A record number of out gay athletes are playing college football this year.

Nervously standing on stage, microphone in hand, Xavier Colvin was about to share some life-changing news with his teammates.

“I don't want to disappoint my teammates or coaches or be looked at as different,” Colvin, a redshirt sophomore on Butler University's football team, later explained to Outsports of what he was thinking in the moment.

But he knew the time had come: He was about to come out as gay.


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It took a while to get there, though. Colvin has dealt with bouts of depression and struggled to come to terms with his identity. His father — although loving and supportive — is macho, masculine, two-time Super Bowl champion Rosevelt Colvin. Growing up, the Butler linebacker had no role models in the sports world who were out of the closet.

Standing before his teammates in early August — not entirely sure about the responses he'd have to face — was a major step forward.

In front of his fellow Butler Bulldogs, Colvin opened up about his childhood, personal experiences in sports, and his sexual orientation.

As Outsports reported:

"It had been an amazing transformation for Colvin that had happened so rapidly, going from completely closeted to talking about being gay in front of the entire team. Colvin talked to his entire team about his upbringing, he talked about football, and he talked about being a gay man in the sport that had for so long felt like it didn't want him there."

The response from his teammates made all the nerves worth it though.

"Afterwards I got texts and phone calls,” Colvin said. “The freshmen who didn't know me came and shook my hand. And they all said, 'we’ve got your back.' They told me how proud they were of me. Not even a single negative reaction. It was all positive.”

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Colvin's coming out experience isn't just noteworthy at a personal level; it's reflective of an evolving college football landscape, with more welcoming coaches and players accepting LGBTQ athletes on and off the field.

There will be a record number of out LGBTQ players during the 2017-2018 college football season.

Kansas State's Scott Franz, Arizona's My-King Johnson, Marian's Darrion McAlister, Capital's Wyatt Pertuset, and Kyle Kurdziolek of the University of St. Francis join Colvin as out and proud LGBTQ players making this season one for the books, Outsports reported.

Every single one of them has had positive experiences coming out on their respective teams.

"I've never felt so loved and so accepted ever in my life than when I [came out]," Frantz told ESPN in July. "And ever since then it's been great. I've grown so much closer to my teammates since."

Homophobia and transphobia in sports are still very real, but progress is being made.

An international 2015 study found that, overall, 8 in 10 lesbian, gay, and bisexual athletes reported witnessing or experiencing some form of homophobia in sports. Among the six western countries in the study, the U.S. ranked worst. That's why the work being done by organizations making athletics more inclusive, like Athlete Ally, remain vital.

Still, the trend lines toward acceptance are certainly pointing in the right direction. And for players like Colvin, it's making a world of difference.

"I got so caught up trying to please others that I fell into a path of always trying to help others and not myself," Colvin explained. "Finally I became courageous enough to be myself.”

Learn more about these six LGBTQ college football players in the video by Outsports below:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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