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USD Swimmer Finds South Dakota More Accepting of Homosexuality than Colorado

A talented young swimmer was driven to depression and anxiety by anti-gay slurs in school. He left his small rural hometown to attend university in another state where he found his swimming valued and his homosexuality accepted.

Such is the story Bryce Fehringer tells about why he left Colorado to swim for the University of South Dakota. The second-year Coyote swimmer tells SBNation’s Outsports that USD grabbed his attention with this sports recruitment video spotlighting inclusivity:

Fehringer says he didn’t dive into Vermillion just because of this video:

Bryce Fehringer, political science major, swimmer, University of South Dakota. (Photo from USD)
Bryce Fehringer, political science major, swimmer, University of South Dakota. (Photo from USD)

…Still, I was thrilled to see that a Division I University in the rural Midwest was so progressive in promoting equal playing opportunities for all their student-athletes.

I discovered that there were both present and former gay athletes who had shown success as they made their way through the USD program. I knew that if they had been able to live openly and be successful, that there was a chance that I could too.

One of the main reasons why I chose South Dakota was because I knew that I would be able to grow into the person that I wanted to be [Bryce Fehringer, “What This Gay Univ. of South Dakota Athlete’s Coach Said to Him Made All the Difference,” SBNation Outsports, 2017.08.08].

South Dakota, more tolerant than Colorado. Imagine that.


  1. Bob Newland 2017-08-16 19:11

    Queers in the pools? What next, ignoramuses in Congress (“congress” in all its definitions)?

  2. mike from iowa 2017-08-16 19:56

    Greg Louganis was that way and the world didn’t stop revolving. Glad something in this young man’s life turned for the better. Honesty from a student athlete is great.

    Gets mighty tiresome hearing jocks claim it was consensual, even when the victim was out cold.

  3. Porter Lansing 2017-08-17 10:24

    Young Bryce Fehringer made a smart move to Vermillion (Go East, young man.), my top choice when I move back to SoDak. Many view CO as a dope smoking, hippie hangout. Some parts are (ski towns) but some parts are as red as a baboon’s ass. LOL Mr. Fehringer is from Kersey (near Greeley). Saying Greeley represents CO is akin to saying Fulton represents SD. I once had a scholarship offer to USD swim team but declined in lieu of the study regimen university demands. Then came the Vietnam draft in 1972 …

  4. Porter Lansing 2017-08-17 13:08

    Both those places are fringe. IMHO the most representative/ median town in SoDak is Rapid City. It’s western yet still prairie.

  5. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-08-17 13:58

    Interesting! RC even more representative than Sioux Falls, Mitchell, or Pierre?

  6. Mike 2017-08-18 15:55

    Thanks for sharing this, Mr. H.

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