Sports: Olympian Shawn Barber Comes Out As Gay

Photo Credit: Shawn Barber Facebook

Twenty-two year old Olympian and world champion Steve Barber made history recently after coming out as gay on a Facebook post.

Put up on Monday, April 24, the post read: “Gay and proud! Thank you to my parents for being such a great support. I continue to grow as a person and have a great support group. My parents are my greatest support and have helped me through a lot recently. To my friends, you are always my friends and i love you too!”

The post — which was confirmed by the Canadian Olympic Committee as genuine, makes Barber “one of the highest-profile and most successful current openly gay athletes anywhere in the world”, according to Outsports.

Barber’s pole vaulting record includes winning the world championship in 2015, and coming in tenth at the 2016 Rio Olympics. As a student at the University of Akron, Barber vaulted a record 5.91 meters (19.38 feet) at the NCAA indoor pole vault, a record that still stands today. He is also the youngest man ever to vault six meters, a feat he accomplished in 2016.

Congratulations on coming out Shawn!

A4A friends, how do you feel about this coming out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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  1. Patrick Crosby

    What’s wonderful about this is that it’s not the “big deal” today that this would have been even one decade ago. That means he can be himself, and in that way have a happier life than those of the past who had to pretend. As my religious elders would have said, God love him.

    • Hunter0500

      Good point, Patrick. So what does it mean to “come out”? Does one receive a membership card for The LGBTQ Community? Can a person run for offices in “the organization”? Are there sponsored events? Are there discounts for gay-run or gay-friendly businesses? No.

      Other than announcing you are physically, emotionally and sexually attracted to the same sex, what does it mean?

      For persons in the public eye, for sure “coming out” means media representatives with “suspicions” do not get “the almighty scoop”. And The Community will embrace their “courageous” announcement at first, but give them no mind in the future.

      When Michael Sam came out, President Obama congratulated him on his “joining the LGBTQ Community.” So?

      Has “coming out” come to equate to “so what”? If so, isn’t that what “equality” is really all about?

  2. einathens

    good for him. and good for us that this isn’t a big deal anymore.

    and now the countdown starts until the ‘pole rider’ jokes begin.

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