As captain of New York University's men's volleyball team, Hayes was open about being gay, but shied away from making an "It Gets Better" video on his own. Instead, he spent his senior year collaborating with a film student and the entire athletics department, from teammates to coaches to administrators, on one of the first IGB videos of its kind from a major university.
When this young poker pro outed himself to his peers in a blog post, he expected the community's response to be mixed. "Instead, I got a strong reaction of acceptance from both the poker world and the gay community," he says. This year has been successful, both professionally -- Somerville reached several major final tables and did commentary on the $1,000,000 buy-in at this year's World Series of Poker -- and personally. "I have been in an amazing relationship this entire year, and I don't know where I would be without him. He's my biggest supporter, my most passionate motivator, my inspiration, and my best friend."
Photographed at the Algonquin Hotel in New York City on October 8, 2012