Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-06-21
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Illinois star wrestler comes out as gay
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Dylan Geick was at home in north suburban Buffalo Grove, talking with his younger sister, Johnna, one day early last March. She had heard a fellow Stevenson High School singer who she thought was amazing.

Dylan heard him and also thought he was talented, so he sent a message with Instagram, with the witty line, "Wanna piano and chill?"

Dylan, 18, a senior and the school's star, elite-level wrestler, soon started hanging out with Grant Mower, 18, also a senior, who is in the school's choir and writes his own music.

"It was kind of this random circumstance," that they met at a school of more than 4,000 students, Dylan said.

After a couple weeks, both came out to each other and they started dating, though both were still in the closet to the school at the time.

"People started noticing that I was hanging out with him," said Dylan, who admitted that they were "sneaking around" to see each other.

Then one day late last March, Geick was eating lunch with five girlfriends, and the topic turned to another student who had then-recently come out.

As a joke, one of the girls turned to him and said, "So Dylan, when are you coming out?'"

"In the moment, I just didn't feel like keeping the secret anymore. I replied, 'Actually, I am gay,'" Dylan said.

They were all shocked.

And Geick admitted he was dating a fellow Stevenson student.

Word spread, quickly—really quickly.

His phone instantly was blowing up with messages, mostly from students asking if it was true, that the stud athlete was, in fact, gay.

Students and athletes from eight other area schools also messaged Dylan.

All were supportive. All.

"It was a pretty awesome reaction, to be honest," Dylan said of the response. "I didn't really know what to expect. I knew that the environment at Stevenson was amazingly progressive and this is a pretty liberal area, so I knew there definitely would be support, but not as wide spread as it ended up being.

"I haven't endured any harassment in the school."

Dylan Geick and Grant Mower are still together, close to their one-year anniversary of dating. They attended the Chicago Pride Parade together last summer and went to Homecoming together this past fall.

Dylan will attend Columbia University in the New York in the fall, where he will continue his wrestling career. Mower, who lives in nearby Long Grove, will attend New York University in the fall.

"I didn't realize how connected and supportive the LGBT community is," Dylan said. "From the moment I came out, there was outreach from so many people, [offering] guidance and advice. It surprised me how much people cared in a positive way, how much they really wanted to help me.

"To the kids in the closet who are worried [about coming-out], there is such a huge community that wants to help, and that was pretty surprising to me."

Dylan is convinced that sharing his coming-out story has had "pretty direct impact" on some Stevenson students and also students he has never met, especially in the sporting world.

"It's not like I adopted this issue. I'm just true to myself and just like to live unapologetically," said Dylan, who has, since coming-out, heard from two elite, high-level Illinois wrestlers, among others, offering their support for him, though each is still in the closet.

Dozens more, both current and former wrestlers, have reached out to Dylan, he said, most in the closet.

Dylan has been supported by his team—his teammates and coaches—100 percent, though he admits he was "super nervous" that might not be the case.

Stevenson's wrestling team is very ethnically-diverse, including several Russians, Dylan said. Some of his teammates had, by their own admission, homophobic views, "so I was worried how they would react" to my coming-out, Dylan said.

Take, for instance, wrestling teammate Nikita Nepomnyaschiy, who sent a text to Dylan less than an hour after he confirmed that he is gay during lunch.

Nikita wrote, "Hey, are you gay?"

Dylan started typing a long reply, but before he could even send it, Nikita wrote back, saying that it's no issue and he cracked a joke.

"That completely removed all of the tension," Dylan said. "He was accepting from the first second."

Everyone on his wrestling team has been supportive.

Robert Pavlovich, for instance, is one of Dylan's best friends and a fellow wrestler—he gave Dylan a big hug the first time he saw Dylan after coming-out.

"Those reactions were a huge weight off my shoulders," Dylan said. "I think I created closer, stronger bonds with all those guys through this whole [coming-out] process."

There was, though, one opponent who, via social media, hinted that he knew Dylan was gay—and the two were set to wrestle in the Illinois state tournament, in about 30 minutes.

"It wasn't like he said anything [on social media posts], but I got the message that he was trying to mess with me, trying to get in my head. It pissed me off," Dylan said. "I took care of it on the mat."

Dylan won that match, handily.

"I don't think he's a bad kid; I think he's competitive," Dylan said. They spoke briefly after the match, "and I don't harbor any resentment toward him."

Dylan was a marvel on the mat for Stevenson as both a junior and senior, compiling a combined 86-8 record. He was 43-3 this season—and he's finished fourth in the state tournament each of the past two seasons. He's a three-time conference finalist ( champion once ), three-time regional finalist ( champion twice ), and a sectional champ. He was a USAW All-American in 2015 and three-time Illinois Freestyle National Team member.

Mower attended many of Dylan's matches, and even drove Johnna, 15, a sophomore at Stevenson, to the state tournament.

Dylan has attended Mower's singing performances, as Mower is an aspiring musician who was admitted to Berklee School of Music in Boston as well as other highly-competitive music schools, though he opted for NYU.

Homecoming last fall "was awesome—it just felt normal," Dylan said.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Jason Collins at Chicago Sky events 2017-06-22 - Chicago—The Chicago Sky and retired NBA trailblazer Jason Collins will host Diversity and Inclusion celebrations July 6-8, 2017. Collins became the first ...

Gay News

BOOK REVIEW Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History 2017-06-21 - By Molly Schiot. $25; Simon & Schuster; 310 pages You can't bear to look at the score. Whatever it is, it's ...

Gay News

Marathon man leads LGBT running club 2017-06-21 - When Corbin Woodling moved to Chicago in 1990, he had a problem. Fresh from graduate school at Purdue University, he didn't know ...

Gay News

Billie Jean King delivers speech at NU commencement 2017-06-21 - Former star tennis player Billie Jean King, known for her advocacy work on behalf of women and the LGBTQ community, addressed Northwestern University's ...

Gay News

Force advance to championship 2017-06-21 - The Chicago Force added to its final season—and to its legacy—by defeating the Pittsburgh Passion in the playoffs 45-0 on June 17 at ...

Gay News

Drag rock climbing event benefits Transformative Justice Law Project 2017-06-21 - On June 13, Brooklyn Boulders Chicago and DO312 presented Out to Climb: Pride Edition at 100 S. Morgan St. The event, which boasted ...

Gay News

Chicago Force heads into the playoffs, ending the team's 15-year run 2017-06-12 - After 15 seasons, the Chicago Force football team is coming to an end, as team owner Linda Bache does not intend to sell ...

Gay News

SPORTS Force stops Slam, heads into the WFA playoffs on June 17 2017-06-04 - The Chicago Force ended its regular-season with a 44-20 win over the St. Louis Slam on Saturday, June 3, at Evanston Township High ...

Gay News

LGBT Hall of Fame Bowling benefit raises $7,100 2017-06-04 - The seventh annual Dick Uyvari Memorial Celebrity Bowl was held at Waveland Bowling Alley June 3. The tournament was renamed in 2016 in ...

Gay News

World news: InterPride, HIV death warning, tennis icons clash 2017-05-30 - InterPride, the International Association for Pride Organizers, has called on LGBTQ+ people everywhere to attend and support local Pride events everywhere, according to ...


Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.