The professional skater had previously hinted at her sexuality with a Pride flag.
U.S. ice dancer Karina Manta has officially come out as bisexual, in a video she uploaded with her girlfriend, Aleena. In the video, both Karina and Aleena are sat on a bed, while Karina speaks and Aleena plays the guitar, and sings when Karina falls silent.
In the video, Karina thanked Aleena for her support, and revealed that they had been in a relationship for a year, even though their love had been made “a shadow” as Karina was not yet out. “Thank you for waiting through every conversation that I’ve referred to you as my best friend,” Karina said.
“Not because you aren’t my best friend, but because I’ve had to swallow the words ‘my love, my love, my love’ each time instead.”
Karina also opened up about “dragging” Aleena “back into the closet” and compared her time in there as being in a “prison cell”. She continued, saying: “There’s no pretty way to say that I’ve made myself sick living my life this afraid.
“I’ve spent the past year as two different people, bags under each of their eyes for different reasons. Neither side of the pillow feels safe. I grow more exhausted every day.
“I am itching to shed my skin. I have long outgrown the cocoon.”
View this post on Instagram
Happy Pride Everyone …if you are still searching for a word that seems to match you; if all you know in your heart is that straight or cis doesn't seem to wear right on your body …if you feel like you don't look queer enough …if you are someone who gets stares for looking "too queer" ….if you have ever let go of a hand you were clutching in public because it was safer …if you have ever kept holding that hand, even though it didn't feel safe …if the only person you are out to is yourself …if everyone knows your identity …if you are reconciling a religion and a love that feel like they cannot reconcile one another …if you chose to pray for kindness and inclusion and diversity …if anyone has ever told you it was for attention …if anyone has ever refused to believe you when you spoke your world to truth after hiding it for years …if you are forced to check male or female in boxes everyday knowing full well neither of those words are about you …if one of those words is about you, but everyone seems to assign you the wrong one …if you are a kid, and you feel like this is too much weight to carry while you're young …if you are an adult, and you feel like it is too late to claim a new version of yourself …if you do not know how to feel proud of who you are yet. Happy Pride. This is especially for you. #pride
She later added: “Today I am waking with the biggest yawn, stretching my limbs and saying, ‘I’m Karina, it’s nice to meet you after so long.'”
Continuing, Karina said: “At the end of the day secrets have only made me sad. I’m finally more scared of living this way forever than letting people know who I am.”
She finished the video by saying: “From now on, I’ll walk into every room smiling, parting the crowd, making my way through. I’ll make sure they know I’m here. I’ll make sure they know I’m with you.
As well as uploading the video to YouTube, Karina also posted it on her social media accounts. Captioning the video on Instagram, she wrote: “I’ve been trying to figure out how to create this post for a long time. I’m still not sure that I have the right words..but I think that maybe I need to let go of trying to make everyone understand and just start with being honest.
“So this is me at my most honest. And my most vulnerable. And my most scared. I’m hoping this will leave me feeling my most free too.”
She finished the post with an emoji of two girls holding hands, and a rainbow. She also gave it the hashtags, “pride” and “bipeoplearereal.”
Speaking to Outsports after releasing the video, Manta said: “I’m really grateful for all the people who have reached out in support.
“It’s been a little overwhelming. I’m adjusting to having more attention directed toward something I’ve kept fairly private for some time.”
You can watch Karina and Aleena’s video below.
View this post on Instagram
I’ve been trying to figure out how to create this post for a long time. I’m still not sure that I have the right words..but I think that maybe I need to let go of trying to make everyone understand and just start with being honest. So this is me at my most honest. And my most vulnerable. And my most scared. I’m hoping this will leave me feeling my most free too. Link to the rest of the video in bio! 👭🌈 #pride #bipeoplearereal