I’m Robbie Macaraeg from Bremerton, Washington.
Being from Washington, the Seattle area, we have a lot of pride in our town. I even have a Seattle tattoo. I come from a family of avid Seahawks fans. We’re very prideful, we’re very close too. And I think that’s a really good bond that we have, is watching the Seahawks, watching our sports. On Sundays we’d be outside running around, playing around, getting messy, my mom’s inside watching the game and we’d come in. And same thing on Mondays, we’d go in pick up food from the grocery store and come back and watch the game. And repeat on Thursdays. It was comfortable, it was fun. Never understood football but I knew I liked watching it. There was a lot of fond memories that involved the ‘hawks, just bonding memories with my brother, with my dad, my mom, with my entire family, also with me coming out.
I was 17 years old and I was dating this guy. And I told my mom he was a classmate of mine. So we were hanging out a lot. It was fine, I don’t think she knew, she had no idea actually that I was gay at the time. So this guy and I were dating and we went and saw a play at the local community college. He told me that he wasn’t into me and he wanted to start seeing someone else, and being the 17-year-old dramatic little boy that I was, I started crying. And my friend Heather, I call her, with my Razr phone, “Hey, Heather, my heart’s broken.” And she came and picked me up. Crying, crying, crying. And she dropped me off at home.
I walked in, my mom is in her uniform, her jersey, her Seahawks jersey, screaming at the TV, “Go Hawks, no, no!” And I walk in just crying and she just stops everything, literally goes into mama bear mode, “What happened? Are you okay? What’s going on?” Hugs me, hugs me, hugs me.
I’m like, “Mom, I’m gay.”
She’s like, “Oh, honey, honey, that’s fine, but can we just wait till commercial?”
I was like, “Okay…”
And so I sat down and we watched the game together and then commercial break and she was like, “Okay, so tell me about this thing that you’re gay now?”
I was like, “Well, yeah, I’m gay.”
She was like, “Okay. Cool. Why are you crying?”
And I told her, “This guy, he broke my heart.”
And she was like, “Oh, honey, there’s going to be a lot more of that where that came from. Hang on, the game’s back on.”
It was just very cool that she was very open to me coming out. It’s also really exciting that we have that bond over football, over the Seahawks, which is a very prideful thing for me, not only being from Seattle but it’s our pastime, my family’s past time. We always watch the games together. So we have the pride of my team, and just the bond and so many memories that are tied with them as well.