You say it’s a cliché
for figure skaters to be gay. Does that mean when you started skating you found a gay-friendly world that welcomed you?
No, I don’t think I found a world that welcomed me. Along with that stereotype there’s sometimes the push back, the “Not another one, we don’t want them.” That’s the way some people feel. And I got to a point where I thought, “Like me for who I am and if you don’t like me just because I’m gay, I feel sorry for you.” But what skating did do was allow me to start training in bigger cities, and all around the country and the world, and through this I met so many types of people.
Which came first, starting to skate or starting to understand that you were attracted to boys rather than girls?
Skating. When you’re in elite sports, it’s so easy for you to put your feelings of having a crush on someone on the back burner and just think, “I’m focused on what I’m doing right now, I’ll deal with that later.” I think it means a lot of different experiences happen later in life. Skating takes so much time and it’s a full-time job so you don’t have time to get into relationships or have those experiences when you’re younger.
So when did you first become aware of being attracted to men?
At first I was trying so hard and hoping that I wasn’t gay and I had one or two girlfriends when I was in my late teens. I was giving it my best shot and thinking, “Maybe I’m bisexual.” And then when I had my first kiss with a boy, I was like, “Ha ha, no I’m not. Babe, you’re gay!”
“Fine Figure of a Man: Adam Rippon will be the first out gay man to represent America in the Winter Olympics when he skates out onto the ice in South Korea” in Attitude Magazine