Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-10-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

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

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]


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

First out gay male Chicago police officer on family, career, volunteering 2018-10-17 - Retired Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) officer Ronald Bogan saw it all during his three decades on the force. This includes a ...


Gay News

Proud to Run taking beneficiary applications 2018-10-17 - Proud to Run 2019 is now accepting applications from Chicago-area LGBTQ organizations seeking to be a beneficiary of the Proud to Run 10k ...


Gay News

Lesbian Erasure, Part One: Defining Lesbianism 2018-10-16 - [Author's note: for the purposes of space, except for brief references, this article focuses on lesbian couplings in the U.S.] Lesbians exist. ...


Gay News

Former Chicago Force star gets taste of NFL 2018-10-10 - Darcy Leslie spent eight years playing for the now-defunct Chicago Force, establishing herself as one of the best women to ever put on ...


Gay News

IN THE LIFE Lizzy Wolferman 2018-09-27 - Everyone's life is a journey. However, with Liz Wolferman—the front-of-house manager of the acclaimed local restaurant Mott St.—it's been a literal journey that's ...


Gay News

AIDS Run & Walk unveils 'Live True. Be You' at annual event 2018-09-26 - Amidst perfect weather conditions, approximately 2,500 participants gathered for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago's ( AFC ) 17th annual AIDS Run & Walk ...


Gay News

Pro-LGBTQ group HomeField forms 2018-09-26 - Looking to fill a gap in networking, knowledge and training for LGBTQ employees and their allies in the sports and entertainment field, a ...


Gay News

Father, 12-year-old son take part in Ride for AIDS Chicago 2018-09-26 - John Schneider lives on the North Side, yet has been working on the South Side of Chicago around HIV prevention since 2001. He ...


Gay News

THE SPORTING LIFE Linda Bache 2018-09-24 - The one-year anniversary of the last game in Chicago Force history on July 8 brought mixed emotions—and certainly a tear or two. After ...


Gay News

Amateur, a trans memoir of masculinity, boxing and being a man 2018-09-19 - Thomas Page McBee is many people: a husband, an uncle, a brother, a son. He's also the first trans man to fight in ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

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 Transegender 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
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.