Professional BMX rider Corey Walsh came out as gay in an emotional Instagram post Tuesday. The 26-year-old from Ontario, Canada, becomes one of the first out LGBTQ+ riders in the industry.
“If you were to tell me a year ago that today was going to be the day where I said fuck it and let the world in on my personal life I would have told you that’s never going to happen,” Walsh posted to Instagram. “But thanks to the support of my family, friends, and sponsors I can finally accept the fact that I am gay and be open about it.”
Walsh, who is sponsored by Vans, admitted he is “not the person who wants to let people in on my personal life,” but the BMX pro said he knows there are many people “struggling with the same situations” and that he wanted to reach out and let them know “they are not alone.”
The first person in the industry Walsh came out to was his best friend and fellow BMX pro rider Kris Fox, who wrote about the experience in DigBMX.
“What would you think if someone came out in our industry?” Fox recalled Walsh asking him last August and the pair shared a quiet moment together. When he responded he thought that would be “incredible,” there was a pause before Walsh asked what Fox would think if he were the person to come out in the industry.
“Dude, that’s fucking awesome,” Fox replied a few moments later when Walsh finally said the words “I’m gay.”
Walsh explained the time felt right to come out to the rest of the industry and the public, saying he believes “the world is shifting into a more understanding place and now is the time to open up the conversation within our communities every chance we get.”
He thanked his friends for their support who had his back when he needed it the most.
“The only reason I have gotten to this point is because of you,” he said of his friends.
Walsh also reached out to anyone reading his message who might be struggling with their own sexuality and in need of a kind voice of support, saying his “DMs are open.” He joins other out riders like Matt Beringer, Graeme Obree, and Justin Laevens.