Making a splash

Captain of the Virginia Military Institute swim team shares his inspiring coming out story

Meet John Kim. He’s the 22-year-old captain of the Virginia Military Institute swim team, a 45-member, Division 1 swim team. He’s also gay.

In a moving essay published by Outsports, Kim writes about coming out to his friends and teammates on National Coming Out Day earlier this month.

The night before my life completely changed, I sat in my room exhausted from a full day of classes and swim practice at Virginia Military Institute. As thousands of other things went through my mind, I kept saying to myself that tomorrow was the day. How are my teammates going to react? How are they going to treat me after this? What are other people at school going to think? How is the rest of my family going to react? What are my roommates going to say?

Related: This gay autistic swimmer refuses to let anything stop him from being #1

The next day, after classes, Kim went to swim practice. The first person he told was his co-co-captain.

“She was very supportive and stood next to me when I asked my coaches if I could talk to them privately,” he recalls. “The reactions I got from them were support and happiness. I asked my coach if I could tell the team, and he agreed. I asked the team to hop out of the water, and everyone gathered around.”

That’s when he made the big reveal.

“Hey guys,” he said, “I’ve been meaning to tell you something that I’ve been meaning to share for a while because I consider you all more than just teammates, but friends and brothers and sisters: I’m gay.”

There was a pause. Kim heard a few murmurs and then… cheering.

Related: How two college swimmers helped each other come out

He writes:

After practice I got back to my room and got messages from teammates saying how proud and happy they were of me. I then decided to come out to the world. I posted my coming out on Instagram, and have received amazing support from friends, family, former teammates and even former swimmers I coached over the summers.

Read Kim’s full coming out story over at Outsports and scroll down to see some shots from his Instragram account…

….so I guess you are what you eat…big and gay…sorry ladies .? .? .? It wasn’t until today till I told some of my best friends and most importantly my teammates about my sexuality, being gay. Since early on I knew I was gay, and it wasn’t until high school that I was for sure, but I didn’t tell anyone, I thought it would just phase away. Then once college started, being at a Military school, I didn’t know what do if someone knew I was gay. . Flash forward to this summer, I went to my first Pride in DC with my best friend, and realized that there isn’t any reason to shy away from who I really was, and through new friends and support from old friends and family, I got the courage to finally come out. And after today, I feel like a whole lot has been lifted off my chest. . I’m still a student, swimmer, coach, son, brother, dog dad, friend just also gay. .?? So be you, be proud, have fun, and don’t do ordinary cause that’s boring! . Happy #NationalComingOutDay #instaguy #instagay #gay #werkit

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Missing the doggo a lot ???? #sircharlespuppy

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Great workout today. Ready for the weekend!

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So practice is hard and so is school. Can I go back to coaching and summer?

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Who says you can only wear speedos at the pool?

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Guess who’s home??

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