Aspen Daily News columnist Wendle Whiting came out as gay last week after being inspired by the story of fellow Colorado native and Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy.
“I am gay,” Whiting wrote in his heartfelt column, titled “I Am Gus,” Thursday, confirming his sexual orientation to the public. “Today begins the rest of my journey. I simply cannot count down any more lonely days to the final mile of my trip. There is one person that bears the most responsibility for motivating me to finally do what is right: Gus Kenworthy.”
Kenworthy made headlines in October of last year when he publicly came out as gay in a tell-all cover story with ESPN Magazine, becoming the world’s first openly queer professional action sports athlete. He is currently competing in the annual winter X Games in Aspen, an event the Aspen Daily News includes in its sports coverage.
“Gus has given a gigantic push to his peers, and this generation, toward realizing that the stereotypes that defined gay people for so long are not the reality,” Whiting wrote.
“Gus is making it easier for others by showing the world that he’s not a flawed human being. He’s a successful extreme athlete, and gay. So what? His honesty about living closeted and his reasons for choosing to do so are unique to him, and that’s the most poignant point: they are unique to each of us, and almost always difficult.”
Read his full column at the Aspen Daily News.