American Marksman and ‘Top Shot’ Champion Chris Cheng: I’m Gay


Chris Cheng, the Season 4 Champion of the History Channel’s Top Shot, has come out of the closet in an interview with gun magazine Recoil.

C_chengCheng said producers and fellow contestants knew he was gay:

I’m pretty sure it factored into the casting panel’s decision to accept me, but it was one of many factors they considered. I had to demonstrate that I could shoot well. Top Shot isn’t about personality conflicts and drama like other reality competitions. It’s a marksmanship competition to see who can master a wide variety of weapons in unpredictable, challenging situations.

I was pleasantly surprised when other competitors found out I was gay. They were either indifferent or accepting. The most common response I received was “Chris, we don’t really care that you’re gay, we care about how well you can shoot…the better we all shoot, the more exciting the competition will be…” I suppose this affected the house dynamics in that I never heard any gay pejoratives during my six weeks there.

The shooting community was honestly one of the last places I expected gay acceptance on any level. That really caught me off guard, in a good way. It’s how life should be, where no one cares if you’re gay, straight, or somewhere in between. We should be evaluated and judged based on our skills and accomplishments. While I was hoping to break some stereotypes, some of my own stereotypes regarding the shooting community were also broken. It was an enlightening experience.

More of the interview at Recoil...

Cheng added on his personal blog:

While it’s something my friends and family have known for years, I believe now that I have become a television personality and public figure, it is important to be honest and upfront about who Chris Cheng is. Thankfully, tolerance and acceptance are contagious. Being gay is no longer something to hide…One reason why I chose to come out publicly is that I’m a gay guy in a gun world. Hunters, sport shooting enthusiasts, and collectors are too often stereotyped as part of efforts to politicize guns as we witnessed last week on the anniversary of the horrific Newtown tragedy. Take it from someone who in a single package is not only gay, but Chinese, Japanese, California-born, a college graduate, a tech geek who worked on cool Google projects, a gun enthusiast and a passionate 2nd Amendment advocate. Our community is as diverse as anyone’s.

Make sure not to miss our list of The Top 53 Most Powerful Coming Outs of 2013. As a late addition, Cheng would certainly qualify.


  1. matt says

    >Rachel Maddow
    >Gun enthusiast

    Pick one.

    That said, good for him. I don’t know how he survives being a firearms enthusiast in CA though.

  2. Francis says

    Gay. Conservative. 2nd Amendment Advocate and Gun Enthusiast. Top Shot Champion.

    Breaking stereotypes is right. And Chris has received a lot of support. Even in worlds traditionally seen as conservative, where you wouldn’t imagine gay people being, we exist, and we’re embraced. Change has come.

  3. Matt27 says

    Yes change is here and we are witnessing it. I may not agree with his opinions, but I am happy he’s out and shows there are all kinds of gay men.

  4. Sam says

    So here we have a happy, talented, healthy and successful man, confidently being himself. And note that he comes out as gay. Not “queer”. Not LGBTQIIAAPNGC. This is what normality looks like.

  5. oncemorewithfeeling says

    His insane views on weapons and the Second Amendment prove that gay people can be just as out of their minds as straight people. Progress?

  6. crispy says

    Asian and a gun-nut? I hope for his penis’s sake, he doesn’t drive one of those enormous pick-up trucks, too.

  7. sundayboy says

    Assuming the poster DERRICK FROM PHILLY made that posting, rather than someone impersonating him, may I respectfully request his account be terminated?

    I’m all for free speech but not racist hate speech. That was repulsive.

  8. andrew says

    @SUNDAYBOY: If you read the posts on Towleroad with any regularity you must know that DERRICK FROM PHILLY did not post those racist comments. Unfortunately the people who own Towleroad do nothing to prevent a##holes from posting vile things in other’s names. They must enjoy it because they could easily stop it, but choose not to. They are the enablers of this vile deceitful behavior.

  9. Tyler says

    People like Derrick call out trolls, and trolls get their revenge by positing horrible comments under his name. It’s a sad cycle that will continue as long as this site sticks to the current commenting system.

  10. andrew says

    @TYLER: Towleroad owners clearly like the present COMMENTING SYSTEM. My proof: They allow it to continue. They don’t care that they enable some a##holes in their attempt to make others look like fools or bigots.

  11. Jeton Ademaj says

    bravo! this guy is cool…an empowered Queer Asian firearms enthusiast and defender of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

    let the enemies of Freedom squeal like the pigs they are. hate gays? drop dead…now. hate guns? drop dead…now.

    ttyl :)

  12. matt says

    Jeff, I’m aware of this, but I don’t know how you can stand living somewhere with such insane unconstitutional gun control measures. You can’t even have a proper AR.

  13. Michael says

    @Derrick From Philly,

    what is ur problem? Asian men are gorgeous. And there are plenty of Asian men who are tall and hairy. You seem really racist.

  14. andrew says

    @Michael: Playing dumb? If you read the bogus “Derrick of Philly” post, how is it you missed the posts of BRIAN1, TYLER and me? As you know DERRICK OF PHILLY didn’t make that racist post. It was an a##hole who posts nasty thing in other good peoples names.

  15. says

    [The shooting community was honestly one of the last places I expected gay acceptance on any level.]

    For as long as there have been annual Gun Rights Policy Conferences the Pink Pistols ( have been invited to fully participate.

    Unfortunately they don’t get the same acceptance at gay rights events.