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WeHo Reads: Ryan O'Callaghan in Conversation with Outsports.com

The City of West Hollywood's WeHo Reads program and Book Soup present Ryan O'Callaghan discussing and signing "My Life on the Line: How the NFL D*mn Near Killed Me, and Ended Up Saving My Life." Ryan O'Callaghan will be in conversation with his co-author Cyd Ziegler, editor of Outsports.com.

Ryan O'Callaghan's plan was always to play football and then, when his career was over, kill himself. Growing up in a politically conservative corner of California, the not-so-subtle messages he heard as a young man from his family and from TV and film routinely equated being gay with disease and death. Letting people in on the darkest secret he kept buried inside was not an option: better death with a secret than life as a gay man. As a kid, Ryan never envisioned just how far his football career would take him. He was recruited by the University of California, Berkeley, where he spent five seasons, playing alongside his friend Aaron Rodgers. Then it was on to the NFL for stints with the almost-undefeated New England Patriots and the often-defeated Kansas City Chiefs.

Bubbling under the surface of Ryan's entire NFL career was a collision course between his secret sexuality and his hidden drug use. When the league caught him smoking pot, he turned to NFL-sanctioned prescription painkillers that quickly sent his life into a tailspin. As injuries mounted and his daily intake of opioids reached a near-lethal level, he wrote his suicide note to his parents and plotted his death. Yet someone had been watching. A member of the Chiefs organization stepped in, recognizing the signs of drug addiction. Ryan reluctantly sought psychological help, and it was there that he revealed his lifelong secret for the very first time. Nearing the twilight of his career, Ryan faced the ultimate decision: end it all, or find out if his family and football friends could ever accept a gay man in their lives. (Edge of Sports)

A book signing will follow the program. All tickets ($30 available on Eventbrite) include one entry and one copy of My Life on the Line to be received at check in. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-evening-with-ryan-ocallaghan-tickets-74314700269

A limited number of free tickets (which do not include a copy of the book) will be provided to West Hollywood residents upon providing proof of residency via a government ID, lease or utility bill. Please confirm your address is in West Hollywood by visiting www.weho.org/streets. There is a limit of 2 tickets per person, and tickets may not be resold. These tickets can be reserved in advance until tickets no longer remain by emailing Mike Che, Arts Coordinator, at mche@weho.org.

Questions about the event? Please call Book Soup at 310-659-3110.

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