Water Sports

Michael Gunning on retirement and calls for equality

Former Jamaica and Team GB athlete Michael Gunning announced his retirement from competitive swimming on 24th May. But his work is far from done as he sat down with J-FLAG on The Pride House Podcast to discuss his efforts to fight for equality in sport.

Gunning came out publicly as gay in 2018 but despite trepidation of his announcement, he found allies:

“It made me feel like I had a community,” he explains on the podcast. “It was so comforting to know that. There were lots of athletes and friends out in Jamaica that offered me guidance, and there was a fear around them showing publicly that they were an ally to me. But just being my friend showed that people on the international team were proud to know me. They forgot about my sexuality but just liked me as a person. For me, that’s still allyship. Hopefully when that fear goes, more people will speak out about those issues. I feel like I was really supported.”

Now, he wants to change the laws that see homosexuality as illegal in 36 Commonwealth countries.

Stream the podcast episode below.

(via Sports Media LGBT+)

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