Dutch rower Maarten Hurkmans has come out as bisexual, while explaining how hard it was for him to come out being a sportsman.
Through an Instagram post the athlete wrote: “Are you your unapologetic self? Everyone that knows me will say that I’m very unapologetically me.
“I have a clear presence, you can always read my mood straight off my face, and I can be the absolute worst morning person. I am also bisexual, something that I consider to be an important part of who I am.
“For many people, sexuality is not something to consider much. However, for many LGBTQ+ people, a lot of time and anxiety can go into discovering, accepting and reconciling themselves with their sexuality.
“I am very lucky to have been brought up by amazing parents in an open and accepting environment, and luckily, I have never experienced my sexuality as much of a burden. Not everyone shares my experience though.”
Explaining the difficulties in coming out as a sportsman, he wrote: “It can be hard to come out, especially in sports. Not many elite athletes identify as LGBTQ+ and there are few role models to look up to and show that it doesn’t matter and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
“I am 2.01m, 110kgs, proud of who I am, and I row at the elite level. To many, I do not fit the stereotype, but I do want to be an example to anyone that feels like they can’t be their true self.
“Identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community does not make you less masculine, or able to compete and win. In the end, we all line up at the same starting line with the same anticipation as we endure those final minutes before the start. Equally tense and ready for the green light.”
As ‘Gay Times’ report, Hurkmans’ post has received a great deal of support from friends and fans. The athlete is now in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games next year, where he will be competing as a proud out athlete.
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