Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

NUNN ON ONE Adam Rippon skates into success
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times
2018-09-26

This article shared 3241 times since Wed Sep 26, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Figure skater Adam Rippon won a bronze medal at the 2018 Winter Olympics, making history by becoming the first openly gay U.S. athlete to do so. He followed that by being the first openly gay celebrity to win Dancing with the Stars. Rippon came out publicly in 2015.

The road to success was full of ups and downs for Rippon, who started skating at 10. The hard work has paid off with many medals and accolades over the years.

He also joined other celebrities on Sept. 24 for a benefit reading of The Laramie Project for a video leading up to Laramie: A Legacy in New York City.

Before his recent Chicago House Speaker Series appearance with Wanda Sykes, Rippon spoke about his current life and upcoming projects.

Windy City Times: How did you wind up working with Chicago House?

Adam Rippon: I just had a great meeting with the team, and they went over everything that they do. It is such an incredible organization. I am super grateful to be working with them.

WCT: Do you work with charities often?

AR: I try to. I get so much joy out of helping other people. I try to be involved with as many different communities as possible.

WCT: What is your day-to-day schedule like?

AR: Each day, I open up my Google Calendar and see what is on it, because I usually don't know. I have a great group of people around me who keep me organized. It has been a lot of travel with a few things sprinkled in.

WCT: Why did you decide to come out publicly in the first place?

AR: For a really long time, I thought it would be something that I wouldn't share with anybody. Life kind of takes over. I felt it was really important.

I am from a really small town. Two weeks ago, a religious university outside of my hometown just expelled someone for being gay. That is the area I come from and why it is important to talk about who I am and where I come from, to normalize it.

I have been really lucky to do things where someone who is out can get in the home of someone who wouldn't necessarily be accepting of someone who is gay.

WCT: Do people reach out to you through social media about this?

AR: Yes. I have heard from tons of people. The stories are really amazing.

It is crazy because I still feel like me. I haven't changed and things aren't really that different. That I was able to reach so many people and share who I was, then to have them reach out and say I have been helpful to them, has been amazing.

WCT: Is there the other side to it where people ask why are you involved in politics?

AR: Of course, but I am 28 years old. I am confident in who I am. Everybody will have an opinion. I think it is better to be vocal than to be silent. To be silent means you don't stand for anything.

WCT: Is that why you started talking about politics?

AR: I started talking about politics because I was asked about it. I didn't go to the Olympics to talk about politics; someone asked me a question. If I get a question about it, then I will answer it. I thought it was important and wanted to be honest about what I was asked.

If I was asked about the competition, I would say I was nervous or just doing well. I answered honestly. When I was asked a question about the current administration I answered it honestly.

WCT: Has that spiraled into more questions asking about politics in interviews?

AR: I have been more politically involved now. I think some people wonder why, because it can be such a taboo subject matter and really polarizing to talk about, but I think it's important. If we don't talk about it, then we are never going to be on the same page.

WCT: Why do you think more sports figures are not out of the closet?

AR: There is an underlying notion that if you are gay then you are more effeminate, or not strong. There is a mentality that women can't be as strong as men, and if you are feminine like a woman, you are not a fierce competitor. It is obviously bullshit.

I think you never want to be perceived as weak. I know in my experiences as a competitive athlete, I never wanted anyone to think I was weak.

When I finally came out publicly, I felt so much stronger and was no longer hiding a part of who I am, especially in my sport where you are out there by yourself. You have a few minutes to show who you are and what you are made of. The best way to show all of me was to be honest with everybody about who I was.

WCT: What are your thoughts on Johnny Weir?

AR: I think someone like Johnny Weir helped make the road for me a lot easier. Are we the same person? No. He's way more flamboyant than I am. I appreciate someone like Johnny Weir so much, though—especially within my own sport.

WCT: Do you pick the music you skate to?

AR: I do. When I was younger I had some input from choreographers and coaches, but when I got older, it was really a collaboration between me and my choreographer.

You can have a great idea, but when you talk to somebody they may think it's awful. You want to talk to someone you really trust, because you can't see yourself skate.

I had a great team around me getting ready for the games. They helped me pick my music, but ultimately it was my choice.

WCT: What do people misunderstand about ice skaters?

AR: They think it is a lot easier than it really is. Being an athlete of any kind is a full-time job. When I was training for the Olympics, I would skate for about four hours, then there was another four hours of work off of the ice. It was eight hours of working out. I think every sport takes about that much time.

WCT: Wearing the harness at the Oscars made a splash. What were the best and worst moments of wearing it?

AR: In men's fashion, there is a limited amount of choices. With a woman's gown it can be so many shapes and cuts, but a tuxedo is pretty straightforward.

Getting to work with Jeremy Scott—who loves cutouts, straps and harnesses—was such a blessing. I did it because I thought it was interesting and fun. Some people felt like it wasn't appropriate, but I wasn't one of those people so…

WCT: What are you working on next?

AR: I filmed an episode of Will & Grace; that was great. I just filmed an episode of Dancing with the Stars: Juniors that premieres Oct. 7 and we run through December.

