When Michael Drougas won the Virginia AA State high school championship last year, people knew he was a good tennis player.
What they did not know is that he is gay.
Now they do because the Salem High School senior decided to come out on Twitter in a lengthy post that he says so far has not resulted in a single negative reaction.
He wrote in part: 'Not fitting stereotypes is nice sometimes. I have been able to avoid a lot of ignorant bullshit growing up. I'm very lucky in that respect. Maybe I feel an obligation to speak up and not stay in the shadows anymore or maybe it's because I am starting to feel comfortable in my own skin.'
'Never in my life have I ever felt truly open or free, through this note I see liberation at the end of the tunnel. That's dope.'
Drougas, who will be looking to defend his state tennis title this spring, came out to his family and close friends two years ago. He writes that since that time, 'acceptance and tolerance has grown to levels that I could have never imagined.'
'I always hear people say "be the change you want to see in the world" - I see this note as a little step to being the change that I want to see,' he writes. 'I'm by no means in a place to preach but I guess I want those who are "different" to know that even if it seems like it won't get better, it will.'
The athlete tells Outsports.com that since the Twitter post two weeks ago, he has not received a single negative reaction.
'I was anxious to see what people thought,' he says. 'I didn't think people would be mean to me, but i didn't know if people would be awkward about it.'