National swimming champion Tom Luchsinger came out to his parents on Sept. 28, 2014. It was the culmination of years of internal torment and strife over being gay and at the highest level of swimming.
When the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage across the country in June, Luchsinger knew he wanted to do something to commemorate his own personal journey. The day after the SCOTUS ruling, he had the date he came out to his parents tattooed on his left wrist in Roman numerals as a reminder to himself and a symbol for anyone else who might see it.
"Since I came out publicly and started mentoring people, I began to realize that not everyone who comes out to their families gets the same response I got," Luchsinger told Outsports. "It gives me a small jolt or shot of energy when I'm feeling down. It symbolizes love. Nothing wrong with love."
Luchsinger's professional journey will next bring him to the United States Swimming National Championships in San Antonio, Aug. 6-10. Luchsinger won the 2013 national championship in the 200-meter butterfly. Last year was a struggle for him as he worked toward coming out to his family, friends, and eventually the world.