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Gus Kenworthy reflects on coming out a year ago today: ‘I am so tremendously thankful’

I am gay. Those three words are how I began the caption on this same photo one-year-ago, today. I remember waking up that day, with the most overwhelming sense of emotions. I was excited for a future where I no longer had to mask myself with heteronormative posturing. But then, of course, I felt apprehensive because I didn't know how people were going to react. I'd already told my immediate family and a few close friends and they all offered nothing but love and support and I decided that even if the rest of the world abandoned me, their support would be enough. However when the day finally came, I was terrified of losing friends, fans and sponsors. What I didn't anticipate though, was all that I was about to gain. I've gained so much over the past year and I am so tremendously thankful for all of it. I've started to love myself, a big step for someone who spent their adolescence in self-contempt. I've made lifelong friends, fallen in love and felt truer and happier than I ever imagined. I've witnessed myself swell with pride while holding my guy's hand walking down the street; no longer dictated by fear to walk with my hands in my pockets acting like the person I loved was merely a friend, an acquaintance. I got to ski completely unencumbered and ended up having my best competitive season ever because of it. And while competing I got to, finally, acknowledge my boyfriend standing at the bottom of the half-pipe cheering me on; something I regrettably failed to do in my previous 5-year-long closeted relationship. Ultimately, for the first time in my life, I got to feel free – something everybody should feel every day! I can't thank you all enough for the support you've given me over the last year, it truly means the world to me. I get messages every day from guys saying my story has helped them come to terms with themselves or given them the confidence to tell their friends or family that they're gay. And that, I have to say, has been the highlight of my past year. Of course there will always be nay-sayers but if I've helped even one person feel better about themselves then this process, for me, has all been worth it. I love you guys.

A photo posted by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

FILE UNDER: Coming Out

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One Remark

  1. I have to be honest. I don’t know who Gus Kenworthy is. I still couldn’t tell you what he does a year after his coming out. But I am so incredibly thankful for men, women, and others like him. I remember sneaking downstairs into my dad’s workshop every Wednesday to steal his portable TV and bring it upstairs so I could watch the newest episode of Dynasty. The show gradually grew on me, but it was a must see because it featured a gay character.

    We now live in a world where people like Gus Kenworthy are open and public about their differences. I know we have a long way to go – it’s still legal to fire someone for being gay, which blows my mind – but it’s people like Kenworthy that are making this world a much better place for everyone.

    I don’t need to know you, Gus. But I do need you to know I’m thankful for you and all the others that have made it easier for kids to love themselves for being who they are instead of hating themselves for who they aren’t.

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