Listen: UK Gymnast Luke Strong Comes Out as Bisexual in Podcast Interview

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday July 28, 2020

British gymnastics champ Mark Strong
British gymnastics champ Mark Strong  (Source:YouTube)

Luke Strong, a top-level British gymnast, burst out of the closet as bisexual in an appearance at "The LGBT Sport Podcast," which is produced by the BBC.

Strong's Twitter profile notes that he is a "5x British Champion" and a "European & World Medalist!"

A little more than 18 minutes into the podcast episode - titled "The One with Luke Strong" - the topic of conversation turned to the 26-year-old gymnast's bisexuality. Strong answered the question, "What's it been like for you, being an LGBT person in sports?"

"Honestly," Strong replied, "it's not been too bad, really. I think like most people in the LGBTQ community, like, growing up is always a little bit difficult." For Strong, much of the harassment that came his way as a youth had to do with his sport, with the comments coming from people who thought that "gymnastics is a girls' sport."

The harassment intensified in high school Strong recalled, though when his schoolmates saw him in competition, "they had a lot more respect for it and realized how difficult it was."

Still, Strong said, some anti-LGBTQ animus persists. "I think it comes from a little bit of jealousy, as well, from people who don't do sports, and don't understand it, so it's easy to make fun of it."

In his school days, Strong went on to say, "I honestly didn't kind of think about sexuality or know sexuality. I didn't ever think about boys; I didn't think about girls. I just wasn't what I cared about. I just loved doing sports... and that was kind of all that I ever thought of."

As he grew up, Strong eventually sorted out his feelings for members of both genders. At one point in the process, Strong said, his coach asked him about his sexuality. "I remembered just crying and not really knowing why," he disclosed.

Publicly talking about his sexuality, though, was still something new for him. "For my whole life I've never done that whole coming out thing," Strong said. Noting that he's seen how some people come out on social media, Strong added, "That's never really been my kind of style."

Added the athlete: "People ask me, and I'll tell them, and I'm completely comfortable with who I am."

Luke added that he still encounters trolls on the Internet who hurl crude comments and hateful messages.

"I honestly don't even think about that ever," Strong added. "I kind of feel more sorry for people like that, that they are so closed-minded and think that it's offensive to be called gay, because it's not."

TClick here to listen to his interview with the BBC.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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