His Sexuality Doesn’t Define Him, but It Can Set Him Apart

His Sexuality Doesn’t Define Him, but It Can Set Him Apart

When Bach was just 2 or 3, his mother would find him “announcing” games into the knob that opened one of their home’s casement windows. He would pass hours narrating the action as he played video games, with his little sister serving as his test audience. “Alyssa, can you tell what’s happening by the way I’m calling the game?” he would ask. (Her usual response, according to their mother, Lynn: “Yeah. Whatever.”)

He began to accept that he was gay during his sophomore year of high school, but with that acceptance came worry. As a multisport athlete, Bach was often in locker rooms filled with choruses of homophobic slurs and gay jokes. He didn’t take them personally, but they made him uncomfortable, as did the idea of coming out.

“I knew the stuff wasn’t directed at me,” Bach said, “but I was thinking, ‘Oh, is this how it’s going to be for me my entire life?’”

By the start of his sophomore year at Michigan State, Bach was ready to tell his parents that he was gay, catching his father off guard but confirming what his mother had previously assumed. “I probably said, ‘It’s OK!’ a hundred times,” Lynn Bach said. The following summer, Eric Bach wrote his Outsports essay, revealing himself to the world.

If any of his relatives, friends or hometown acquaintances didn’t approve, they never told him. Mostly he was supported and was left to read the tea leaves of the silence of others. But that left him no less sure of his place in the world.

“Not everybody is meant to be in your life forever,” he said. “Doing that was almost like a weeding-out process of who really cares, who is going to treat me and view me the same.”

Bach graduated from college in 2021, landing first with an independent baseball club in North Carolina and then leaving to take the gig with Lenoir-Rhyne. Last year brought him to Fredericksburg. He did each job to the best of his ability, and his sexuality never came up.

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