Celebrating National Coming Out Day
U.S. Ski & Snowboard is celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) community in honor of National Coming Out Day.
Olympic slopestyle skiing silver medalist Gus Kenworthy (Telluride, Colo.), one of the organization’s most recognized athletes and one of the only openly gay action sports athletes, will engage with fans for a Facebook Live chat at 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday to discuss his experience coming out and how it has changed his life over the past two years.
Kenworthy was featured on the cover of ESPN The Magazine in October 2015 when he came out, one of the first Winter Olympic medalists to do so. He received a flood of support from teammates, sponsors and fans around the world. It not only gave Kenworthy a platform to tell his story, but he also encouraged others in his situation to do the same.
“The support I received the day I came out, and all the support I've received since then, has been unbelievable,” said Kenworthy. “Many aspects of my life, skiing or otherwise, are more enjoyable for me and those around me because I haven't been trying to hide anything.”
As an Olympic medalist, World Championship medalist and five-time X Games medalist, Kenworthy has long been a pioneer in the sports of halfpipe and slopestyle skiing, which made their debut at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Since coming out, he has established himself as a leader in and advocate for the LGBTQ community, engaging with organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, The Trevor Project and The Happy Hippie Foundation to help spread the message of equality in the action sports community and beyond.
“It was a big decision to come out in such a public way, but it gave me a platform to really make a difference,” continued Kenworthy. “I've been open about my experiences since coming out and I hope to inspire others to embrace their true selves and speak up about the issues still facing the LGBTQ community.”
Each year on October 11, National Coming Out Day continues to promote a safe world for LGBTQ individuals to live truthfully and openly. U.S. Ski & Snowboard supports Kenworthy and all individuals in being true to themselves and pursuing their dreams on the slopes and off.