University of Minnesota track teammates come out as gay couple



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Brad Neumann watched a segment of Disney’s widely-acclaimed remake of Beauty and the Beast in dismay.

The main characters were heterosexual, while Neumann lamented, “the fat, funny side kick was flamboyant and gay.”

That portrayal, Neumann contends, follows the overdone stereotype that goes into people’s heads when they think of a member of the LGBT community.

Neumann’s boyfriend, Justin Rabon, said after his coming out, he had someone ask if he was going to start wearing dresses.

Make no mistake, Neumann and Rabon are both rainbow flag enthusiasts. But they have a message to the masses: Being gay can look a lot of different ways. And no one person is the same.

Their relationship is an example. Both Division I sprinters at one point on Minnesota’s track team, the fierce competitors hardly embody femininity or flamboyancy. Instead, they said their teammates have rationalized the duo’s normality with the general reaction of, “oh, I guess anyone can be gay.”

Neumann and Rabon’s love story is not society’s fairy tale. But it’s their fairy tale. And one that they both hope can shatter stereotypes and save other closeted and misunderstood LGBT people struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation or be accepted by their peers and loved ones. That’s why they both decided to pen essays at the start of Pride Month in Outsports, a destination for coming-out stories and in some cases, a lifeline url for those deeply struggling beneath the surface.

Sprinters Brad Neumann of Peshtigo, Wis., and Justin
Sprinters Brad Neumann of Peshtigo, Wis., and Justin Rabon of Milwaukee, shown here posing during a track meet. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Brad Neumann and Justin Rabon)
The couple concurred that their decision to go public was like a “second coming out experience.” In Rabon’s essay, he preached authenticity and noted that “once the real you is able to be seen, everyone will notice and nothing can stop you.” In Neumann’s essay, he detailed constantly feeling sick to his stomach any time he encountered homophobic rhetoric or bullying of openly-gay classmates “because that gay kid was brave enough to live the life I wanted.”

Neumann and Rabon’s love story started in late 2014. It was Thanksgiving time, and both athletes were down in the dumps emotionally. Rabon, who hails from Milwaukee and was running at the University of Wisconsin at the time, texted Neumann, a friend who he had run against in high school and beat in the 200-meter state title due to a false start. Never fully confronting his sexuality before, Rabon eventually told Neumann he was gay. The response from his seemingly straight friend? “Oh, that’s cool.” Shortly thereafter, Neumann told Rabon he was gay, too. Likewise, he had never told anybody his secret before, mostly due to growing up in the small rural farm town of Peshtigo, Wis., where being gay would’ve potentially cast him out as a leper.

After coming out to each other together, the decision to come out to their friends and families came easier. As did telling their teammates at Minnesota, eventually.

“After we came out to each other, we finally had someone to relate to,” Rabon said. “That changed everything.”

Neumann, who took a bit longer to come out to others, said that being his true self “allowed me to have an open conversation with my teammates, who I knew were conservative or didn’t necessarily believe in gay rights.”

Mahnomen County Speedway, Mahnomen, Minnesota – Racing Action!



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Randy Lewis, the World’s #1 Trackchaser, visited the Mahnomen County Speedway in Mahnomen, for some enduro stock car racing. This video covers the racing from Mahnomen. Randy has now recorded trackchasing visits to 1,878 different tracks in 65 different countries. Check out his website at www.randylewis.org where he has posted more than 100,000 photos (Ya! One hundred thousand!) and Trackchaser Reports where he reviews each track visited. Don’t miss more than 500 Randy Lewis Racing Films on his YouTube channel. Channel name is “RANLAY”. Subscribe today.

Some of my music comes from the fine folks at www.incompetech.com

We’re All Together (One Big World) – For all the Minnesota born U.S. Olympians in 2014



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This song was written by Charlie Maguire and Mr. Johnson’s 5th grade class at Assumption Catholic School in Hibbing, MN. The song was created to honor all our heroes participating in the U.S. Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014, but especially the ones born in Minnesota. The lyrics to this song are listed below. Enjoy!

We’re All Together (One Big World)

Grade Five, Mr. Johnson & Charlie Maguire, Assumption School, Hibbing, 2014

Zezel, Landsteiner, Shuster, Isaacson
They’re the US curling champions
With their rocks, and their brooms
They’ll bring the gold back to the locker room!

We’re all together, one big world
Yes, we’re all together, for peace and good will
We’re all together, one big world
Yes we’re all together, for peace and good will

He’s got spikes, on his gloves
The Luge event he really loves
Ninety Miles per hour as fast as he can
Christian Niccum is our man

Chodounsky, Diggins, Herman, and Koos
They are going to let it loose
On their skis, they’ll always fly
They’ll never give up they’ll always try

Crossing their skates, in the turns
Swinging their arms, feeling the “burn”
Ringsred and Lamb, Minnesota girls
They’ve already skated to the top of the world

Schleper, Stecklein, and Marvin too
They’re going to skate right over you
You better watch out, here they come
You’re going to be sore, when they’re done

Parise, Martin, Backes, and Faulk
Trying to beat them is a joke
Wheeler, Stepan, McDonagh
They’re all born in Minnesota!

America 4th of July, 2016 Independence Day Parade – Eagan, Minnesota



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The July 4th, 2016 Independence Day parade in Eagan, Minnesota.

Eagan is a city in Dakota County, Minnesota, United States. The city is south of Saint Paul and lies on the south bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi River. Eagan and nearby suburbs form the southern portion of Minneapolis–St. Paul. The population of Eagan was 64,206 at the 2010 census and currently ranks as Minnesota’s 11th largest city.

Originally a rural Irish farming community and “Onion Capital of the United States”, Eagan became the eighth largest Minnesota city in the 2000 Census. The largest growth in Eagan took place following the relocation and expansion of Highway 77 along with the construction of the new six-lane bridge (with three northbound and three southbound lanes) over the Minnesota River in 1980 and also the completion of the final Interstate 35E freeway section southbound from Minnesota State Highway 110 in Mendota Heights to the area where it joins 35W in Burnsville in the mid-1980s. Its northern border is primarily along Interstate 494. Its southern border is about a mile south of Cliff Road. Its eastern border runs primarily along Minnesota State Highway 3. The western border runs primarily along the South bank of Minnesota River. Currently the fourth largest suburb in the metro area, Eagan is predominantly a commuter town of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul. The city’s influence in the region grew when the companies Northwest Airlines (now Delta Air Lines) and Thomson West (now Thomson Reuters) established their headquarters.

Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as the Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago in 1776 on July 4 by the Continental Congress. It declared that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and were no longer part of the British Empire.

Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.

Finn Hall at Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, Tower, Minnesota



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Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, which is over 125 years old, was given to the Lake Vermilion Cultural Center to be moved to a prominent location in historic Tower, MN. With funds raised, it will be moved in August, 2015 and beautifully restored. But before she goes, Finn Hall fills her nave with music once again.