Swimmer John Kim thought that this year’s National Coming Out Day was the right time for him to finally share a secret he’s been hiding for too longer.
Kim is a cadet at the Virginia Military Institute and also the recently elected captain of the school’s Division 1 swimming team.
Kim shared with Outsports that he finally came out to his friends and team, which scared him beyond belief.
“My fear was based on the school being conservative and tradition-laden,” he said but he added, “If I wasn’t honest with my coaches and teammates, how could I expect others to be honest with me?’”
John Kim first told his two best friends, then his co-captain, then his coaches and eventually the team.
He recounted the way he told his coaches, “Coaches, I have been meaning to share this with you since the first day of the season, but after some setbacks, I am finally ready to share … I’m gay.”
Then, he shared his truth with his team and received first murmurs before gaining applause.
John Kim is the latest in an increasing list of athletes, specifically college athletes, who are coming out of the closet. And if you ask Kim, it’s about time.
“By telling my story, I hope that I can help anyone who is struggling to come out,” Kim explains.
“I realized I was gay in high school, and it still took me until I was 22 to feel comfortable telling my story.”