Out Olympian Gus Kenworthy Refuses Trump Invite: ‘I Don’t Want to Go Shake His Hand’
In this Gus Kenworthy interview, the out Olympian reveals what he will do if he is invited to the White House after the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Gus Kenworthy is set to make history as the first openly gay male to ever compete in the Winter Olympics when he takes to the slopes in South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics. In a new interview with Time, Kenworthy describes his experience coming out and what he will do if he is invited to the White House to meet U.S. President Donald Trump.
“The thought of being the first openly gay male ever to compete in the Winter Olympics — I totally embrace that,” says Kenworthy. “I so badly want to inspire that community and do well for them. It’s fucking cool.”
Kenworthy came out on Oct. 22, 2015 with a simple tweet saying, “I am gay.” In the Gus Kenworthy interview, he describes a phone call where a skier he looked up to apologized for bullying him prior to that day.
I got a call from someone in my industry this was someone that I looked up to a lot and he would be like, “Where’s your boyfriend, you faggot?” and all these different things and like, “Why you late for practice? You suckin’ his dick?” Things that were so inappropriate and really hurt me. And then the day that I came out he called me and was choked up, like almost in tears and was like, ‘” just want to say I’m so sorry because of the things that I said and I never really actually thought that that was the case and if I ever had I would have never said those things.” Like, “I’m so sorry if I made it harder for you or anything.” That phone call from this person, like the last person I would have ever expected, really made me feel like, “Oh my god! This is gonna be a much better experience than I thought it was going to be.”
Team members from the USA Olympic team are usually invited to the White House after the Olympics. Kenworthy says he wouldn’t accept an invite from Donald Trump. “I have no interest in faking support,” Kenworthy says. “I don’t want to go shake his hand.”
“I still have a lot to prove but it’s not even so much to myself now,” he reveals. “It’s kind of like to everybody else. I feel in a way it’s this other demographic that’s watching me. It’s the LGBT community and like so badly I want to inspire that community and do well for them. I would love to win a gold medal and have that for my country and for my community and just be able to have that for me is a pressure that I want.”