Chris Cheng is the Top Shot champ and professional shooter that defies stereotypes. He’s Asian, he’s young, and he’s gay. Yup, totally gay and totally on TV.
So far his career in the shooting world has been an exciting one. Since he won on the History Channel’s Top Shot season 4, he joined the Bass Pro Shop shooting team where he tours around the country making appearances at stores and participating in major shooting competitions.
Daniel Terrill: First off, gun culture is so broad — I mean within every group, any passion and any profession you can find a gun guy. And your coming out just verifies how diverse gun culture actually is. What pushed you to do it?
Chris Cheng: The existing diversity in our community is definitely what I believe is noteworthy. Acceptance and tolerance comes in not only the places you would expect it, but also in places you wouldn’t. The predominant stereotype in the mass media is that a gun owner is an uneducated, bigoted redneck. This is patently false, and so I hope to deliver that message to the gun community, and beyond.
Damn straight! We’ve come in all flavors, from hairy Christian Phil Robinson to brown Asian to black Noir. Hey liberals, you wanted diversity? We’re a freaking GUN Pride Parade.
DT: How have gun owners reacted to your coming out?
CC: I’ve received a ton of support from my gun friends, gay friends and family. It’s been about 55 percent positive/supportive, 5 percent negative, and then 40 percent “so what, who cares?” The “so what” replies have actually been my favorite because it is a strong indicator that people think sexual orientation is irrelevant. I believe that the end of the LGBT equality road is a place where no one cares that people are gay. My coming out is hopefully a means to this end.
So why did he come out? Simple vanity? Desire for attention? Nope, he did it to promote the Second Amendment.
I had an interview with TMZ just now, and they asked me why didn’t I wait until something bad happened to me in the gun community, as a result of me being gay. I’m not going to wait for something bad to happen and take advantage of it. It’s too much of a parallel to anti-gun politicians who use mass shootings as a way to further their agenda. I want to come out on my own terms, instead of being a victim to a whisper campaign.
My goal is to leverage this coming out announcement to promote and protect the gun community, our values, and our way of life.
Welcome home, comrade.