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Olympic swimmer Sean Gunn opens up about coming out as gay: ‘I was really lucky’

Sean Gunn
Sean Gunn (Image: Instagram/@seangunnnn)

The Zimbabwean athlete, Sean Gunn, has shared his story publicly about coming out as gay, saying that he struggled to tell his family for some time.

The Olympic swimmer, 30, has shared that he came out as gay first to his teammates at the University of Kentucky in the United States. In 2012, then 18, he moved to study and swim there before competing in the 2016 Rio Olympics by which point he was also swimming for Kentucky.

He told Outsports recently that he realised he was gay at Kentucky after dating girls initially. “My team, and everyone who did know, was very supportive and happy for me,” Gunn said. “I honestly don’t think anything really changed at all. If anything, friendships just became better.”

He also said he had “built it up for so long,” and was “terrified” of negative reactions. Kentucky is not known for being a great LGBTQ+ friendly state, passing a bill last year that banned gender-affirming care for minors. “I was really lucky that everyone was so amazing and wanted me to be the happiest version of myself,” Gunn continued.

“I have so much to be grateful for!” – Sean Gunn

The athlete told Outsports that he came out to his family when he was 27. “I just struggled with it for way too long.” Thankfully he’s not had a bad reaction there either saying, “It makes me so happy to be surrounded by friends and family and so much love.”

No longer an Olympian, Gunn lives in South Africa with his boyfriend. He said he was happy to walk away from elite sport. While no longer swimming as much as he used to, Gunn said he’s in “such a good space right now.” He finished: “I have so much to be grateful for! I’m getting older, but I’ve never felt younger, fitter, and happier, which means the world to me!”

Gunn is the latest athlete to open up about his sexuality. He joins the likes of Josh Cavallo, Tom Daley, and Anton Down-Jenkins.

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