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Orlando Cruz Comes Out! Becomes First Openly Gay Professional Boxer

“I’ve been fighting for more than 24 years and as I continue my ascendant  career, I want to be true to myself.  I want to try to be the best role model I  can be for kids who might look into boxing as a sport and a professional career.   I have and will always be a proud Puerto Rican.  I have always been  and always will be a proud gay man.”

And with that statement Boxing History was made as Orlando Cruz, former Olympian and the World Boxing Federation’s number four ranked Featherweight came out of the closet Wednesday as a “proud gay man.”

Cruz’s next fight is Oct. 19 in Kissimmee, Fla., when he will defend his WBO NABO title against Jorge Pazos.  A win could put Cruz in line for a major title shot.

Canadian boxer Marc Leduc came out of the closet in 1994 a year after retiring.

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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