Zack Leader, an openly gay gravity bike racer from England, has his sights set on this year’s world championships in Italy and he’s not shying away from what being an out athlete means.
“I think this is important for the LGBT community, too,” Leader said “We’re visible in a place we never were before and never looked like we were going to be before. Not only are we visible in terms of pure presence, I’m showing to the younger generations who don’t yet see or feel it that LGBT athletes can be competitive on the world stage.
“Tom Daley has shown that in diving, Adam Rippon in skating, Freddy Niblack in car racing, now me in gravity bike racing. The more visible we are, the competitive we become and the greater we inspire. This is an important event for the whole community.”
The world championships will be held in August in Teolo, Italy, where Leader will be one of the 10 racers vying for the title. If he wins, the 19-year-old Leader would be the youngest gravity bike champion in history.
“This is a huge opportunity for me to both show what I am capable of and to write history,” Leader said. “I know I am more than capable of winning a world title, I have both the determination and skill to be a real contender. My bike feels more than capable of winning and my team certainly are as they’ve done it three times before so it’s all down to me.”
Leader came out New Year’s Day on Instagram and it’s great that he’s embracing being out as he seeks a world title.
So 2018 is finally here and for about 6 months now, this is how I wanted to start the new year. A fresh start. No more hiding, no more lies, no more fannying around! To some of you this won’t be news or anything new but to a lot of you, I imagine it won’t have even crossed your mind. Some of you may have thought about it I imagine What I’m trying to do is come out and say I’m gay ️ I’ve spent a lot more time in paddocks in recent seasons but this issue has never come up, I’ve never known if the paddocks would accept a gay rider. I guess I’ll find out soon! I’ve always worried that people would look at me differently and so wouldn’t accept me into paddocks. I’ve always worried this would hinder me from getting sponsors and maybe even signed by teams in the future; that team managers wouldn’t want the hassle and so wouldn’t bother, regardless of how good I may be. Obviously I’ll find all this out in good time but I really hope everyone both in general life and racing life accepts me for who I am. This is a purely personal decision to come out but maybe if there are other LGBT racers in British paddocks then it may help them to find themselves and consider coming out too, or find the confidence to talk about it. I’m always happy to talk to anybody about it Maybe one day we may see more racers happy and confident to come out as a member of the LGBT community! I’m telling you all now though, I’m a man on a mission. I’m going to be the first openly gay BGBC champion and then one day I’m going to Britain’s one of Britain’s first openly gay national motorcycle champions and the ultimate goal is to be THE FIRST EVER OPENLY GAY BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPION. And mark my words, I’ll get there if it’s the last thing I do! I’m going to be an ambassador in racing for the LGBT community too which I’m going to be incredibly proud to do Feel free to message about anything guys but I hope you all accept me and continue to show me the love! ❤️ I don’t currently have that special guy in my life to share everything with and to share my journey to glory with at the moment but I’m working on it Happy new year everyone! #gay #gayteen #lgbt #gayracer #comingout