Canadian teenage Olympic luger comes out as gay
Canadian Olympic luger John Fennell came out yesterday on his 19th birthday.
In an interview with the Calgery Herald, Fennell openly discussed his sexuality.
The Olympic athlete represented Canada in the luge at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.
He referred to being in the closet as “an all consuming paranoia of who could find out through what means.”
Fennell said: “Being in the closet is suffocating. You have to play this game of, ‘who knows?’ You can’t let off any 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.”
When talking about being gay, he said: “It’s something I was aware of, but something I didn’t act upon for a long time.
“It was something I tried to hide. I dated girls in high school. Being in an athletic culture, there’s a certain amount of bravado you have to uphold, so it’s something I really suppressed about myself.”
Fennell has received ample of support from his fans following his announcement, thanking them on his Twitter.
I’m so blessed to have such positivity around my life. There aren’t words for this feeling. Thank you.
— John Fennell (@johncanluge) May 28, 2014
This year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi created controversy following critical observations of Russia’s anti-gay laws.
“I was a little distraught over the lack of leadership going into Sochi,” he said when speaking about competing in Russia where “propaganda” of homosexuality is illegal to discuss with minors.
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