US swimming star comes out as gay: ‘I have accepted who I am’

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A US swimming champion has come out as gay, describing himself as the “king of the double life”, but saying “I have come to accept who I am”.


Tom Luchsinger (right) came out as gay in the letter

Tom Luchsinger came out in a letter published on OutSports, in which he reflects emotionally on having tried to “pray away” his homosexuality, and a long struggle around trying to accept who he is.

He writes:

For as long as I can remember I tried to repress my feelings through athletics. I tried to hide who I was through medals and accomplishments. I tried to pray away my sexuality. I tried to shower it off. Nothing ever worked. After years of stress, hate, and disgust toward myself, I have come to accept who I am. I am a proud gay man living my life the best way I know how, surrounded by people who love and support me!

For years, my sexuality was the quality I was most ashamed of about myself. But now it seems that being gay is one of the characteristics I’m most proud of. I have accomplishments linked to my name that most heterosexual men will never have. I’ve overcome the fear of being rejected from the people I love the most.

My friendships have gotten stronger because of my self acceptance. My smile is a lot more genuine and surfaces much more frequently. I laugh a lot more. My body has time to recover from a workout because I’m actually an easy-going person. I have found qualities-both physical and emotional-that I like about myself – though that’s still a work in progress. My number of good days far out number my bad days.

I’m still the same person I have always been, just a hell of a lot better at it.

Luchsinger’s full letter can be read at OutSports.

At the 2013 US national championships, he won in the 200m butterfly and qualified for the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona. The Atlantic Coast Conference named him Swimmer of the Year in 2013.