Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.
A 42-year-old architect from San Francisco, Eric Tokstad looks to revive his track career after a 20-plus-year hiatus at his first Gay Games.
What is your goal for the Gay Games?
I want to get to my competitive times when I was 18 years old!
What role has/does sports/cultural performance play in your life? How much time per week?
Sports was huge as a youth, but not so much in the past 20 years. I was a jock as a kid. Also, I was a nerd scholastically, so I feel like I was a bridge for friends on both sides of the spectrum.
Please list any achievements, accomplishments or awards received, whether from your current sport/activity or another outside affiliation.
I went to the AAU National championships when I was 14. I held state records in the 70-yard low hurdles as a teen (back when we still used yards).
Please list other sports/cultural arts you’ve played or play, whether competitively or recreationally, and explain why/how you chose the sport/cultural activity you will compete in at Gay Games VII.
I played everything: baseball, basketball, soccer, football, tennis, etc. I sucked at them. When I found track, I was in heaven, and excelled. That was a long time ago.
Have you been out in your sports/cultural activities?
Not at that age, although I was definitely teased as a sissy.
What prompted you to come out or stay in the closet? Please describe that experience for you.
I came out at age 24. I had just been dumped by a boyfriend, and was so depressed. When my parents asked what was wrong, I just told them. The shit hit the fan, but they are 100 percent cool now.