A personal blog by a Black, Gay, Caribbean, Liberal, Progressive, Moderate, Fit, Geeky, Married, College-Educated, NPR-Listening, Tennis-Playing, Feminist, Atheist, Math Professor in Los Angeles, California
Josh Dixon is a Stanford graduate and gymnast who is hoping to make the United States Olympics Men's gymnastics team, came out of the closet as an openly gay man recently. There has never been a publicly out gymnast in the Olympis, male or female, but Josh Dixon intends to change that.
Dixon and his two sisters were all adopted at birth by Michael and Kathy Dixon. While the three children were born at different times, they share the same birth mother, whom none of the family has ever met. It was through his sisters that he first discovered gymnastics.
The Dixon household was diverse: Josh is half-black and half-Japanese, while his father Michael is white and his mother Kathy is Japanese.
Maybe it was the multicultural household he grew up in, but Dixon never felt his early crushes on boys were wrong. Still, he didn’t talk about those crushes because he was immersed in gymnastics from the time he hit puberty.
In fact, Dixon said he has not had a single negative response “in any way, shape or form.” If anything, the only homophobia he has encountered has been from within himself. He acknowledges he once felt internal pressure about being a gay man in what some label the “gay sport” of gymnastics. He didn’t want to fall into a stereotype. But he’s come to embrace it, and he says his sexual orientation now makes him stand out more at the elite level. While he stands out, he isn’t the only one. Dixon knows of at least three more still competing in college, and he says he is not the only elite-level American gymnast who is gay.