Canadian volleyball pro comes out as gay

23-year-old Chris Voth, who plays on Canada’s national men's team, said coming out for him was about being a good role model

Canadian volleyball pro comes out as gay
21 January 2014

Chris Voth is believed to be Canada’s first openly gay national level athlete.

Over the weekend, he came out publicly in an article with Winnipeg Free Press where the over-6-foot athlete talked about the difficult process of accepting his sexuality and coming out.

He also said if his coming out can help at least one person, it was well worth it.

When Voth told his teammates individually that he was gay, fellow players said he made a positive impact in their attitudes.

‘We didn’t treat him any differently at all,’ fellow player Chris Komishon said.

‘If anything, the biggest thing was we tried to be more respectful of the language we used. In the past, the term “gay” was used negatively so we were just more conscious of that.’

‘It was tough," Voth said in his interview about coming out.

‘I’ve kind of been living that life for about five years. It was pretty much sport that kept me going, teammates and friends I had through sport.

‘The first person I told was a teammate in second-year university and I got to the point where most of my close friends knew but no family members. You imagine the worst so it took a while before I was ready to jump off the cliff and take the plunge with family.’

While his teammates responded positively, his family struggled a little more with the news.

‘We certainly are supportive of Chris and we try not to be judgmental but it’s still very new to the both of us,’ Voth’s father Lloyd said.

‘Where we’re at with our son is we still love him the same, there’s no difference in terms of how we treat him. However, it’s still something we’re not sure how we’re going to handle in the future.’

Despite the negative attention some high-profile athletes, like Tom Daley, have received for coming out of the closet, Voth said his motivation was for future athletes to have a good role model.

He said: ‘My motivation here is, I know when other athletes have come out, there is a lot of negative reaction. If it is all negative but one person gets helped, then we’re even. If one more person gets helped, then we’re plus-one.

‘I wish when I was growing up I had a role model for that. It was still kind of taboo. Now I see some athletes coming out and that’s kind of inspired me. Maybe I can help the people that follow me be more comfortable.’



No thumbnail available

Did Oprah's BFF Gayle King say 'I'm Gay' on network TV?

CBS This Morning co-host explains she was stuttering after joking exchange with Charlie Rose
No thumbnail available

Doctor told woman to blame her rape on being bisexual

In a new UK study, it found over a third of bisexuals had been sexually harassed
No thumbnail available

Criminals under law in 76 countries, UN tells LGBT people ‘you are not alone’

Amidst gruesome reports of homophobic violence and murders around the world, the United Nations has launched a Free and Equal campaign to promote LGBT rights
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's sons disappointed in dad's dissing of gay marriage ruling

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's sons disappointed in dad's dissing of gay marriage ruling

One of the sons had been best man at a lesbian cousin's wedding last year
No thumbnail available

Tom Daley named biggest inspiration in sport to UK teenagers

The Olympic diver topped a poll that sought to find out which public figures inspire UK teenagers the most, three months after he revealed he was in a relationship with a man  
No thumbnail available

French bisexual goes from porn to pop

Julia Channel hopes her new single Forever in a Day will storm the charts and clubs in UK
No thumbnail available

Actor once outed by tabloid publicly bids farewell to acting career after 30-plus years

Chad Allen was regular on TV's Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman and went on to play many gay roles
No thumbnail available

Anti-gay marriage Equalities Minister vows to protect gay marriage

Caroline Dinenage may have voted against it, but she says she'll help to progress LGBTI rights in her new role
No thumbnail available

Former New York Mayor Ed Koch dies at 88 unforgiven by AIDS activists

Many consider him a closeted gay man he didn’t do anything on AIDS when his constituents were dying of disease
No thumbnail available

Italy's prime minister says 'no' to gay marriage

Mario Monti, who's running for the next general elections, says that 'a family is formed of a man and a woman'. One of his candidates, gay entrepreneur Alessio De Giorgi, resigns because of a 'defamation strategy'