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U.S.A. track star Trey Cunningham comes out

American track star Trey Cunningham, who participated in last month’s U.S.A. Olympic Trials, has publicly revealed that he is gay.

In an interview with The New York Times, Cunningham mentioned that coming out to his family privately five years ago was the “scariest thing I’ve ever done.”

Now, he is disclosing his sexuality to the rest of the world. His decision to come out publicly, he told the Times, stemmed from a track training technique he practices.

“We say our goals out loud,” he explained. “If there’s something we want to achieve, we say it. Putting something in words makes it real.”

Cunningham, 25, a former runner for Florida State University, stated that he didn’t “explore the idea” of being gay until he attended college, attributing the slow process of exploring his sexuality to his upbringing in a conservative and rural part of Alabama. The hurdler described his hometown of Winfield as “the sort of place where you did not want to be the gay kid at school.”

Image Credit: Canva

As ‘Yahoo! Entertainment’ reports, in a separate interview with Us Weekly, Cunningham said he eventually realised that “people just don’t care.” When asked if he thought coming out publicly would change anything, he replied, “I’m just Trey, and apparently it’s a special thing that I like to kiss guys.”

While Cunningham expressed feeling fortunate to be surrounded by people who were unfazed by his coming out, he acknowledged that this might not be the case for other male athletes who have not felt as comfortable.

“There are lots of people who are in this weird space,” he told the Times. “They’re not out. But it is kind of understood.”

Cunningham won a silver medal in the 110 meter hurdles at the 2022 World Athletics Championships and advanced to the Olympic Trials last month, though he missed securing a spot on Team USA for the Paris Olympics. As a world-class athlete whose career might take him to places where homosexuality is criminalised, Cunningham told the Times that his public coming out would mean consulting with his management before traveling to certain countries.

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