"As we were both walking off the field following the practice, I told him it was going to be released tomorrow and I had a copy in my car for him," Petrino Jr. told me. "To my surprise, he said ‘Oh, don't worry about it. I already have a copy and read the article. I am so proud of you and love you so much!’ and gave me a huge hug."The younger Petrino was a star high school athlete, including as a safety at Fayetteville High. The story recounts:
What's interesting about Petrino's coming out story is how much it follows a typical pattern – he was scared and lonely and thought he was the only one. Once he came out as gay, the response was all positive, even from the one man who he feared would take it the wrong way.
"I wouldn't really say my dad helped me be comfortable with my sexuality growing up," he told me. "He was who I feared the most regarding it. I had a gay uncle on my mother's side and he wasn't really talked about too much. But once I came out to my dad — and I was dating a guy at the time — he was great about it. My boyfriends have always come over for family dinner, been on family vacations. And he was really nice to them and was interested in who they were. ... Everyone has accepted me and loved me for who I am. It is a non-issue in our family."