Former 'So You Think You Can Dance' Winner Comes Out

The Edge/June 6, 2012

A winner of the popular Fox reality show, "So You Think You Can Dance," recently announced that he is gay, Reality Blurred reported.

Benji Schwimmer was crowned the champion of the hit show's second season in 2006 but the choreographer is now opening up about his sexuality. He announced that he is gay in a lengthy interview with the Mormon Stories Podcast called "Mormon Stories."

In the interview Schwimmer reportedly discusses how he struggled with being gay and being a practicing Mormon. He tells emotional stories of how coming out impacted his life, dancing career and those he loves.

Last year Travis Wall, a finalist on the show's second season, also announced that he was gay.

"When I was 18 and on the show it was very stressful to find the balance of being yourself and coming across in an authentic way," Wall told After Elton in an interview. "I felt like the only time it was a little stressful was maybe when they interviewed me or... I don't know... I never had to put on a front like that, but it's true that I wanted to be in the top ten, and I wanted to go all the way closer to the top, and maybe it's not necessary to come out and talk about that stuff when it's a dance competition.

Since winning the show, Schwimmer has artistically directed for pop icons LeAnn Rimes and Paula Abdul.

The dancer's announcement comes just a day after more than 300 straight Mormon church members joined in the Utah Gay Pride Parade in order to support gay rights.

Organizers said this was the first time members of the church participated in the LGBT event, the Associated Press reported. Although most Mormons accept the LGBT Mormons Wikipedia notes that they must "obey the law of chastity."

"I'm very saddened by the amount of hate in the world," Nevin Munson, 13, said during the event. He carried a sign that said "Love thy neighbor as thyself." Munson also said that LGBT discrimination is a global problem. "I don't believe in that - they're humans."

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