British gravity racing champion Zach Leader came out as gay in a heartwarming Instagram post New Year’s Day.
The 19-year-old feared losing friends and sponsors in the racing community, but wanted a “fresh start” for the new year and decided to post about his journey online.
“To some of you this won’t be news or anything new but to a lot of you, I imagine it won’t have even crossed your mind,” Leader wrote. “What I’m trying to do is come out and say I’m gay. I’ve always worried that people would look at me differently… [that] this would hinder me from getting sponsors and maybe even signed by teams in the future.”
So 2018 is finally here and for about 6 months now, this is how I wanted to start the new year. A fresh start. No more hiding, no more lies, no more fannying around! To some of you this won’t be news or anything new but to a lot of you, I imagine it won’t have even crossed your mind. Some of you may have thought about it I imagine What I’m trying to do is come out and say I’m gay ️ I’ve spent a lot more time in paddocks in recent seasons but this issue has never come up, I’ve never known if the paddocks would accept a gay rider. I guess I’ll find out soon! I’ve always worried that people would look at me differently and so wouldn’t accept me into paddocks. I’ve always worried this would hinder me from getting sponsors and maybe even signed by teams in the future; that team managers wouldn’t want the hassle and so wouldn’t bother, regardless of how good I may be. Obviously I’ll find all this out in good time but I really hope everyone both in general life and racing life accepts me for who I am. This is a purely personal decision to come out but maybe if there are other LGBT racers in British paddocks then it may help them to find themselves and consider coming out too, or find the confidence to talk about it. I’m always happy to talk to anybody about it Maybe one day we may see more racers happy and confident to come out as a member of the LGBT community! I’m telling you all now though, I’m a man on a mission. I’m going to be the first openly gay BGBC champion and then one day I’m going to Britain’s one of Britain’s first openly gay national motorcycle champions and the ultimate goal is to be THE FIRST EVER OPENLY GAY BRITISH SUPERBIKE CHAMPION. And mark my words, I’ll get there if it’s the last thing I do! I’m going to be an ambassador in racing for the LGBT community too which I’m going to be incredibly proud to do Feel free to message about anything guys but I hope you all accept me and continue to show me the love! ❤️ I don’t currently have that special guy in my life to share everything with and to share my journey to glory with at the moment but I’m working on it Happy new year everyone! #gay #gayteen #lgbt #gayracer #comingout
“I really hope everyone both in general life and racing life accepts me for who I am,” he added. “Maybe one day we may see more racers happy and confident to come out as [members] of the LGBT community!”
Gravity racing is a form of racing that relies entirely on gravity for momentum—cars or bikes have no engines or wheels. Leader is a two-time British Gravity Bike Evo Cup champion.
Now he hopes to be Britain’s first openly gay superbike racer: “Mark my words, I’ll get there if it’s the last thing I do,” Leader wrote.