U.S. track star Trey Cunningham comes out as gay

Trey Cunningham, a prominent American track and field athlete, has publicly come out as gay, joining a small group of openly queer male elite athletes.

In an interview with the New York Times, Cunningham, referred to as “one of the leading high hurdlers in the world,” opened up about his journey.

He first came out five years ago at the age of 20, sharing the news with friends and family through phone calls, which he described as the “scariest thing I’ve ever done.” While he initially faced some “pushback” from his parents, Cunningham explained, “I had to take my time. They could take theirs, too.”


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In a separate interview with Us Weekly, Cunningham expressed his hope that coming out publicly would “help push the needle forward that it’s okay. This is normal.” He also noted to the Times, “There are lots of people who are in this weird space. They’re not out. But it is kind of understood.”

While many former professional athletes have come out after retirement, it remains uncommon for queer male athletes to compete openly. NPR has reported on this issue, highlighting the challenges these athletes face.


Megan Rapinoe, a high-profile out lesbian soccer player, commented in 2022 that the scarcity of openly gay male athletes is often due to safety concerns. “They either feel that they’re going to be abused from fans, they’re going to be kicked off teams, have slurs thrown at them, whatever it is,” Rapinoe said on Sky Sports show The HangOUT.

Recently, long-distance runner Nico Young made history as the first out gay male track and field U.S. Olympian, qualifying for the men’s 10,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials. Cunningham also competed at the trials, reaching the finals in the men’s 110-meter hurdles, though he did not secure a spot on the team.

Reflecting on his experience, Cunningham told Us Weekly, “I’ve grown up in a time where people just don’t care anymore. I feel like I was on the cusp of that change, just a little bit.” He added, “I’m just Trey and apparently it’s a special thing that I like to kiss guys.”

Written by Telha

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