Olympic bronze-medal winner Adam Rippon received HRC’s Visibility Award from fellow gay Olympian Gus Kenworthy
The out gay figure skater became our hero during the Olympics, both for his achievements on the ice and for standing up for gay rights.
Adam did not only bring back the bronze medal from the Olympics, he also put a powerful spotlight on the current administration’s anti-gay politics by publicly criticizing Vice President Mike Pence.
At a gala dinner in Los Angeles on Saturday, gay skier Gus Kenworthy presented Adam with the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award.
“It was such an incredible pleasure and an honor to stand beside him as two out, proud gay athletes representing the United States,” Gus said.
Afterwards, Adam delivered an inspirational speach about being an out gay role model.
“I like to talk about my coming out because coming out has been the most liberating experience of my life. I hope that everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, has their own coming out experience,” Adam said in his acceptance speach. “When you can share who you are with the world you will find great power.”
“When I was little, I used to care so much about what others thought of me. I was mindful of the way I dressed, my mannerisms, the way I talked. I was afraid people would think I was weak. I was afraid of making mistakes. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be welcomed by the LGBTQ community because someone like me wouldn’t be the role model they were looking for. Maybe I was too gay and maybe I was just too myself.”
Adam then continued to talk about how he faced his fears:
“I remember making the choice to be unafraid. I made the choice to not care what others thought of who I was. I was going to be truly me,” Adam said. “This was the biggest and most important decision I’ve ever made — to live fearlessly, to take risks, to let go of my fear of what others may think of me and to always keep learning. You will find that you will have your greatest success when you wear your scars proudly.”
Adam also thanked queer pioneers for paving the way for him and others, “This award belongs not only to me but to those who came before me and who helped make my journey that much easier.”
Watch Adam’s speech with Kenworthy’s introduction below:
Here’s som snack from Adam’s Instagram: