Corey Walsh is Gay - And it Matters

Corey Walsh is gay.

Corey Walsh is one of the best transition riders in the history of BMX. He’s undoubtedly one of the most badass dudes to ever step foot on a bike. He’s well-liked, highly respected, and a prime example of what it means to be a professional rider. And he’s gay.

Does it matter?

Amongst the thousands of supportive comments that flooded social media, I noticed a handful that alluded to Corey’s announcement “not mattering.” I don’t think the majority of these were written with malice - but rather under the implication that this topic shouldn’t influence the way we view Corey. He’s still the same rider and person that he’s always been. 

While I don’t think that’s an incorrect viewpoint, I absolutely think it matters and should be discussed. 

Why?

Firstly, because Corey put it out there. He’s not one to be incredibly open about any aspects of his personal life and, if it’s important to him to say this publicly, it’s important for us - as Corey’s fans, friends, and fellow riders, to acknowledge it. Corey has given enough to BMX to earn our time, attention, and respect. When he has something to say, we owe it to him to listen and at least attempt to understand.

And, secondly, because Corey is an example. If Corey putting this out there helps anyone holding something similar inside gain the courage to be open about it, he very well could have drastically improved someone’s quality of life - and possibly even saved a life.

It was incredible to see the amount of support Corey’s announcement generated on social media, but now it’s time to put it to action. It’s easy to say “congratulations” and post a rainbow flag emoji. What happens in the coming months and years will really show if our community can step up and continue to show this love to Corey and to others in similar situations.

BMX has come along way, but we’ve never had a rider with Corey’s status, resume, respect, and reputation come out right in the prime of their career. This is an iconic moment for BMX and for action sports in general. I honestly think this is much bigger than Corey realizes. 

Corey is a personal friend of mine and, as happy as I am to have him open up about this, I’m also disappointed that he’s likely been battling it internally over all the years I’ve known him. I can only hope he’s happier than he’s ever been - but still brings the pissed off chaos to concrete bowls around the world.


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