With his boy-next-door looks and world class sporting credentials, Olympic medal-winning freeskier Gus Kenworthy leapt straight into their hearts of gay men everyhwere when he came out publicly in October 2015.
It’s been a whirlwind few months for the young star as he begins to navigate life as one of sport’s most prominent LGBT figures, and though he might have swapped Essex for the Denver Rockies when he was just three years old, we’re thrilled Gus is getting back to his British roots with his first gay press shoot in the pages of Attitude.
In an exclusive 10-page shoot and interview in our brand new March Issue – available to download now – the 25-year-old reveals how heartbreak helped inspire him to finally go public about his sexuality, recalls the homophobic he used to be confronted with from his friends and fellow competitors, and admits he thinks Russia’s anti-gay laws made it “unfit” to host the Sochi Winter Olympics back in 2014.
“It felt shitty,” Gus says of being closeted during the Games, where he made his name with a silver medal finish.
“I wasn’t worried about being targeted necessarily, because nobody knew that I was gay but I still felt uncomfortable knowing how Russia, the country and the government, felt about me. I had been in Russia the year before for the test event with my boyfriend and they wouldn’t let us check into the hotel room. They were like, ‘Two guys can’t be in the same bed’.
He continues: “You quickly realise that you don’t want to be in the country anymore. The Olympics are the pinnacle sporting event in the world, where it’s supposed to be about all these countries coming together and yet you have this country that’s so backwards in their thinking hosting it.
“I don’t want to sound ungrateful because I had a good experience, but it just felt like it was an unfit hosting country.”
Also in Attitude’s March Issue, alongside all your usual fashion, fitness, travel and real life stories:
- We explore gay sex, love and relationships in our Valentine’s Love & Dating special, as we delve into the world of apps, hook-ups, and how to make a relationship last.
- Attitude meets hot young thing and rising star Douglas Booth, who talks equality, his breakthrough gay roles and new film Pride & Prejudice & Zombies.
- Aussie singe-songwriter Josef Salvat discusses sexuality, experiemtation and why as a straight man he’s not afraid to kiss men in his music videos.
- This Book Is Gay author Juno Dawson speaks to Attitude as she begins to undergo her transition, ahead of a new monthly column exploring the best of LGBT culture.
- Sheila Reid has a right ole’ knees-up playing How Gay Are You? as Benidorm returns to UK screens.