A gay surfer headed to the Gay Games may be China's first out athlete, reported LGBTQ sports site OutSports.
The surfer's name is Xu Jingsen (a.k.a. ASam). He announced his participation in the Gay Games on a messaging service called Weibo, OutSports reported.
"Yes, I am gay," Xu posted. "We have the right to choose love and to be loved. Sex, age and skin color are not shackles," he continued. "We are all the same, living in the sun.
"Today, I am brave to be my most true self, and I see it as the greatest gift I have ever given.
"If my bravery brings comfort to those who feel lonely, and encourages them to support equality, then everything I do will be more meaningful."
Xu's comments were translated "by the Federation of Gay Games and Bing," OutSports said.
The Gay Games issued a statement of its own, saying that Xu will serve as a Gay Games Ambassador.
"The Gay Games Ambassadors are an international group of prominent individuals supporting the goals and principles of the Gay Games," the Gay Games post explained. "As our first Gay Games Ambassador from Asia, we are very pleased both for ASam and for our organisation and movement."
"This visibility of our having a professional Chinese athlete as a Gay Games Ambassador has the potential to positively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of LGBT+ people in mainland China, the rest of Asia and across the world."
"Surfing is not a sport at the Gay Games, but a photo from the Federation of Gay Games indicated ASam will be swimming and playing basketball," OutSports noted. "Regardless, he is taking a brave step forward for LGBT athletes from China."
The 2018 Gay Games are slated to take place in Paris this summer.