Professional snowboarder and skateboarder Jake Kuzyk came out as gay on Tuesday, the fifth LGBTQ snowboarder to do so in a series of interviews on Torment magazine’s website.
In announcing his public coming out, Kuzyk, a 30-year-old who lives in Vancouver, posted a photo of himself with a rainbow across his smiling face on Instagram along 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!
The chance to share my personal story alongside a really special group of queer people in snowboarding feels perfect.I really hope that this can help push for further acceptance and understanding in our community for LGBTQ+ and all other folks who feel marginalized in this world. To build some space for those who need it. There are many who do.
With everything going on right now, It doesn’t feel like the time to be talking about myself. But I know this conversation is important. And it feels like there’s a shift happening. People are really listening. And trying to be better. I hope that this does not distract attention away from the civil unrest and extreme social injustices that the BIPOC community has faced for a very long time.I’ve reconciled with my privilege and how that affects the people in society who are different then me. We think by being a good person it’s enough. But a place needs to be made for those who are on the outside. Just being “fine” with someone’s existence is not enough.
If you have learned acceptance for me through my story. I ask you to find that same acceptance for all people in the lgbtq+ community and beyond. No matter who they are or what they look like.Happy Pride
#linkinbioOk, Im hyped.
Kuzyk joins fellow snowboarders Chad Unger, Kennedi Deck, Jill Perkins and Tanner Pendleton in coming out on Torment, a clear sign that snowboarding is shaking off its homophobic past. It was an awesome idea by Torment to run these as a series in Pride month and all the interviews are very well done, with a lot of depth and introspection by writers who know their subject and sport very well.
Kuzyk had been out to his family and a small group of friends the past year, but to no one in snowboarding. He told Torment that he discovered Pendleton was gay in 2018 before attending a memorial service for fellow snowboarder Dillon Ojo.
I had no idea [Tanner] was gay, so when he told me and I put down the phone, I cried in my room. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve known him for eight years. We live really similar lives and have such common interests. That really just blew the doors off for me. When I hung up the phone, I knew then that was it. Something shifted, and there was room for me. Tanner had broken this mold that held me back.
When Tanner told me he was gay, I felt completely disarmed. I knew we would see each other in Montreal for Dillon’s memorial and that I needed to say something. It was late that night, and we were with a huge group of all his friends in the park. People from all over. It was really beautiful. Tanner and I had a short moment alone. I knew he was leaving early the next morning and that was my only chance. I just said it. “I’m gay.” I broke down. We moved to an empty part of the park and talked for hours. We could relate on so many levels right away. It was this huge release.
The entire interview with Kuzyk is worth your time and his feelings are both universal to the experiences of other LGBTQ athletes while being intensely personal at the same time.
You can follow Jake Kuzyk on Instagram.