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College Welcomes NFL Veteran, LGBT Speaker Oct. 9

September 26, 2013

In conjunction with National Coming Out Week, the Anoka-Ramsey Community College Office of Diversity and Multiculturalism and Counseling Services welcomes:

NFL Veteran and LGBT Role Model
Esera Tuaolo
Wednesday, Oct. 9
1 to 2:30 p.m
Coon Rapids Campus Legacy Room

The event is free and open to the public.

More About Tuaolo
Born on Oahu Island in Hawaii, Esera Tuaolo grew up on a small banana farm as the youngest of eight children. In order to get better exposure as a football player, he moved to California when he was in high school where he was noticed by college recruiters and went to play for Oregon State University (OSU) after graduating.

In college, he was the winner of the Morris Trophy given to the best defensive player in the Pac-10. In 1990, the Green Bay Packers drafted Tuaolo with the 35th pick. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for 10 consecutive seasons with the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons (1998 Super Bowl contender team) and the Carolina Panthers. He was the first rookie in Packer history to start all 16 games and was a member of the 1991 all-rookie team.

As a gay man in the hyper-masculine culture of professional football, Tuaolo felt forced to hide his sexuality. The secret crippled him, leading him to drink excessively and even contemplate suicide. It also hindered his football performance. Tuaolo’s autobiographical account, Alone in the Trenches with John Rosengren, tells his agonizing and compelling tale. His story exposes the behind-the-scenes world of professional football and what happens on the field and in the locker room.

After retiring from professional football, Tuaolo publicly announced his sexuality on HBO Real Sports, an experience he describes as “taking off a costume I’ve been wearing all my life.” One of only three former NFL players to ever come out, he has received huge amounts of support from old teammates, the media, friends and family. Now, he brings his incredible story to the podium to inspire others to achieve their best by speaking to their individual truths without fear or intimidation.

For more information about public events at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, please call 763-433-1100 or visit