Artistic gymnast Louis Smith has spoken during an interview to say that he think it is easier for gay gymnasts to come out than other sports, and that he would go gay for Will Smith.
Speaking in an interview for the current issue of GT (Gay Times), Smith discussed the pressure of being a professional athlete, and said that he supports the right of gay people to get married.
Speaking of his support for equal marriage, Smith said: “What is ‘natural’? If someone says to you ‘act normal’ – what is ‘normal’? You can’t be defined. If you fall in love with someone you fall in love with someone.”
When asked who he would choose to go out with if he were gay, Smith named actor Will Smith, noting the star’s family life as a major reason for the choice.
“I got asked this the other day… I said Will Smith. Because he’s very dedicated to his family, he’s very loyal, funny, hard working and talented. So, in the most non-sexual way, it would have to be based on the person.”
The gymnast, who specialises in the pommel horse, and Strictly Come Dancing winner, said he thought there were lots of gay athletes in the closet, and that the pressure not to come out was one of the reasons they did not come out.
“Expectation – no matter what it is – tends to build up pressure and nerves. I had an expectation on me to perform and to achieve certain results in the games, and I think if you’re in a sport that’s deemed as a man’s sport you have that expectation to be straight. That’s a lot of pressure to carry on your shoulders, so that’s tough.”
Speaking of his field, he said he thought there was less pressure than in other sports. He said: “You know there’s been a lot of people that’ve come out in gymnastics… because you’re always wearing a leotard, it’s a very artistic sport, it’s not rolling around on the floor getting muddy, so I don’t think there’s that much pressure.
“When you first start off doing something like gymnastics your aim is never to become famous and rich. You love the sport, you do the sport, and for me things are progressing beyond that… things are evolving, I guess, things are taking a different route. The world is evolving too, I think it’s a better society you know not just for gay people but people doing different things. It’s becoming easier, I think, for people to come out in sport and talk about some of the things they’ve kept bottled up.”
The current issue of GT featuring the full interview, is currently available for digital download.