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BMX pro Corey Walsh, the 27-year-old biking champ and spokesperson for Van’s sneakers, just came out of the closet. He stands as one of the very few professional bikers in the world to come out as LGBTQ.
In an emotional Instagram post, Walsh revealed how he struggled with his sexuality for years before finally going public.
“If you were to tell me a year ago that today was going to be the day where I said f*ck it and let the world in on my personal life I would have told you that’s never going to happen,” Walsh wrote. “But thanks to the support of my family, friends, and sponsors I can finally accept the fact that I am gay and be open about it.”
“Trust me,” he continued, “I’m not the person who wants to let people in on my personal life and in a perfect world I would not have to. But the reality is there are a lot of people still struggling with the same situations and I just wanted to let people know that they are not alone. I feel like the world is shifting into a more understanding place and now is the time to open up the conversation within our communities every chance we get. So here we are.”
“[Fellow biker Kris Fox, Walsh’s longtime friend] and all the dudes have had my back during this whole process and he wrote a little piece about it,” Walsh added. “If you have time to give it a read it’s now live on @digbmx. Link is in my Bio. Thank you to Will and everyone over at Dig for giving us the platform to tell this story, it seriously means the world.”
The piece in question details the conversation in which Walsh came out to Fox, in the summer of last year. Fox affirmed and accepted Walsh on the spot. Walsh ended up caring for Fox as he underwent melanoma surgery later in the year.
For Walsh, the total acceptance from his friends, family and colleagues shocked and delighted him. He admits, however, that his experience is not universal.
“I understand the privilege I’ve had with my situation and the reality is a lot of members of the LGTBQ community don’t always get positive experiences,” Walsh wrote. “So I ask you if you can take anything positive from my situation please be open-minded to anyone struggling with their own journeys. And to anyone out there dealing with the bad days it does get better. Just take it one day at a time. And if anyone ever needs someone to talk to my DMs are open.”
“Also, a huge thank you to anyone else who has previously opened up to tell their story,” he added. “The only reason I have gotten to this point is because of you.”
“Holy sh*t that feels good, I’m stoked.”
So are we, Corey. So are we.