Not All Reaction to Gus Kenworthy's Coming Out Has Been Positive

Gus Kenworthy

Not all the feedback since Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy came out has been positive. Some parts of the ski community aren't happy with all the attention being heaped on Kenworthy.

Immediately after coming out last month on the cover of ESPN The Magazine, Kenworthy told USA Today he'd been "completely floored by the response that I’ve gotten, everyone’s been so supportive and so kind with what they’ve said.”

Kenworthy has since been featured all over the media, including an interview and photo spread today with BuzzFeed News that marked his upcoming return to Slopestyle competition as part of the Winter Dew Tour on December 10.


That seems to bother one fellow skier, Alex Schlopy, who is known for a gold medal at the 2011 Winter X Games. Schlopy didn't make the U.S. Olympic team in 2014 to compete in Sochi, where Kenworthy won a silver medal.

"I'm very proud of you for coming out and being you," wrote Schlopy on Instagram, saying he'd waited a long time before posting it. "It must be a huge weight off your shoulders my dude. Not gonna lie, we all knew... Kind of haha. Doesn't matter. You're my boy either way. However, I do not like how you used your coming out to build yourself up even more."

That post, reported by OutSports, is missing from his account now. Instead, there's a "revision" in which Schlopy says "I'm very proud of you Gus you are so strong and a very good friend."

OutSports noted the original comment had sent backlash Schlopy's way, but it's left behind numerous comments from people within the ski community who says Kenworthy doesn't deserve attention for being out.

Kenworthy told BuzzFeed today that "There’s been a little bit of mixed feedback" from others in sports.

Kenworthy himself addressed Schlopy and that broader thinking more extensively in a recent interview with Attitude:

"You know, I get a lot of message from people saying ‘This is ridiculous, I don’t have a magazine cover for being straight’, and I’m like ‘No shit!’ It’s expected that if you’re in sports; you’re straight. And [his comments] really bummed me out because that’s someone I’ve known for a number of years, and someone I compete against, and if he did feel these things, I felt like voicing it on a public forum like Instagram is just a little bit rude. I’d rather he’d just reached out to me.

"The original caption [on his post] said ‘I’ve got friends that are gay and friends that are drug addicts, and they don’t have magazine covers,’ and I was really upset by the fact he compared being gay to being a drug addict. And of course doing the [ESPN] cover was for me in a lot of ways, but it was also for all the kids who’ve reached out to me since with their story, who’ve messaged me and said ‘because of the article I came out to my mom’, and I feel like if my article helps one kid or saves one kid’s life, that’s a win. If certain people don’t see that then that’s fine with me."