Virginia State Tennis Champ Comes Out To His High School On Twitter

Senior Michael Drougas was worried about how his conservative town would react — he has yet to hear one negative comment.

1. Michael Drougas, a senior at Salem High School, won the Virginia AA state high school championship as a Junior last year.

He’ll be going back to defend his title this year as a senior.

2. Drougas came out as gay to his close friends and family two years ago, but he wanted to do more for any closeted kids thinking about taking that first daunting step.

3. Two weeks ago, he decided to come out via his twitter account with a personal note.

Mikey Drougas


i’m a pretty private person, but some things just need to be said in the open. #out #thankyou

/ Via

4. In the note, Drougas touches upon his own personal experiences:

I feel like I am in a place now where I am secure enough to laugh and/or roll my eyes at those who don’t respect/agree with what it means to be attracted to the same sex, but I’m also in a place where I want others to know more about me. A person’s sexuality by no means defines a person, but it definitely has shaped how I see the world. Because of my identity, I have put up a wall out of fear of rejection for far too long. I see missed opportunities and friendships b/c of that notion of rejection. I guess this note is making up for lost time […]

My hope is that through this more understanding can be gained about my life and in general about people who are cast as different or outcasts by society. I’m by no means in a place to preach but I guess I want those who are “different” to know that even if it seems like it won’t get better, it will. The world is huge and for the most part full of love and good people. People that will embrace your identity.

6. His friends and Twitter followers naturally had his back:

7. Mikey concludes his note with:

I want to end this note thanking you. The pronoun you is very vague and I don’t even know who exactly I am talking about. I guess I am talking about the people who I currently know who are accepting and make me feel comfortable being myself. I am also talking/thanking those who I don’t know very well, but still foster tolerance and diversity. When I see someone on Twitter/Facebook post/like something regarding equality or acceptance, I usually smile. That shit means so much to me. It truly gives me hope. The little things like that are what kept me going when I felt like being myself was an uphill, never ending battle. Like being in an environment where I feel comfortable enough to post this because of the people I am surrounded by on a daily basis is fucking sweet. I feel so lucky.

So to all who will at some point read this, THANK YOU SO FUCKING MUCH. you are the change.



9. Follow Drougas, and read the full note, on his Twitter account here.

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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