A Gay Athlete Comes Out At A Very Catholic University And It Changes ... Nothing. Bravo, Humans.

One day, being gay and an athlete will be no big deal. But today, at this conservative school, it's huge.

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Ryan Sachire: Norte Dame is a difficult place to be a student athlete just in the sense you're pulled an pushed on both ends of the streets and in terms of the academic piece and the athletic piece. When you throw, in the social experience that these guys are going through. The maturing process they growth, process on a personal level. That's a lot they go through. I think we as human beings you see each other in maybe a superficial way sometimes, and you only see what's on the outside. There's always a potential to be more going on underneath the surface of then what you see.

Our guys are dealing with a lot of pressures and some of them you can't even guess.

Woman: For senior tennis player Matt Dooley, the conflict with his own identity became suffocating. It wasn't until revealing his struggle as a gay student athlete to best friend and team mate Greg Andrews that Dooley was able to rebuild and refocus his life.

Matt Dooley: I spoke to him and told him everything, he know the beginning of our junior year. It was after I told my parents; I still didn't trust them. I don't know why. When ultimately I didn't tell Greg I trusted him. It obviously made a big difference in my life. I started to realize like obviously that a lot of it was a problem with me. That I wasn't allowing myself to be successful and to accept myself and accept the trust and love, my parents had.

Greg Andrews: It wasn't something I was expecting to hear. But, I certainly didn't care at all. It certainly wasn't going to impact my friendship with Matt. And, that's exactly what I told him I said, ``Hey man I don't care you're still the same Dooley to me, and you're still a great friend of mine.''

Matt Dooley: It was definitely a change not to feel as alone. Obviously, for a few weeks it felt strange probably more so on my end then his. Because he was great through the whole process but for me, it was weird knowing such an intimate part of my life was not just my own, but I'm just grateful that when I did finally have that person I told it was a positive influence.

Woman: Andrews calming reassurance empowered Dooley to entrust those he was closest with.

Matt Dooley: Yeah, so I told Greg the beginning of my junior year and the summer between my junior and senior I felt pretty comfortable, and I know that I wanted try to tell the coaches and team. I wanted them to hear from me.

Woman: Dooley began with barring everything to someone who understands the burden of being a student athlete. First year head coach and former Notre Dame All-American Ryan Sachire.

Ryan Sachire: He started by sending me an email saying, we need to talk about something, and he shared exactly what he wanted to talk about. Then we talked that night on the phone for probably two hours.

Matt Dooley: Immediately, right away he was absoletely I'm a 100%
OK with it. I love you as team mate still you've done great things for us, and so it was all positive from him. That never changed as I moved forward with the team. I remember feeling confident going in. I know that it was going to be OK. My family, I had Greg and Sachire and the rest of the coaching staff being me. I told them the strangest things was when they kind of expressed a sense of gratitude kind of thank you for trusting us.

Greg Andrews: I think it's brought us closer together you know it's something that A: Matt felt he was able to share with the team. He felt that the bond with the team was strong enough this was something he could trust us with, and we could help him work through and just brought us closer together because it shows what a family we are.

Ryan Sachire: It's a tremendous amount of pride that we all have in each other in Notre Dame in Notre Dame's men's tennis that we could go through this experience as a team and be better because of it.

Matt Dooley: Notre Dame is something like I can't explain. It's some real ways it's my home; it's my team, it's my friends, it's my family, it's everything. I have given everything I got on the court for this place. Ultimately, it's given so much back to me now. It's so cliche, but its home.

There may be small errors in this transcript.

Original video by Notre Dame Athletics. Here's a quick look at how far Notre Dame has come by 4 to 5 Movement.

May 06, 2014

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