After the two-day Olympic trials in San Jose, Josh Dixon was not named to the five-man U.S. men’s gymnastics team. Dixon could have been one of the first out players to hit the team. After placing 13 out of 15 competitors, Dixon was only 13 points from securing fifth-place. Even though he was not named as an alternate, he is still a champion for a community.
Last week OUT Magazine published an article featuring the 22-year-old gymnast. In the interview he discusses his sexuality, responsibility to the gay community and facing racial discrimination. Check out some of the details from the interview:
Asked if he ever felt discrimination, he says he would get questions about his skin color and eye shape. “Some girl would ask, and then be like, ‘Oh, you’re like Tiger Woods!’ But I never had a conflict of identity or anything like that. I’m so proud to be multiracial,” he says. “It’s never been a thing in our family. I don’t need to have a relationship with my birthmother. Oh, please. Dumb.”
Dixon says there wasn’t a trigger, but he was forced to start thinking about relationships when a close friend from his childhood, who was attending school in the Midwest, visited him at Stanford and came out to him during their sophomore year. Later, he dated another athlete at school—“It takes a super-competitive ‘freak’ to understand another super-competitive guy,” he explains—but is currently single. He says he doesn’t have time to dedicate to a relationship.
Recently, an older former college teammate visited and urged him to speak out. “He told me, ‘Now that you’re out to your close friends, you’re in a very powerful position to break down barriers, especially in gymnastics,’ ” Dixon explains. “I realized I have an obligation, a responsibility to say, ‘It’s OK to be gay in our sport.’ Ultimately, it’s about your gymnastics, whether you’re worthy to be on the team or in the sport.”
Read more of the interview at OUT Magazine.
Check out this video of Dixon hitting the high bar-