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Alone in the Trenches

My Life as a Gay Man in the NFL


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This is Esera Tuaolo's own searing story of terror and hope. A Samoan raised on a Hawaiian banana plantation, he had a natural talent, football. He went on to play for five NFL teams: the Green Bay Packers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Carolina Panthers, and the Atlanta Falcons in the 1999 Super Bowl. But for the nine years he played professional football he lived in terror that when his face flashed upon the TV screen, someone would divulge his darkest secret. Esera Tuaolo is gay.

Alone in the Trenches takes you inside the homophobic world of professional football and describes fears that almost drove him to suicide. He evokes heartbreak--how his older brother, Tua, died of AIDS--and hope when, Esera, a deeply devout Christian fell in love and started a family.

“Tuaolo emerges in these pages as a complex, intellectually curious and fascinating individual defined neither by his choice of career nor by his sexual orientation.” --Booklist

“Tough, tender and brutally honest.” --Robert Lipsyte, former New York Times sports columnist

“Even I was not prepared for his amazing life story.” --Billy Bean, author of Going the Other Way

Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Size: 6 in x 9 in
  • Pages: 296

About the Author

Esera Tuaolo lives with his partner and their two adopted children in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He travels the country giving talks about intolerance and is putting together a one-man show of his life, which he hopes to bring to Broadway. John Rosengren is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in more than 75 publications ranging from Reader's Digest to Sports Illustrated. He is the author of Blades of Glory.
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