11/05/2014 12:41 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Robbie Manson, New Zealand Olympic Rower, Comes Out As Gay In Powerful Essay

Anthony Au-Yeung via Getty Images

Two and a half years ago I made the scariest decision of my life: to come out.

I feel like there has always been a confident, outgoing side of me dying to come out. But from an early age I realized that I was different from most other guys. I desperately tried to hide that "different" side of myself. In doing so I inadvertently became very quiet and shy, shutting myself off and avoiding attention for fear that someone might discover my deepest, darkest secret: I'm gay.

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