Friday, March 27, 2015
On a December morning, the three-time All All-American and 2008 NCAA Division I Champion at Ohio State, reached for his phone and tapped out a lengthy text message to his best friend and college teammate, Reece Humphrey.
The gist of the message was this: "I’m gay."
“I think telling him was an unbelievable weight off my shoulders (and) I didn’t think I would feel that good just telling him,” said Pucillo, the first openly gay Division-I national champion wrestler. “Reece has always been someone with a very open mind and I thought maybe he would understand.”
Pucillo and Humphrey had been teammates for four years. They lived together as seniors. When Humphrey got married, he picked Pucillo as a groomsman.
Humphrey thought he knew Pucillo well, but this was a bombshell.
“Holy shit, buddy!,” Humphrey wrote in his response text message that December morning. “I’m honestly so happy for you! I had no clue, but all I can say is I love you so much! I won’t tell anyone ever. It’ll always be your decision and I’m freaking crying that you chose to tell me first. You’re my best friend and I am so pumped that you got the first step off your back. As big of a deal as I’m sure it seems, it’s really not. You are a badass and you are a tough-ass wrestler, but literally no one would ever care about your sexuality."