elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Roy Simmons (born November 8, 1956)

Roy Simmons was an outstanding offensive lineman for the New York Giants, and he played for the Washington Redskins in the 1984 Super Bowl. In 1992, three years after he retired from professional football, Simmons publicly came out on The Phil Donahue Show.

In his autobiography, Out of Bounds (written with Damon DiMarco), he speaks of drug addiction, prostitution, and promiscuity.

In 1997 Simmons learned that he was HIV-positive. He became active in bringing public attention to the fight against AIDS, encouraging other sports figures to come out of the closet.

Stern, Keith (2009-09-01). Queers in History: The Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Historical Gays, Lesbians and Bisexuals (Kindle Locations 10971-10975). Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

Further Readings:

Out of Bounds: Coming out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet by Roy Simmons
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Da Capo Press (December 7, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0786719095
ISBN-13: 978-0786719099
Amazon: Out of Bounds: Coming out of Sexual Abuse, Addiction, and My Life of Lies in the NFL Closet

When New York Giants coach Ray Perkins stated, "Roy Simmons just might be the best athlete on this football team," no one could have guessed that in just four years, Simmons would earn his living as a baggage handler at Kennedy Airport. The second NFL player ever to come out as gay and the first ever to come out as HIV-positive, Simmons was an up-and-coming star who quit football after just four years rather than be exposed as gay. Out of Bounds tells his story — from his rape at age 10 to being plucked from his poor Southern background to join the NFL, from his first taste of pro football fame and sudden enormous wealth to his fast-paced, no holds barred nightlife of heavy drugs and countless sexual encounters with women and men. Simmons roller-coaster life peaked in the late 1980s with his appearance in the Superbowl. Ultimately, reckless living left him penniless, friendless, and on the brink of suicide. Finally in 1992, he tapped the courage to come out as gay on national TV, and as HIV-positive 10 years later — an act which set him on the path towards sobriety and self-acceptance.

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Tags: gay classics, persistent voices, queers in history, sport: roy simmons

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