May 1, 2018 at 12:18 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Gus Kenworthy to headline DNC’s annual LGBTQ gala

Gus Kenworthy (Screenshot courtesy of YouTube)

Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy will attend the Democratic National Committee’s 19th annual LGBTQ gala as a special guest on June 25 in New York City.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join the DNC at their LGBTQ Gala this Pride season,” Kenworthy said in a statement. “Over the last year, the Trump-Pence administration has pushed our community to the sidelines, attacking us for who we are and who we love. It’s time we take a stand against this administration by electing representatives this upcoming November who actively support and believe in equality for everyone.”

DNC Chair Tom Perez added, “Gus has been a tireless advocate for his community, standing up to hate and a Trump-Pence administration that has repeatedly attacked and demeaned LGBTQ people. The 2017 elections were a landmark moment for the LGBTQ community. Not only did we elect the first openly transgender state legislator, but LGBTQ candidates broke barriers from Palm Springs and Seattle to Minneapolis and New York. This year, we want to celebrate that success and refocus the LGBTQ community on just what is at stake in the coming 2018 midterms. With the help of people like Gus, Democrats will win up and down the ballot, from the school board to the Senate.”

Kenworthy, along with fellow out Olympian Adam Rippon, declined to attend the April 27 athlete reception at the White House.

“All US Olympians and Paralympians are invited to visit the White House and meet the President after the Games. Today is this year’s visit and USOC spokesperson says he’s never seen so many athletes turn down their invites. The resistance is real,” Kenworthy tweeted.

Kenworthy was quick to defend his decision to not attend the reception and noted that he and Rippon didn’t receive government funding while on the U.S. Olympic team.

“To those saying @Adaripp and I shouldn’t get gov’t funding since we skipped the White House visit: WE DON’T! Absolutely $0. The US is one of the only countries that doesn’t pay a penny to it’s Olympic team to train/ compete. All money comes from sponsors and private donations…” Kenworthy tweeted.

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