peer mentorship program — ranged from 15 to 23 years of age, included past and current athletes and represented many sexual and gender identities. It was so rewarding to be a part of the vibrant discussion! With permission, we’ve included a few of the interactions below.
For Robbie, it was an experience that, while emotional and hard to comprehend at times, further ignited his dedication to use his voice to advocate for the LGBT community both on and off the field. “(I’ve had) a lot of different emotions since I’ve been here in the past two hours,” Robbie told us as we wrapped the day, “Eye-opening, because I’ve never been to a center like this. Sad to hear the statistics and to see … how many kids need to come in here that don’t have the love that I’ve had. But then also motivating to continue to speak to people. It is nice to hear that [the center] is growing and more people are backing it. I hope there are more places like this for kids to stay.”
To learn more about the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and how you can support its programs, visit lagaycenter.org. To find an LGBT resource center in your community, visit lgbtcenters.org. In celebration of Pride Month, make sure to let us know on Twitter why you’re #proud to support the LGBT community.
Without further ado, check out the inspiring clips below and let us know what you think. Besides that he’s most precious thing ever. I dieeee. Sigh.
+ Bonus Clip: Robbie Rogers gets asked if he’s single
+ Bonus Clip: Robbie Rogers chats fashion design & his many titles
June is Pride Month on MTV Act! All month long, we’re celebrating young, change-making, action-taking pioneers who are making outstanding strides to ensure LGBT discrimination is a thing of the past. It’s 2013 — are you #proud? Whether you’re out, questioning, an ally or just here to learn more, we all deserve the same respect, love and support. Let us know why you’re #proud to support the LGBT community this June by taking action below.
Get involved with Athlete Ally, because a person's sexuality or gender has nothing to do with their sports skills!