University of Nebraska gymnast Sam Phillips earned two All-American honors at the NCAA Division I championships, which concluded this weekend. For the occasion, the 22-year-old chose to support the LGBTQ+ community by wearing a Pride pin on his gear.

“I represent [the LGBTQ community] by just being myself on the competition floor, but to actually have the pin and show the colors I thought would be that much more substantial and important,” he told Outsports.

“It was important for people to actually see me rep the colors and put a firm stamp on my support and claim to the LGBTQ community. It was a way to get visibility for the community on the competition floor and officially in the eyes of the NCAA men’s gymnastics competitors and viewers,” he added.

Phillips placed seventh on the high bar and eighth in the all-around competition. He competed alongside four other Nebraska gymnasts, including Asher Cohen, Zac Tiderman, Taylor Christopulos and Cooper Giles.

Phillips is one of the rare gymnasts to be out in the NCAA. He decided to come out as bisexual last summer to inspire others to openly live their truth.

“I choose to be a lighthouse for those younger than me but also those next to me who aren’t ready to come out and live their lives on this lit-up stage,” he told Nebraska Today, his university’s news publication. “Being a positive role model is so important in this way. It’s representation, and it’s a signal that it’s OK to be yourself. It’s OK to step into these spaces being as authentically you as you can be.”

“It’s so, so important to be a positive influence in this world that currently has lots of intolerance and ignorance producing hateful actions,” he added. “I am the only out male athlete at Nebraska, and it’s lonely and isolating at times. But I think back to what if younger me saw me? How secure and hopeful he would be in himself if he saw an out male athlete being so involved and having a prominent role in all athletics and athletic-related departments.”