Olympian Gus Kenworthy, who late last
month came out gay on the cover of ESPN Magazine, says he felt
shame before coming out.
The 24-year-old British-born American
freestyle skier won the silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in
In an interview with TeamUSA.org,
Kenworthy said that the timing was right for him to come out.
“I was struggling maintaining this
facade and was just ready to let my guard down and let people in,”
the 24-year-old Kenworthy said. “I think because there have not
been that many [out action sports figures], it kind of further
envelopes gay men with a sense of shame, which I definitely felt for
a long time.”
Kenworthy said that he did not received
any negativity from sponsors: “I'm more than happy to be open about
it and so far everyone, from a sponsor point of view, is supportive.”
“When I announced it, I had some
people that were shocked. They were saying, 'You lost my support.'
And then there are all these new people; I've gained their support.”
“You have to embrace it, become proud
of it. I think it's not so globally accepted that you can be, 'I'm
gay, so?' and feel that it's [routine]. I want that to be the case,
but I don't think we're there yet,” he added.