Gus Kenworthy Becomes First Openly Gay Action Sports Athlete

Miles Clark | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Gus Kenworthy came out of the closet in the latest ESPN magazine.
Gus Kenworthy came out of the closet in the soon to be released November issue of ESPN magazine.

“I guess I should start by saying, ‘I’m gay.'” – Gus Kenworthy told ESPN last month

24-year-old Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy  has announced to the world recently via an ESPN article that he is gay.  He reportedly began coming out about two years ago and now he’s ready to tell the world.

Gus is one of the very best freeskiers of our time who competes in half pipe, big air, and slopestyle.  He grew up in Telluride, got a silver medal at the Olympics in Sochi in (when the USA swept the medals), won a bronze in the French X-Games, 1st place in the Shuan White Air + Style event, and he has been the overall champ of the Association of Freeskiing Professionals for the past 5 seasons in a row.

Since his Olympic medal in 2014, Gus has become world famous with appearances on the David Letternman show, the Today show, and Good Day New York.  The guy saved 5 stray dogs in Sochi, Russia.  He has even been on the cover of ESPN magazine, People magainze, US Weekly, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

Gus rescued 5 puppies from Sochi, Russia last year.
Gus rescued 5 puppies from Sochi, Russia last year.

Gus told ESPN that he knew he was gay as early as 5 years old and that he felt different from other boys.

“I was insecure and ashamed.  Unless you’re gay, being gay has never been looked at as being cool. And I wanted to be cool.” – Gus told ESPN

Gus reveals some really heavy stuff in this interview.  Stuff that most wouldn’t.

“In skiing, there’s such an alpha male thing about pulling the hottest chicks.  I know hooking up with hot girls doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world. But I literally would sleep with a girl and then cry about it afterward. I’m like, ‘What am I doing? 
I don’t know what I’m doing.'” – Gus told ESPN

Silver medal at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
Silver medal at the Sochi Olympics in 2014.

Gus and friends also talk about how much he loves the X-Games in Aspen, but how nervous competing in Aspen makes him.

 “It’s actually become stressful for me to be around him at contests because he’s so stressed out.  He will get onto the chairlift at X Games and throw up, he’s so nervous. I’ve never seen anyone react that way, and it’s been getting worse and worse.” – Bobby Brown, Kenworthy’s best friend and four-time 
X Games gold medalist

Gus hanging with Miley Cyrus last year.
Gus hanging with Miley Cyrus last year.

Gus, congrats on coming out.  We all support you and we can’t wait to see what you do next.

Now, you can read about Gus coming out from Gus himself:

“I am gay.

Wow, it feels good to write those words. For most of my life, I’ve been afraid to embrace that truth about myself. Recently though, I’ve gotten to the point where the pain of holding onto the lie is greater than the fear of letting go, and I’m very proud to finally be letting my guard down.

My sexuality has been something I’ve struggled to come to terms with. I’ve known I was gay since I was a kid but growing up in a town of 2,000 people, a class of 48 kids and then turning pro as an athlete when I was 16, it just wasn’t something I wanted to accept. I pushed my feelings away in the hopes that it was a passing phase but the thought of being found out kept me up at night. I constantly felt anxious, depressed and even suicidal.

Looking back, it’s crazy to see how far I’ve come. For so much of my life I’ve dreaded the day that people would find out I was gay. Now, I couldn’t be more excited to tell you all the truth. Maybe you’ve suspected that truth about me all along, or maybe it comes as a complete shock to you. Either way, it’s important for me to be open and honest with you all. Y’all have supported me through a lot of my highs and lows and I hope you’ll stay by my side as I make this transformation into the genuine me – the me that I’ve always really been.

I am so thankful to ESPN for giving me this opportunity and to Alyssa Roenigk for telling my story to the world. I think about the pain I put myself through by closeting myself for so much of my life and it breaks my heart. If only I knew then what I know now: that the people who love you, who really care about you, will be by your side no matter what; and, that those who aren’t accepting of you are not the people you want or need in your life anyway.

Part of the reason that I had such a difficult time as a kid was that I didn’t know anyone in my position and didn’t have someone to look up to, who’s footsteps I could follow in. I hope to be that person for a younger generation, to model honesty and transparency and to show people that there’s nothing cooler than being yourself and embracing the things that make you unique. Head over to ESPN.com or click the link in my bio to read the full story and keep your eyes peeled for the November issue on newsstands soon! ‪#‎outinsports‬ ‪#‎comingout‬ ‪#‎gay‬ ‪#‎beyourself‬ ‪#‎bornthisway‬” – Gus Kenworthy via Facebook today.


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