When 21-year-old Clark Carter first transferred to Indiana University to join the school’s diving team, he knew he wanted to be open with his new teammates about his sexuality.
But he also knew he was in Indiana, the state that elected homophobe Mike Pence to be its governor.
“It wasn’t necessarily easy,” Carter, a junior, recalls in an interview with Outsports.
Rather than drag things out by telling each of his teammate’s individually, Carter decided to do it in group text to the entire Indiana men’s and women’s diving teams.
“I was like, this group of people is my family,” Carter said. “Just like my family, I can tell them anything. I just thought it was time–given the day, given the circumstances.”
To his relief, the response was “super chill.”
“I want to be careful when I say this just because I love my teammates to death,” Carter says. “They are the most supportive group of people that you’ll ever meet.
“On the conservative side of things … they have been firm in their beliefs but very accepting of mine, too.”
He’s now the school’s first publicly out athlete, currently representing the Hoosiers at the Big Ten Swimming and Diving Championships.
“I’m just proud to represent my school, and I’m just proud to be a Hoosier,” he says. “Now that I’m helping to represent the LGBT community, too, as the season moves forward, I have that to be proud of as well.”
Scroll down for shots from Clark’s Instagram page…
As we leave for big tens, I need to take a moment to reflect on everything that’s led up to this point in my life. Since coming out, I’ve been able to think clearly and shift my focus to performing in the pool and representing my school without worrying about hiding who I am. To everyone who’s been there every step of the way, thank you, your support means more than you know. The link in my bio contains my full story in being an LGBT athlete, thanks @hallerik for a great piece! Now buckle in Hoosiers, we got a B1G meet this week baby ??