This past Friday was National Coming Out Day, and Olympian Kerron Clement wanted to celebrate in a particularly special way: by coming out himself.
“I was tired of loving in the dark,” he told Out magazine. “I have been through what a lot of people have been through which is being afraid of being who you are.”
The Gold medalist shared that he had been struggling with the revelation that he was gay for 17 years, adding that growing older had made him feel more free to share his truth with the world.
“I’m just telling my story, finally being free and comfortable,” he said. Clement competed in both the 2008 and 2016 Olympic games, winning silver and gold medals in 2008 and another gold medal in 2016. His image has always been associated with equality and inclusion. He was even featured in Nike’s BETRUE campaign, citing this as one of the reasons why he decided to come out.
“I have a global brand backing me… It’s absolutely amazing. I wish all companies would do [what Nike does].”
Clement adds that even though his sister was disappointed he didn’t come out sooner, his family has been equally supportive. This has allowed the athlete to feel free in a way he hadn’t been able to feel before.
“Once you have that peace — and I have that peace — you can exhale,” he said.