Attitude recently sat down with freshly out, dog-rescuing Olympian Gus Kenworthy, covering a range of topics from his sudden media attention and what it means to be an LGBT role model to his first boyfriend and, for lack of a better term, dick pics.
Here are some highlights — head here for the full interview.
On realizing he was attracted to guys:
I remember going with my family to these hot springs when I was a kid and there was a lifeguard there who was probably in his 20s, who was really fit and had, like, big arms and shoulders, which I hadn’t really seen before I guess – not in a swimsuit! And I was just like ‘Oh my god, what is happening!’ [chuckles] But I didn’t know whether I was so drawn to it because I wanted to look like that or to have that to myself, but I knew I had this pull, and obviously that got more frequent and stronger as I got older.
He tried to find the words to come out as a teenager:
I used to drive to hockey games with my dad, just the two of us, and we always had a good dynamic between us, and I remember wanting to say something, but just not having the words, or the courage. Also remember feeling that I didn’t want to come out because I hadn’t been with a guy in any form, and I didn’t want to tell people and have them go ‘Oh you’re sleeping with guys?’ because I hadn’t; I’d never even kissed a boy.
On his first sexual experience with a guy:
I had no idea he was gay or interested at all, we just became friends, and one night we’d been out to the bars and had a few drinks, and we staying at a friend’s and sharing a pull-out couch, and I kinda just thought I’m gonna kiss him, and if he punches me in the face I can play it off as having one too many to drinks or just being an idiot. But it ended up being reciprocated and it started a five-year relationship.
Addressing all those shirtless pics floating around:
I just think the worry is that I’ll type-cast myself or people will come to expect it. I’m not being controlled though, [my publicist] just thinks it’s important to remain a skier and not have all the emphasis on my body. And I agree. It feels good to have a bit of validation but it’s very vain! I know it’s vain, so I don’t wanna be that guy all the time. There’s a lot more to me.
On his constantly full inbox:
I’ve had a lot of kids saying that they’re in the closet or are having similar feelings, so I’ve tried to kind of search through my inbox for those, because I feel like those are the people that need to be responded to and need some attention. But in that process I’ve definitely opened up messages that are just of peoples’ dicks! I’m like ‘Why are you sending me this! This is ridiculous!’