What's on your mind?

When did you know when to come out to your teammates/friends? Were you nervous? How did you build up the courage?

Emma Gee & Nikki Hiltz
She/Her & They/Them
Track & Field

I was extremely nervous to come out to my teammates because I was afraid I wasn’t going to be accepted by them. I was also afraid some of my relationships would change or even end completely. But I also had a fear that I would live my whole life never being able to live as who I truly was. I was scared I was never going to be able to date or fall in love with a woman or be affirmed in my gender identity. I knew it was time for me to come out when those fears of never being able to live as my authentic self became bigger than the fears of being rejected. And so, when I was ready, I started slow and told just one teammate at a time. Each teammate’s response gave me more reassurance that being myself was going to be ok and I eventually had the courage to fully show up as my authentic self.

Together, always,
Emma Gee & Nikki Hiltz
Emma Gee & Nikki Hiltz
She/Her & They/Them

Emma Gee is a queer professional track athlete specializing in the 3000 meter steeplechase & currently training for the 2024 Track & Field Olympic Trials. She was the first LGBTQ+ athlete to come out publicly at BYU and actively works to challenge anti-queer policies at religious institutions through her Queer Athlete Podcast and as co-race director of the Pride 5K.

Nikki Hiltz is a trans nonbinary professional track athlete, and is the first openly non-binary runner to win a USA Track and Field championship title. The middle-distance specialist is a 4 time USATF National Champion, a seven-time NCAA All-American, World Championship finalist, Pan American Games gold medalist, World Indoor Silver Medalist and American Record Holder.