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Gay teen comes out to his swimming team and gets best possible reaction

Gay teen comes out to his swimming team and gets best possible reaction

Swimmer

A gay teen accidentally came out to his swimming team, but did not expect the reaction he received.

In 2015 at just 13 years old, Alex Liu came out to close friends and family.

He swam with the Northern Dutchess Aquatic Club in Hudson Valley of New York, but just progressed into the senior boys’ lane and didn’t really know anyone.

One day during practice, the boys were discussing an older swimmer who was a ‘homophobe’ and without thinking, Liu said: ‘Remind me to stay away from him.’

He didn’t think anyone heard but then a boy, who is a year older, turned around shocked and asked: ‘You’re gay?’

Alex Liu
Alex Liu Julia Liu

Liu wrote for Out Sports about what happened next: ‘Everything, including my heartbeat, froze.

‘A wave of terror and nausea came over me as I stared at him wondering how I should answer. Eventually, I mumbled, “Yeah kind of” and looked down at the pool, holding my breath, and waited for his reaction.

‘He just went “Oh” and went back to swimming.

‘Gay men can be just as competitive or athletic as other men’

Alex Liu thought at the time: ‘I remember swimming mindlessly that day just thinking, “Is that it? Is there nothing else?”’

Alex Liu
Alex Liu

Liu also describes the moment his swimming coach gave a subtle nod of support to his sexuality.

He wrote: ‘At a meet in the following months, my coach stopped my mom while I was in the locker room and said “Alex is my boy. I have been coaching him since he was 6 years old and he will be safe on any team I coach.”

‘And since I came out, I have felt nothing but safe,’ he said.

Liu says it’s important to stay true to who you are and that it’s alright to be different.

He ended his coming out story: ‘As a gay male athlete, I also want people to know that gay men can be just as competitive or athletic as other men.’

Read his full piece.