The Gay Divers

Way back in 1995, I was just beginning to come out as a gay man. I wasn’t even old enough to drink, and in that tenderness of youth I had no idea what I was doing. I devoured any remotely gay book I could find, starting with the Greg Louganis autobiography, ‘Breaking the Surface’.

He had just come out as an HIV positive gay man, and his story was a riveting one. I might not have been able to relate much to the discipline of becoming an Olympic Gold Medalist, but I could totally understand the coming out portion, especially at that particular moment in my life.

To read about someone as respected and accomplished as Mr. Louganis, and to know that he had gone through something similar, was incredibly moving and powerful. Whenever anyone questions the relevance and reasons of public figures coming out, I think back to that time, and how reading about other gay men absolutely galvanized me.

Now I see that Matthew Mitcham has an autobiography coming out at the end of the year, entitled appropriately enough ‘Twists & Turns’. As another gay Olympic Gold Medalist, he’s an inspiration for those just coming out today. I may be at a different point in my life, but I can’t wait to read it.

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