The openly gay figure skater spoke about how it was growing up gay in Pennsylvania.
Whether Adam Rippon’s rocking the Academy Awards red carpet in a leather harness, tracking down his celebrity crush Shawn Mendes at a showbiz party, or speaking frankly about… well anything, he’s stolen hearts all over the world.
But it wasn’t always plain sailing for the Winter Olympic heartthrob. Speaking to Buzzfeed News’s AM to DM, Rippon revealed that he used to feel “uncomfortable” about being gay.
Rippon was asked about why it was important for him to partner with GLAAD, where he’s fronting a youth engagement campaign.
“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 really small town in Pennsylvania, and I really 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 then added: “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?”
In the interview, Rippon said: “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 really lucky I come from this amazing country where we can speak our minds to help create change and to create a conversation.”