ESPN made some TV history last weekend when it proudly identified a male competitor’s boyfriend for the first time on screen.
The historic TV first occurred during Gus Kenworthy’s competition in the Aspen X Games, his first X Games event since he publicly came out as gay last year. ESPN gave his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas, some screen time, identifying him as “Gus Kenworthy’s Boyfriend” on screen.
“You have a lot of support down here,” a reporter told Kenworthy. “This is a pretty historic night.”
“Yeah, the TV boyfriend thing sounds weird, I know,” Gus later told Rolling Stone magazine about the historic moment. “But everyone I looked up to growing up, they would show their girlfriend on TV – you know, Simon Dumont’s girlfriend, or Tanner Hall’s girlfriend, or whatever. I was just kind of bummed that it was something that I’d never have. I felt like I was never going to be confident and authentic and introduce someone as my boyfriend to the reporters and have him on TV. It was really special to want to do that and be happy about it. It was amazing. I looked up at the screen and saw Matt at the bottom. And it was touching being there with my mom, my boyfriend and my agent – my little support team.”
Gus shared the historic moment on his Instagram:
Watch Gus compete in the Aspen X Games below: