Sep 18, 2016
Chris Dickerson: The First Gay Black Bodbuilder
But Chris Dickerson overcame the culture of racism and began breaking records.
Born in 1939, he began competing in the 1960s, and became the first African-American to win Junior Mr. USA (1966), Mr. California (1967), and Mr. America (1967, 1970), and one of the first to win Mr. Olympia (1979, 1980, 1982).
He was also the first openly gay professional bodybuilder, coming out during the 1970s.
That's a lot of barriers to break.
Sadly, he found little mainstream fame -- no advertising contracts, only a few tv appearances.
Chris worked as a physique model beginning in the 1960s, and in the 1970s and 1980s made the rounds of all the physique magazines, including Muscle and Fitness. Here he is posing on the cover of an Arabic bodybuilding magazine.
Today Chris is retired, living in Florida, and writing his memoirs.