This Chinese Surfer Just Became China’s First Openly Gay Athlete
We’re so proud of ASam! He’s a Chinese surfer who just came out as gay, making him China’s first openly gay athlete. Not only that, but the Chinese gay surfer will be heading to the Gay Games this year in Paris, France. He’ll be the first-ever Gay Games Ambassador from China.
Last Thursday, Xu Jingsen — better known as ASam — came out on his Weibo page. The Federation of Gay Games translated his message and our friends at OutSports passed it along. The Chinese gay surfer wrote:
I am ASam. I will attend the global Gay Games in Paris, France, in August this year and serve as an ambassador.
Life is human, the ultimate measure of our inner courage. Yes, I am gay. We have the right to choose love and to be loved. Sex, age and skin color are not shackles. We are all the same, living in the sun.
Today, I am brave to be my most true self, and I see it as the greatest gift I have ever given. If my bravery brings comfort to those who feel lonely, and encourages them to support equality, then everything I do will be more meaningful.
Though homosexuality is legal in China (and the country even had a gay emperor around 600 B.C.E.), there are very few protections for LGBT citizens, and homophobia is rampant. Studies have shown that only 5% of Chinese LGBT people are publicly out.
Though the Gay Games doesn’t have a surfing event, ASam will compete in swimming and basketball. We wish ASam all the best and can’t wait to see how he does in both Paris and the 2022 Gay Games, which will be held in Hong Kong.