One Picture That Shows How Much Sports Has Changed For Gay Men

“The world of sport is definitely starting to do its part in making it a place that is inclusive and safe for athletes to be their true selves,” speed skater Blake Skjellerup says. Although there is much more progress to be made, a moment this week showed how much the world has changed for gay men in sports.

As Blake Skjellerup wrote: “I feel short, and humble! Amazing to meet the first out MLB player Billy Bean. The first out NBA player, the ever so slightly tall Jason Collins. And Kirk Walker, the proudly out UCLA Softball coach and NCAA Champion.”

Skjellerup, a short track speed skater who competed in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, is aiming to represent New Zealand at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

BuzzFeed asked Skjellerup about the photo, which came together at an OutSports event in Los Angeles:

Instagram: @blakeskjellerup

For now, though, Skjellerup is working to get back to the Olympics, where he would be the first out gay athlete at the Winter Games. Here’s his Indiegogo page, where he’s raising money for the trip to Sochi.

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Chris Geidner is the legal editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Geidner won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association award for journalist of the year.
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