Tadd Fujikawa entered the public consciousness when he qualified for the 2006 US Open at 15 years old. He became the second-youngest player to make a PGA Tour cut when he got to the weekend at the 2007 Sony Open in Hawaii en route to a T-20 finish, and he turned pro that summer.
Since then, he's long struggled to gain traction in pro golf, playing last season on Mackenzie Tour - PGA Tour Canada. However, he's remained a cult favorite player for his stature, grit and gutsy style.
Fujikawa came out as gay in an Instagram post, becoming the first known male professional golfer to do so.
Timing his post with World Suicide Prevention Day, Fujikawa began:
"So...I'm gay. Many of you may have already known that. I don't expect everyone to understand or accept me. But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community. My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another.
"I've been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn't need to come out because it doesn't matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other's stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. I've struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. Now I'm standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone's life.
"Although it's a lot more accepted in our society today, we still see children, teens, and adults being ridiculed and discriminated against for being the way we are. Some have even taken their lives because of it. As long as those things are still happening, I will continue to do my best to bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality. Whether the LGBTQ is what you support or not, we must liberate and encourage each other to be our best selves, whatever that may be. It's the only way we can make this world a better place for future generations."
This was a courageous revelation for the 27-year-old, as no male professional golfer has been known to come out. A number of female professionals have come out, paving the way for openly homosexual pro golfers. Hopefully there's a day when all people feel comfortable enough to be open about their sexuality and not fear potential repercussions -- professional or personal -- for it.