For anyone who makes the decision to come out, there’s a tipping point when they decide it’s something they have to do.
For Brock Weston, that happened in the days and weeks leading up to a fateful April 2019 confrontation with his teammates.
“I kind of had a little meltdown and blowup,” said the 25-year-old, now graduated, college hockey player, from Maidstone, Sask.
For about a year leading up to those events, Weston’s roommate, team captain Lawson MacDonald, knew about his sexuality, but that was a very tight circle. It wasn’t common knowledge among teammates, but there were whispers.
Whispers turned into prods, which were almost exclusively directed at MacDonald, behind Weston’s back.
“It really bugged me that they didn’t have the courage to come talk to me,” said Weston. “Instead they were trying to pry it out of my roommate.”
“I’m not dumb. I can hear those things and I understand the subtle meaning to the things people say. It was kind of building up, and building up.”
This was toward the end of Weston’s junior year at Marian University in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and his third season playing for the school’s Division III NCAA hockey program.
He decided enough was enough. He called a team meeting. Put pen to paper.
In the dressing room, his teammates watched and listened.
“I was absolutely shell shocked, I was shaking,” said Weston. “Tears were coming before I got to, you know, the line.”
He was able to get through it, but said it wouldn’t have been possible without MacDonald’s presence in the room.
The original plan was to bring in the team’s coach once the speech was over, but before he could, one of his teammates piped up. Weston paraphrased what was said: “It doesn’t mean anything to us, it’s your story to tell. We still love you, and we’re gonna go to war with you.”
At that point, what took place can only be described as a major ‘bro hug’.
“We dapped it up,” said Weston with a chuckle.
From there, he still had one year left of eligibility. He would get to play an entire season without a massive weight on his shoulders.
Like most high-level sports, there’s an expectation “you leave your crap at the door,” Weston said, “but I couldn’t do that.”
He didn’t have to anymore.
After his senior year wrapped up in April, Weston made the decision to come out publicly by posting his letter to teammates online.
The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “I’ve got letters and messages about my story encouraging people to come out, all the way from 18- to 65-year-old people messaging me.”
Weston was also one of seven nominated for Marian University’s student of the year, an award he ended up sharing with two others.
“I could never have dreamed of this kind of support, so it’s been absolutely incredible.”