The openly gay figure skater opened up about growing up gay in Pennsylvania.
Adam Rippon always makes headlines. Whether he’s rocking a leather harness at the Academy Awards, canoodling with his celebrity crush, Shawn Mendes, or talking about Olympic condoms, Rippon is the talk of the town.
Despite his outgoing personality and brazen confidence, the Olympic heartthrob hasn’t always been comfortable with his gayness. In an interview with Buzzfeed News’s AM to DM, Rippon admitted that he once felt “uncomfortable” about being gay.
#AM2DM is live on another icy morning with #Olympics champ @Adaripp and our very first #WakandaCrushWednesday ❄️ https://t.co/lpjH3pLHQc
— AM to DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) March 7, 2018
Rippon explained why he felt it compelled to partner with GLAAD, where he’s leading a youth engagement initiative.
“I’m working with their youth engagement program, and the more I learned about these young ambassadors, the more I became so inspired by the kids involved,” he said.
“I’m from a tiny town in Pennsylvania, and I felt uncomfortable being gay for a really long time … If we had a program like this, and we had kids involved that were going back into their community and really giving back and giving young kids who may feel different or out of place the tools they could have to have a role model, to know they can succeed, that would’ve been completely life-changing for me,” he continued.
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“As soon as I found out about this initiative I was like I have to be a part of this because this is gonna change some young kid’s world.”
“Growing up and meeting other gay people, you meet so many different people, and their circumstances are so different that a lot of times there isn’t somebody you can relate to … these kids are going, they’re getting the tools, they go back to their communities, and they put together what they think is best for the kids in their area, and they are just changing the world. How could you not change a world’s changer?”
Rippon also addressed his Twitter spat with Vice President Mike Pence, saying, “I wanted to find a balance of using my Olympic platform. I was asked what I thought of Mike Pence being head of the delegation at the opening ceremony, and I answered it honestly … The world is watching, and I’m fortunate I come from this amazing country where we can speak our minds to help create change and to create a conversation.”
Quotes edited lightly for clarity.