I started working with the When We All Vote campaign for the midterm elections.

WCT: One special thought from the Dancing with the Stars experience?

AR: It was on of the busiest times of my life. It was fantastic.

I have been able to work with that Dancing with the Stars family more with Juniors, so I felt right at home. It was great to be with everybody.

WCT: If they made a movie about your life—like I, Tonya—who would you want to play you?

AR: I thought Allison Janney was so good. I would want her to play me! [Laughs]


This article shared 3241 times since Wed Sep 26, 2018
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

THEATER When growth is paramount: Jim Corti helps fuel Aurora theater expansion
2024-03-01
Out actor/director/choreographer Jim Corti made his Broadway debut in 1974, in the ensemble of Leonard Bernstein's musical Candide. Director Harold Prince's acclaimed Tony Award-winning revival is often cited as a ...


Gay News

Chicago Red Stars announce partnership with Wintrust
2024-02-27
Press release - CHICAGO (Feb. 27, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars and Wintrust Financial Corporation announced a partnership that will see Wintrust become the club's new front-of-jersey partner and community outreach investment ...


Gay News

Chicago Bears hire first woman assistant coach
2024-02-21
The Chicago Bears are hiring Jennifer King as an offensive assistant, according to The Chicago Sun-Times and other media outlets. She will be an assistant running backs coach. King—who will become the first female assistant coach ...


Gay News

Brittney Griner's jersey retired at Baylor University
2024-02-20
On Feb. 18, Baylor University retired Brittney Griner's #42 jersey. Griner—a two-time AP national player of the year, two-time Olympic gold medalist and the NCAA women's career blocks leader (with 748)—attended a Bears home game ...


Gay News

Six Chicago Red Stars called for international play
2024-02-15
CHICAGO (Feb. 15, 2024) — Six Chicago Red Stars—Jill Aguilera, Julia Bianchi, Sam Fisher, Natalia Kuikka, Alyssa Naeher and Mallory Swanson—have been called up to represent their respective countries during ...


Gay News

Republicans file bill to ban trans women from U.S. Olympic teams
2024-02-12
Republicans in both houses of Congress have launched another effort to ban transgender women and girls from female sports teams—and this time, they are attempting to ban trans women from competing on U.S. Olympic teams ahead ...


Gay News

GLAAD finds missed chances for LGBTQ+ inclusion in Super Bowl ads
2024-02-12
--From a press release - Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 — GLAAD is reacting to a lack of LGBTQ storytelling in ads that aired duringSuper Bowl LVIII on Feb. 11 and is reminding brands, corporations and advertising agencies why including the LGBTQ ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Raven-Symone, women's sports, Wayne Brady, Jinkx Monsoon, British Vogue
2024-02-09
In celebration of Black History Month, the LA LGBT Center announced that lesbian entertainer Raven-Symone will be presented with the Center's Bayard Rustin Award at its new event, Highly Favored, per a press release. She joins ...


Gay News

GLAAD, NFL host third annual pre-Super Bowl event 'A Night of Pride'
2024-02-08
On Feb. 7, LGBTQ+ media-advocacy organization GLAAD, along with The National Football League (NFL), hosted the third annual "A Night of Pride" at Caesar's Palace in Super Bowl LVIII's host city of Las Vegas, a press ...


Gay News

Chicago Red Stars appoint Richard Feuz as general manager
2024-02-05
--From a press release - CHICAGO (February 5, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars have named Richard Feuz as the team's next general manager to complete a brand-new leadership team in guiding the Red Stars into an exciting era. Feuz joins ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ figure skaters win gold, silver at U.S. Championships
2024-01-28
LGBTQ+ figure skater Amber Glenn nailed a triple axel and clinched her first senior U.S. title on Jan. 26 at the 2024 Prevagen U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Columbus, Ohio, per a U.S. Figure Skating report. ...


Gay News

SPORTS Chicago Hounds' Nick McCarthy reflects on being out in professional rugby
2024-01-24
In recent years, people from numerous high-profile fields have publicly declared themselves as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Among them have been individuals from tech (such as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Apple CEO Tim Cook), ...


Gay News

Chicago Red Stars set 2024 preseason roster
2024-01-23
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 23, 2024) — The Chicago Red Stars have set their preseason roster ahead of the 2024 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) season. 17 of the 35 players on the preseason roster are returning Red ...


Gay News

Tara VanDerveer becomes winningest coach in college basketball
2024-01-22
Stanford University women's basketball coach and gender-rights advocate Tara VanDerveer became the college-basketball coach with the most wins ever on Jan. 21, media outlets reported. After her team defeated Oregon State 65-56, VanDerveer has 1,203 ca ...


Gay News

Chicago Fire FC announces 2024 theme nights; Pride Night will be June 1
2024-01-19
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Jan. 18, 2024) — Chicago Fire FC announced the club's theme nights for select home matches during the 2024 regular season, driven by Carvana. The Club's 2024 calendar features 11 theme nights, including the return ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.