Gymnast Savannah Schoenherr perfectly stuck the landing in a coming out video to mark the end of her sophomore year at the University of Florida. In just a day, it’s gone viral, with more than 31K views on Twitter and nearly 8K views on Facebook.
And since then, she’s seen a huge, positive response, full of acceptance and love.
“I knew I was gay for a long time,” Schoenherr said in the video she posted. “It was just something that I pushed away for a long time and I tried to tell myself that I wasn’t. It was attached to such a negative stigma.”
Something else the sports management major said will certainly resonate with anyone who’s struggled with coming out:
“Everytime I would hang out with somebody, I felt like I was keeping a secret from them. It was super, super hard and exhausting carrying it around.”
Growing up in the South, Schoenherr said her fear of how her family, church and teammates would react held her back, worrying how it might change how she was treated in the locker room, on campus and in social situations. “I was worried I was going to be judged,” she said. The positive reception, however, has been “a huge weight off my shoulders,” she said. “As long as I’m happy they’re happy,” Schoenherr said her family and friends told her.
Another one of the reasons she found it difficult, she said, is how gymnastics is perceived.
“Gymnastics is seen such as, like, a ‘straight sport,’” said Schoenherr. “So, it’s not as normalized as in other sports.”
The university’s gymnastics team shared her video on both Twitter and Facebook.
Never be afraid to be your true self.— Gators Gymnastics (@GatorsGym) June 24, 2020
We are so proud of you, @savannah_fs! #PrideMonth #LoveWins #GoGators pic.twitter.com/XfrwfldQ3R
Follow Savannah, who goes by “Sav,” on Twitter by clicking here.
Never be afraid to be your true self. ❤️ We are so proud of you, Savannah! #PrideMonth #LoveWins #GoGatorsPosted by Florida Gators Gymnastics on Wednesday, June 24, 2020