Speaking out about the pressure he felt before coming out as gay in 2015, Olympian Gus Kenworthy spoke about the dark times he faced in an interview on YouTube with fellow out champion Megan Rapinoe.

He opened up about his experience of being in the closet before he came out.

“It’s exhausting being in the closet. There was so much time and energy put into harbouring that secret that I think it really took a toll on my mental health and I struggled with depression and at moments in my life, thoughts of suicide.

“I think for a lot of my career and my coming up in the sport, my mental health was kind of put on the back burner, and I feel like I was really compartmentalizing. I was not out of the closet. When I did take that stand and come out it was the best thing I could have ever done for my mental health.

Advertisements

Coming out had an unexpected up side for the star

He continued, “I thought it was gonna be, like, a thing that maybe it was a hindrance for my sport, and it was the exact opposite. My following year after coming out was my best season to date. I felt so liberated, I had a huge weight off my shoulders…I think that mental health is so important and I’m so glad that it’s something that is getting talked about more and more frequently now because it’s so important for everybody.

“It’s especially important for LGBTQ kids who are at a much higher risk of self-harm, just because they do struggle to come to terms with themselves, ourselves, and the rate of suicide is so much higher.”