gliding around on his hardwood living-room floor in our socks
February 12, 2018 3:41 PM   Subscribe

Thank you for posting this. What a lovely, heartfelt, heartbreaking, thoughtful article.
posted by biscotti at 4:26 PM on February 12, 2018

That was really beautiful.
posted by heyho at 4:37 PM on February 12, 2018

Oh - that comment about his friend's father separating them for concern about him being gay - at age 8! A bit heartbreaking in a lovely article.
posted by leslies at 4:39 PM on February 12, 2018 [7 favorites]

I've been a Rippon fan for several years, and my partner doesn't see his beauty the way I do. Last year some time, I mentioned that I thought I might have to stop following him on twitter, because whenever he posted pictures, I was stopped dead and overcome with undefinable feelings. My partner was like, "Huh." So, I appreciate this line: "It hurts to look at Adam Rippon, but in the douleur exquise way, the good kind of hurt."

I find the significance of this moment telling. Rudy Galindo came out while he was skating, and he didn't get the international assignments that a skater of his caliber (then the US Champion) would have been expected to get. But here is Rippon in the Olympics, and he was chosen to be there even though he was fourth in the national championships last month. If someone wanted to keep him out due to homophobia, they had a ready-made excuse.

At the same time, it's weird that Rippon is the only out gay skater right now. It seems to me that many men in the sport are no longer hiding the way they used to--look at other skaters, especially off the ice, and their coaches and choreographers in the kiss and cry, and you'll see what I mean. That, and Johnny Weir's experience, show the meaningful difference between "everybody knows" and "out."

I was going to say: it's telling that Rippon coming out matters so much. I'm a old movement queer in my 50s, and I have friends, some quite a bit younger than me, some of them actual gay men, who think homophobia has been "solved." I'm part of a queer organization, originally formed in the 70s, that's been struggling the past couple of years, and it's common for people to say that it's struggling because it's not needed anymore, because it's so OK to be gay. I think people who believe that haven't spent enough time around young queers lately, or they aren't raising children (I have four, ages 10 to 23, two cis and two trans, one queer and three probably not queer, so I'm in the middle of this stuff).

Skating is a fascinating sport for having been dominated by gay men and yet homophobic for so long. Earlier this year I read On Edge, a book by a former skater and judge, Jon Jackson. It focuses on the scoring scandals that rocked the sport in Salt Lake City, and it's a very uneven read (some of the sections where Jackson writes about his own life drag terribly). But it also gives insight into a how a sport full of gay men could be so deeply in the closet. (He describes the judges' hospitality suites at major events as being hard to distinguish from a gay bar.)

Johnny Weir's memoir, Welcome to my World, is also worth reading. It's very honest and funny.

I am delighted to see Rippon in the Olympics, and his free skate in the team event was so beautiful. I kept thinking, "He'll have that forever, he'll have that forever."

He did a video with Tyler Oakley last week that is very fun, too. He taught Oakley to skate. It was like watching a first date.
posted by Orlop at 4:55 PM on February 12, 2018 [20 favorites]

I came to post this too.
posted by k8t at 8:55 PM on February 12, 2018

Oooh, I love reading about Adam Rippon, and I'm so glad he's doing well and winning everybody's heart. He started skating at my rink in PA right after I left for college, but my mom practiced with him in the mornings for several years. My mom was always so excited when he started getting great marks at the larger competitions. We know a few people who made it pretty far in the sport, but Adam has gone the furthest.

I do wish there were some way for me to watch the video of his performance (no tv, plus I'm overseas), but maybe I'll see an illegal version of it on YT in a few years.
posted by hopeless romantique at 12:37 AM on February 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

"How much time young queer people spend yearning for that kind of connection, forever sifting through culture to find the gay stuff. When you find it, it can speak to you in almost holy tones."

This is SO REAL and so well said.
posted by ITheCosmos at 4:44 AM on February 13, 2018 [4 favorites]

Loved this article - thank you for posting, minsies. I also love that we are starting to move from 'everybody knows' to 'out and proud'... in men's figureskating, for god's sake. Talk about overdue and very welcome!
posted by widdershins at 7:23 AM on February 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

I love how Charles Pierce said Rippon stuck every landing in his interview.
posted by jonp72 at 8:33 AM on February 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

This was a wonderful read. Thank you for posting.
posted by alleycat01 at 12:42 PM on February 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

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