Steve Buckley writes that he's gay

Saying he has "put this off long enough," Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley wrote Thursday that he is gay.

"I haven't been fair to my family, my friends or my co-workers," wrote Buckley, a Herald columnist since 1995. "And I certainly haven't been fair to myself: For too many years I've been on the sidelines of Boston's gay community but not in the game -- figuratively and literally, as I feel I would have had a pretty good career in the [gay] Beantown Softball League."

Buckley wrote that his mother overcame reservations that he would hurt his career and urged him to come out seven years ago -- write a story about it "and then we'll have a party," he wrote.

But his mother died and Buckley's plan went on hold. Recently, he's discussed coming out again with friends and co-workers.

"But during this same period, I have read sobering stories about people who came undone, killing themselves after being outed," he wrote. "These tragic events helped guide me to the belief that if more people are able to be honest about who they are, ultimately fewer people will feel such devastating pressure."

Buckley is a native of Cambridge, Mass., and a 1978 graduate of UMass-Amherst.

He is a regular on WEEI radio's "The Big Show" and for years has hosted a "The Old Time Baseball Game" in Cambridge in which the game is played as it was at the turn of the century.