Gus Kenworthy Became Emotional Talking Coming Out At 2019 Point Foundation Gala

Gus Kenworthy (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Point Honors Gala New York 2019)

Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy was honored this past Monday at the Point Foundation’s 2019 New York gala.

The Point Foundationempowers promising LGBTQ students to reach their full academic potential – despite the obstacles often put before them – to make a significant impact on society.

Point is the largest scholarship granting organization in the United States for LGBTQ students of merit.

Introduced by Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness, Kenworthy accepted this year’s Point Leadership Award by remembering his own school years when he was closeted.

Speaking of the LGBTQ students in the room, he noted how “incredibly inspiring” they are to him as they live their truths today “unashamed and unapologetically.”

“I wish that I had the courage to be myself when I was in high school,” he admitted “But it took me many years to get to that point.”

The Olympic silver medalist addressed the “stress and anxiety” queer adolescents face during those years.

“We often face ridicule and we fear torment,” he continued. “My time spent in the closet is a blur of depression and anxiety.”

Noting that he did experience high points during those times – becoming a professional skier, graduating high school, making his first Olympic team and scoring his first Olympic medal – the 27-year-old candidly shared that, “I didn’t really enjoy those moments to their fullest because I truly wasn’t present for them.”

In keeping up a facade of ‘straightness,’ he says he didn’t really feel the gravity of winning an Olympic medal.

And, echoing sentiments we heard from White House hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg this past weekend, Kenworthy admitted that he tried to wish away being gay.

“I remember wishing more than anything else that I were just straight,” he told the audience. “I would literally pray that I might wake up and not be gay anymore. I would be ‘normal’ and the rest of my life would be easy. I worked twice as hard at everything I did to make up for the fact that I was gay – something I thought was a shortcoming at the time.”

But coming out – something he used to fear – would be his salvation.

Kenworthy explained that once he came out in 2015 via ESPN Magazine, he had his best ski season ever. And he hadn’t changed a single thing about his training or approach to his sport.

Except – “I was finally competing as myself.”

“And that little extra bit of energy, that I’d previously spent worrying, stressing, compartmentalizing, that extra little bit was my ticket to success.”

Gus Kenworthy (L) and Jonathan Van Ness (R)
(Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Point Honors Gala New York 2019)

Kenworthy then listed many of the fearsome obstacles young LGBTQs face today including “violence” and “isolation.”

He became emotional intoning the danger gays around the world contend with, like being stoned to death in countries like Brunei.

And here in the U.S.: “We have a president who has made repeated attacks on our community, on our trans brothers, sisters, and gender non-binary siblings.”

“We have a Vice President who still believes in conversion therapy, for f*cks sake,” he added.

However, expressing his confidence that the next generation of LGBTQ youth will create a bright future, he offered this in closing: “Continue spreading your charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent – because shantay, you stay!”

Click here to learn more about the Point Foundation.

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on Apr 9, 2019 at 9:43am PDT

Journalist Ronan Farrow Comes Out As “Part Of The LGBT Community”

Ronan Farrow at 2018 Point Foundation Gala
Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil/Getty

Journalist Ronan Farrow came out as “part of the LGBT community” last night in New York City as he was presented with the Point Courage Award by MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, himself a past Point honoree.

The Point Courage Award recognizes those who have advocated for the future of the LGBTQ and allied community and believe investing in today’s potential will produce a brighter tomorrow.

In his acceptance speech, Farrow said, in part:

“Being a part of the LGBT community – which recognized that reporting I was doing early on and elevated it, and has been such a stalwart source of support through the sexual assault reporting I did involving survivors who felt equally invisible – that has been an incredible source of strength for me.

“LGBT people are some of the bravest and most potent change agents and leaders I have encountered, and the most forceful defenders of the vulnerable and voiceless, because they know what it’s like to be there.”

Farrow’s sexuality has been the source of quiet gossip since 2013. The 30-year-old didn’t specify if he identifies as gay or bisexual.

Farrow has earned kudos for his in-depth reporting on the allegations of sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein and the emerging #MeToo movement.

Tony Award-winner Laura Benanti was honored as well with the Point Impact Award, which recognizes those who make a significant impact on improving the LGBT and allied community.