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Soccer Star Comes Out, Scores Support

Senior+Adam+Burrnett+is+a+striker%2Fforward+for+the+Parkway+Central+varsity+soccer+team.+He+recently+came+out+as+gay.+
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Soccer Star Comes Out, Scores Support

Senior Adam Burrnett is a striker/forward for the Parkway Central varsity soccer team. He recently came out as gay.

Senior Adam Burrnett is a striker/forward for the Parkway Central varsity soccer team. He recently came out as gay.

Jenna Lazaroff

Senior Adam Burrnett is a striker/forward for the Parkway Central varsity soccer team. He recently came out as gay.

Jenna Lazaroff

Jenna Lazaroff

Senior Adam Burrnett is a striker/forward for the Parkway Central varsity soccer team. He recently came out as gay.

Jenna Lazaroff, Features Editor

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When the soccer team won state, it was only the second most memorable thing to happen to senior Adam Burnett. He views his two most memorable moments of high school as winning the 2017-2018 state championship and coming out as gay.

“It was definitely a weight off my shoulders,” Burnett said. “That’s the first thing I felt. I was keeping a secret for so long and I didn’t tell anyone and then to finally just let it out was a sense of relief and one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”

I was keeping a secret for so long and I didn’t tell anyone and then to finally just let it out was a sense of relief and one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”

— Adam Burnett, senior

Burnett came out to his family first, and after he proceeded to slowly tell his friends. Burnett attended Green Trails Elementary and has numerous relationships with students that have carried him, some of which have lasted all 13 years.

“My parents and family were definitely the hardest to tell because if they didn’t love and accept who I was, than no one would,” Burnett said. “I was most nervous to tell my dad and my older brother because they always use the words ‘fag’ and ‘gay’ as a bad slur so I just figured they thought being gay was a bad thing. But after I came out they both turned out to be some of my biggest supporters. They even felt guilty for saying those things. It was a lot easier to come out to my friends and everyone else. But the kids on the soccer team were also hard to tell.”

Camden Dunne, a senior, was the first on the school team to know. Burnett came out after the soccer season had already concluded and they had already won their state championship. Dunne knew before Burnett came out publicly because he wanted someone to lean on, just in case.

“Camden had my back through the whole thing,” Burnett said. “Once I told the whole team, everyone appeared to be fine with it. Some of the seniors last year were weirded out and awkward with me being gay. I could tell because they started to put distance between us when they usually didn’t.”

But this year has been a different experience. This year’s captains including Dunne, senior Evan Karagiannis, and senior Charlie Meier, all wear rainbow captain bands during each game in support of Burnett. Every single individual on the team, as well as Head Coach Brian Adam, also known as B.A., have been supporting him on and off the field.

“I haven’t felt like they changed or looked at me differently for being gay,” Burnett said. “B.A. has been like a guidance counselor for me, not that he necessarily helped me so much with being gay but he helps me with struggles life tends to throw at me. He’s always been there to help me. He’s also helped me learn a lot about myself and how to cope and deal with situations.”

Although he claims coming out is the best thing to happen to him, the journey hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine. There are days Burnett wishes he didn’t come out. As for anyone, people have good and bad days. He sometimes believes that it would be easier if he were straight.

“Going to college straight would be easier, I think,” Burnett said. “A lot of the people in this school I’ve known since middle school and are more accepting of me. But in college I’m going to have to tell a lot of new people. I’m going to play soccer next fall and I think the guys on the team would like me more or feel more comfortable around me.”

Burnett’s escape from reality is the soccer field. He is committed to attend Rockhurst university on a basically full ride scholarship, only having to pay for the meal plan. Burnett has won numerous awards during his two years of high school soccer, including Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All-State, First Team All Region, and First Team All Conference.

“Soccer is my whole life,” Burnett said. “That’s all I wanna do is play soccer. I regret not getting better grades because if I did I could be going to play at a D1 level. If soccer ends up not in my future then I wanna become a teacher, therapist or a soccer coach.”

With the start of this soccer season, Burnett’s twin brother Blake joined the team. Blake has been by Adam’s side through everything since the day they were born. Being fraternal twins has been a great advantage for them both.

“Blake has always been there for me,” Burnett said. “I always feel like I can be myself around him, he makes me feel like there’s always someone who has my back and he’s someone I can trust. He is the very first person I ever came out to. I tend to feel good when I’m with him. I honestly think its because were twins. I have a close relationship with my older brother but Blake and I are different.”

Burnett wants people to know its okay to take your time to come out. Everyone’s ready for obstacles of life at different points. But he also encourages to not hide who you are.

“I came out not only for myself to find happiness but also to help other people in my situation or any LGBT to come out and be themselves because you shouldn’t have to live a lie,” Burnett said. “You shouldn’t have to suffer for being who you are and it sucks that sometimes in the world today you can’t be who you are without people judging you. So I just wanna be someone who can support and help people.”

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