LGBTQ representation within the sports community is having quite the week.
Amanda Nunes became the UFC's first openly gay champion, and now boxing's first openly gay professional fighter, Orlando "El Fenómeno" Cruz, is going to dedicate his latest match to the victims of the Orlando shooting.
In an effort to be true to himself, the Puerto Rican featherweight boxer came out in 2012.
"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," Cruz told USA Today.
He immediately recognized that being a Latino gay man would be no easy feat.
Even though Puerto Rico has had a rocky history with same-sex marriage, the island is taking steps to truly recognize the queer community as it installed the very first LGBTQ monument to honor the victims of the tragic shooting.
But he also announced that he was gay in hopes of becoming a better boxer. He knew he was interested in men since he was 19, but had kept it a secret for so long that it was impacting his practice and focus of his craft.
He spoke to German's Spiegel Online where he revealed that he didn't want to accept that he was gay. "Until now, I have kept my personal life and my career strictly separate from each other. No one was supposed to know that I'm gay. This game of hide-and-seek was incredibly strenuous and it took a lot of energy out of me. Now I'm hoping that I can put that energy into my training," Cruz said.
Being out has proven to benefit this talented Boricua as he is ranked fifth by the World Boxing Organization in the featherweight division.