John Fennell, the Olympic luger who represented Canada at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia, has come out as gay on his 19th birthday, describing being in the closet as “suffocating”.
The athlete made the announcement in an interview with the Calgery Herald. He told how being in the closet was “an all comsuming paranoia of who could find out through what means”.
Fennell continued, “Being in the close is suffocating, you have to play this game of who knows, you can’t give off vibes or secrets. You have to act super macho, you have to be hyper aware of your mannerisms and to not let off any vibes that could get detected. It’s very exhausting”.
The Canadian Olympic athlete concluded by saying that he was aware of his sexuality for some time, but that it wasn’t something he acted upon, having dated girls through high school, adding “there’s a certain amount of bravado you have to uphold”.
19 year-old Fennell tweeted upon receiving support from fans, “I’m so blessed to have such positivity around my life. There aren’t words for this feeling. Thank you”.
Earlier this month, the St Louis Rams selected Michael Sam, an openly gay football player from the University of Missouri, in the seventh round of the NFL Draft.
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