When Torment magazine published the coming out story of snowboarder Tanner Pendleton last week, it got our attention.
“To be honest, it was a confusing road, and not everything is black and white, in my opinion,” Pendleton told the snowboarding magazine. “I also think there’s a difference between knowing that you’re gay and accepting that you’re gay.”
Java Fernandez, a self-described close friend of Pendleton, conducted the interview and wrote that she herself was surprised to learn Pendleton is gay.
Follow Tanner on Instagram: @tannerpendleton
“He was the first of his peers in snowboarding to have come out. In fact, he may very well be the first male in the snowboard industry to come out,” Fernandez wrote.
While we don’t think Pendleton is, in fact, the first ever — we reported on Germany’s Daniel “Dani” Rajcsanyi in 2013, so it’s possible he’s the first out male U.S. snowboarder — but no matter what, he’s not the last, either.
Torment has followed up on Pendleton’s story by profiling four more snowboarders who, by sharing their stories with the magazine, are now publicly out:
Kennedi Deck — “...not only was I a dirty tomboy preteen, I now had this added outsiderness. I struggled a lot from then to 16, constantly trying to convince myself I wanted to wear dresses and kiss boys. It didn’t work.”
Follow Kennedi on Instagram: @kenned1deck
Chad Unger — “Chad was openly out before, but it wasn’t well known, because few had dug deep enough to ask. Maybe that’s because his snowboard friends hadn’t taken the time to see the world as he does, to take a step back from the banter and bullshit to observe.” — Spencer Schubert in the introduction to his video interview of Unger, who is deaf.
Follow Chad on Instagram: @blackhydrant
Jill Perkins — “I feel like I just recently started to accept myself and my feelings. I wasn’t necessarily fighting them; I just never fully embraced them. That being said, it took time for sure. But that’s important. Nobody should feel forced into situations or feel like they need to express themselves in ways they aren’t ready to.”
Follow Jill Perkins on Instagram: @jillperkins
And on Tuesday, Professional snowboarder and skateboarder Jake Kuzyk came out as gay. In announcing his public coming out in the magazine and on social media, Kuzyk, a 30-year-old who lives in Vancouver, posted a photo of himself on Instagram with a rainbow across his smiling face, with this message: “I always wondered what this moment in my life would look like. I guess it looks like this!I’m very proud to be gay!”
Read Outsports co-founder Jim Buzinski’s story about Kuzyk’s coming out by clicking here.
Follow Jake Kuzyk on Instagram: @jakekuzyk
Click on the names of the snowboarders to read their full stories at Torment magazine. We have reached out to each of these incredible out LGBTQ athletes and plan to follow up with them for future profiles in Outsports.