In the early days of Outsports, out LGBT athletes who were willing to share their stories publicly were few and far between.
One of the few was Ryan Quinn, a cross-country skier from 1999 to 2003 for the Univ. of Utah. He won an NCAA national championship with the team in 2003, coming out to his team in “Mormon Country.” He was one of the first gay college athletes to publicly shine a light on the true acceptance in sports.
Today we’re thrilled to spread the joy of his marriage.
Quinn married his boyfriend of six years, Chris Fajardo, in Los Angeles last week. Fajardo is himself an athlete, a successful fixture at LGBT soccer tournaments.
The official ceremony was short and sweet with family and the closest of friends. The big party was last Saturday in Downtown Los Angeles, complete with flip-cup, cornhole and some fantastic food trucks (macaroni and cheese makes a memorable grilled-cheese sandwich).
Quinn’s contributions to LGBT sports run deep, coming out at a time and in a state where gay athletes were assumed to be rejected. Fifteen years ago when same-sex marriage was not legal in any state. His story inspired countless athletes to be their true selves and opened Outsports’ eyes to the truth about acceptance of gay athletes in sports.
“I was met not with hostility or even the surface-level gestures of tolerance,” Quinn wrote of his time in the early 2000s at Utah. “From my teammates I have received genuine interest, support, and mutual respect.”
Quinn was also one of the first dozen athletes Jeff Sheng ever photographed for his Fearless project, connecting with the skier in 2004.
Ever since then we’ve followed Quinn through many stages of his life, leaving college, advocating for equality at conferences, starting a blog and writing his first book (he’s kind of a badass author now). We at Outsports have also been blessed to have his written contributions on the site.
Extremely present at the festive celebration this weekend was the undying love Quinn and Fajardo have collected over the years through family and friends. From a unique best-men’s toast to lots of kisses and hugs, the couple certainly started their marriage on a loving, positive, inclusive evening.
As far as I know, neither of them had time to engage in the cornhole or the flip-cup.
We hope you will join us in wishing Quinn and Fajardo joy and celebration together.