Emma Gee, first openly LGBTQ+ athlete at BYU, on the performance enhancing benefits of being your authentic self

Social Sport

July 12, 2021

*CW: this episode mentions suicidal ideation

National suicide prevention lifeline: 800-273-8255

Emma Gee is a queer Division 1 runner who competed for both Brigham Young University and Temple University. She recently completed her final collegiate track season at the NCAA Track & Field Championships by racing the 3000 meter Steeplechase. In April 2020, Emma graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Public Relations. She was the first LGBTQ+ athlete to come out publicly at BYU, and the only athlete to be out during her five years at school, an experience which Emma has written and spoken openly about. Emma is currently completing a masters degree at Temple University.

On Instagram, Emma said: “I went from being a little closeted Mormon girl on a partial cross country scholarship, to becoming the first LGBTQ+ athlete to publicly come out at BYU, to qualifying for nationals and racing at NCAAs for the first and last time.” Hers is a story of self-love, authenticity, and the benefits that come from being your true self.

Discussed in this episode:

–Unlearning childhood lessons

–Student stories regarding BYU’s honor code, @honorcodestories

–Having a supportive, identity-affirming adult in your corner

–Emma’s Instagram post on her presentation to senior athletic leadership at BYU

–NCAA Common Ground Initiative

–Speaking out VS quietly taking care of your own mental health

–Navigating a public relationship

–Supporting a loved one’s sexuality and gender identity

–The importance of pronouns


“My relationship with myself is the most important relationship I’m ever going to have.” -Emma Gee

On pronouns and unlearning the binary: “do better honey.” -Emma Gee

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