Episode #19: Chris Voth
39:40 | Nov 30, 2020
When asked what advice he would provide to the world, Chris says, “Be yourself and be genuine. If you're pretending to be someone, you're not, it’s going to impact you. And it's going to make things not as enjoyable. Also, then when people start to appreciate you for those things, it won't feel as authentic because it's not your real self. So, if you can, just be your genuine self and let things happen organically.”
Chris Voth is a talented athlete. Growing up he played lots of sports, but it was volleyball where he really excelled, and at every level. Chris has been a provincial champion in high school, a national medalist in university, a national team member and a professional player in the Champions League. The Champions League is a professional volleyball league where all the winners from the previous year go to play, for Chris it was the pinnacle of his career.
While playing volleyball professionally, Chris made the decision to come out as gay. He was the first professional male volleyball player to do so and he took this action because there were no athletes who were still playing and demonstrating that you could both come out and continue to play professionally. At the time, coming out was something people did once they retired, not something they did while they were still playing. Chris wanted to be a positive role model for others in the sport of volleyball. He told us that if he just helped one person, that would be enough. He also wanted to be able to let go of the fear of being outed and just show everyone who he was. The reaction to his story was humbling; it could not have gone better.
Chris’ advice comes from heartfelt, lived experience, “Be yourself and be genuine.” Coming out did have an impact on his playing career, but if given the chance to go back in time and not come out when he did, he says, “I would do it over 1000 times.”
Please join us for our engaging conversation with our courageous friend Chris Voth.