Canadian-American diver Aidan Faminoff has opened up about his coming out story.
The 19-year-old from British Columbia, who came out last October for National Coming Out Day, has gone into detail about what made him decide to come out publicly.
The diver recalled the struggles he faced prior to coming out, and explained how he had known he was gay since sixth grade but never “felt comfortable enough” to talk to anyone.
“I was confused as to why I was attracted to men. Throughout middle school and high school, I would keep this to myself. I created a fake persona so I could blend in with the guys,” he told Out Sports.
He explained that when his friends would talk about “cute girls” he “wanted to scream” because he couldn’t talk to them about his attraction to men.
It was then that Faminoff found comfort in diving: “I was escaping being with the ‘guys,’ but also I was still hiding my true self. Diving was a way to get my mind off of all the emotions and feelings of not expressing who I really was.”
The diver went on to reveal that it wasn’t until the last month of high school, when he saw a bisexual female friend in a same-sex relationship, that he was able to come out of the closet.
“I saw one of my closest female friends be loving and happy with her girlfriend. I wanted to feel this way, comfortable in my own skin. She was an inspiration to me and made me feel confident.”
“Those who live with courage may not live forever, however those who live in fear do not live at all” So I guess this is the last step.. After hiding this for years I finally feel comfortable in my own skin, to be who I truly am. It has been emotionally tough not being able to talk about it with anyone but I feel ready. To the people who don’t know, I am gay. It’s weird and unsettling that I have to classify myself. It’s time for people to know and I’m proud of it. Since being in Florida, I have been open with everyone here and it has been the best experience of my life. Not looking for attention or sympathy just wanted to get this off my chest and finally express how happy I am to be me. Love you all #nationalcomingoutday
“She was openly bisexual, which helped me gain the courage to come to terms with my own sexual orientation. I remember sitting in my car in a parking lot with her, telling her everything.”
Her response shocked Faminoff, as she claimed to have always known he was gay. Faminoff admitted that he then began to cry because it was the first time “he had been accepted”.
Two years later, on October 11, 2016, which is also known as National Coming Out Day, Faminoff shared a photo of himself while coming out.
He said that he finally felt”free and open” and not needing to hide his sexuality led to a newfound confidence which allowed him to excel at diving.
“This is your life, so own it and live how you want,” he added.