Feb 09, 2015 11:39 PM GMT
OutSportsRyan Murtha grew up a Boy Scout. He loved the Boy Scouts. His family - dad, mom and three brothers - have made the organization a family endeavor in Philadelphia, and Ryan made it his passion. Growing up from elementary school to high school he dedicated much of his free time outside of the classroom and the pool to advancing as far in the organization as he could, eventually being named an Eagle Scout. While he hasn't been able to engage with the organization much since entering college, Murtha has planned to become a Boy Scout leader upon graduating from Villanova University.
He won't be allowed to do that anymore.
In early January, while most students were still enjoying their winter break, Murtha gathered his Villanova swim team to tell them he's gay.
OutSportsThe team headed to Chipotle, where a routine post-workout meal awaited. Since it was still winter break for the rest of the school, the dining halls were closed. Thankfully Murtha was able to take advantage of the Chipotle gift cards he'd received for Christmas. "Chicken burrito with lettuce, cheese, mild salsa, sour cream and guacamole please." At Chipotle, various teammates approached him to reassure him everything was going to be fine - They weren't going to turn their backs on their friend and teammate just because he happened to be gay.
Since that day a month ago, Murtha has felt nothing but love from his team. They are now focused on their next dual meet, with Pittsburgh on Feb. 7. He has already qualified for the Big East Championships in four events: 100-meter breast, 200-meter breast, 200-meter medley and 400-meter medley.
He's also come out to his Catholic parents, whom he said are still struggling a bit but who have offered him love and support.