Gus Kenworthy admits he was terrified about coming out and the consequences in 2015. The American skier decided to allow himself the freedom and was prompted by the outpouring of support, which he found unexpected.
Kenworthy, would win a Olympic silver medal at the Sochi game in the ski slopestyle, and came out in a cover story for ESPN, and thus become the first openly gay action sports athlete to do so.
At his winter base in Colorado he told Reuters by telephone that “I had set myself up for the worst case scenario,” and “I thought I was going to be turned against and become this pariah.” He has already told his family and close friends who are all very supportive. Their support is the very reason he would come as out as homosexual, along with wanting to be an inspiration to young men and women who might be to scared to come out. “I knew I would feel so much better because I was being authentic and maybe it would help kids going through the same transition as me,” said Kenworthy.
“I thought it would maybe help other people, either in professional sports or amateur sports or even just in communities where they felt isolated and scared to be themselves.” Gus Kenworthy
Minutes after the new breaking, Kenworthy's phone was blowing up. “I thought it would maybe help other people, either in professional sports or amateur sports or even just in communities where they felt isolated and scared to be themselves.” He says that the decision lead to what he calls "headspace" going into competitions, and that he no longer had to compartmentalize his life which allowed him to be himself, thus contributing to a greater since of freedom and confidence.
This would mean a big change for Kenworthy going into the Pyeongchang Winter Games next month, as he feel more confident and relaxed." Kenworthy is known by many as the "gay skier". But he's not running from the tag, instead he has embraced it and hopes to serve as an inspiration for LGBT people around the world. As Kenworthy says, he can be a gay man at the top of the world, an Olympic gold medalist, then he would prove so many people wrong," Nothing would make me happier, he said. Furthermore ”The Olympics is a cool opportunity to represent our country, which is amazing, but I have another community I am competing for and that is the LGBT community.
”There are all these stereotypes and stigmas that people have associated in their mind over time but nothing breaks barriers down more than visibility or representation. Gus Kenworthy
As per tradition, Kenworthy would visit the White House along with the rest of the U.S> Olympic team to meet then President Barack Obama. He describes the experience as "thrilling", however, if he is invited to the White House this time around he states he would politely decline. “I am very proud to represent the U.S. but I don’t stand by (U.S. President Donald) Trump and his cabinet and their policies,” said Kenworthy.
”I do not want to feign approval for policies that are in place and things that are being pushed at the moment, by going. If I was invited I would decline my spot.”