Olympic gold medalist comes out as gay with a powerful and inspirational message

Olympic Champion Kerron Clement

Olympic champion Kerron Clement came out as gay on National Coming Out Day because he said he was “tired of loving in the dark”.

Clement won the gold medal for the 400-meter hurdles in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and before that won silver for the same event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where he was also part of the gold medal-winning 4×400-meter team.

He also held the world record for the 400-meter indoor sprint for 13 years, before it was broken in 2018.

He told Outsports that as he’d gotten older, he’s realised that his “hard times” have made him a better athlete and that he doesn’t care what people think anymore.

He said: “I was tired of loving in the dark and being in the dark by myself. I was hiding that part because of what society thought.

“But it’s OK to be that way. Nothing is wrong with loving someone of the same gender. Love is love. I have an attraction to men. It’s who I am and it’s what made me become the athlete I am today.”

Olympic Champion Kerron Clement

USA’s Kerron Clement competes in the Men’s 400m Hurdles Final during the athletics event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

He continued: “I appreciate the hard times I went through when people made fun of me. It made me stronger. When they said things behind my back. It made me have a tough skin and a backbone, and it made me work hard on the track.

“And I performed because I had something to prove. That’s what made me become an Olympic champion.

“People should learn how to say: ‘F**k what everybody else thinks.’ As I’ve gotten older I started caring less and less, and now in my 30s I thought it’s time to finally be free. Plain and simple.”
Clement added that his sexuality is “about loving somebody” and that he was reluctant to label himself, but for now he identifies as gay.

“I could be attracted to a female one day or a guy,” he added. “I’m more attracted to men.
“But for me love is love. It doesn’t matter. Though I do identify as a professional gay track and field athlete, and it’s made me become who I am today.”

Earlier this year, during the World Cup, Megan Rapinoe said having gay people on a sports team was the key to success.

She said: “Go gays! You can’t win a championship without gays on your team – it’s never been done before, ever. That’s science, right there!”