Gus Kenworthy, the U.S. Olympic skier who won a silver medal at the Sochi Winter Games, has come out as gay, making him first openly gay action sports athlete.
Gus says he’s known he was gay since age 5, and that his family and his friends were instantly supportive when he told them a few years ago, but he knew he had to be more open.
"I never got to be proud of what I did in Sochi because I felt so horrible about what I didn't do. I didn't want to come out as the silver medalist from Sochi. I wanted to come out as the best freeskier in the world. I always felt like I had something to prove, like I had to work twice as hard to make sure I got it. I knew I didn't want to be a good skier. I wanted to be the best."
And even though he was ready to come out, and even though he’s happy he’s out, he’s still a bit nervous about the reaction he could get from within his sport:
"Everyone wears a Red Bull or Monster or Rockstar cap, a T-shirt and jeans and skate shoes. Everyone drives the same type of car and listens to the same kind of music. The industry isn't the most embracing of someone who's different. I'm nervous about that."
No need to be nervous, Gus, because you have a whole new extended family out here, and we’ve got your back. We embrace difference, because we understand it. And we come bearing gifts, like the Obligatory Coming Out Toaster Oven and a copy of The Gay Agenda.
So, welcome out, Gus, we’ve got your back.