Openly gay gold-medal-winning Olympic diver greg Louganis made history as the first openly gay person to lead the Rose Bowl Parade. Despite hearing some boos after he was announced, Louganis said that it didn’t matter to him.
“When we were introduced at the game for the coin toss, when Janet and Allyson were introduced the cheers were united. When I was introduced… well there were some boos,” he wrote on Facebook. It actually made me feel proud, as I am who I am and will not back down from that, or apologize for that.”
Despite sharing the grand marshall title with two other athletes, Louganis’ appointment as a grand marshall is historical. He hopes that he inspired some LGBT youths. “The cheers were louder than the boos and I must say, ‘Thank you!’ If anything I hope LGBTQ youth can see something like that and stand proud. I am proud to stand with them. From the voice of a gay man who has been living with HIV/Aids for nearly 30 years. My message to those LGBTQ youth: ‘Don’t give up and you are worth more than you know! Also life does get better, and we have challenges ahead!'”