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Brian Boitano: “I’m gay”

Since figure skater Brian Boitano was selected this week to be a part of the official presidential delegation at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, he is addressing the elephant in the room.

Yep, he’s gay.

Since Russia is a country with anti-gay laws that have put a cloud over the Olympics, much was made that President Obama was including world famous tennis legend and lesbian Billie Jean King in the delegation – it was seen as a statement.

Boitano’s inclusion brought the vagueness surrounding his sexuality over the years into focus – it’s hard to stay vague when you are famous.

So Brian, currently skating in Europe, released a statement earlier today that talked about how honored he is to be a part of the delegation and reminded us that he has represented the US at three different Olympics as a competitor.

The second paragraph is where he gets to the point: “It is my desire to be defined by my achievements and my contributions. While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic Delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so. I am many things: a son, a brother, and uncle, a friend, an athlete, a cook, an author, and being gay is just one part of who I am.”

Yep, he buried the lede.

He goes on to state: “First and foremost I am an American athlete and I am proud to live in a country that encourages diversity, openness and tolerance. As an athlete, I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations.”

Readers, if you have something thoughtful to say in comments, have at it. But I’m going to delete any “I knew it, he’s as gay as Liberace” type remarks. Thanks in advance!



(All comments are reviewed before being published, and I review submissions several times per day.)

16 Remarks

  1. Yep, he buried the lede……. Me thinks you may have meant to type “lead?

  2. lede
    noun \ˈlēd\
    Definition of LEDE
    : the introductory section of a news story that is intended to entice the reader to read the full story

  3. Sorry. I just read your advisor about snide comments. I can only say that people who were too cowardly to make a difference when they had the spotlight don’t get a free pass from me.

  4. Brian unfortunately is one of those self-loathing gays who shows a happy face to the public but no doubt is unhappy in his personal life.

  5. December 19th, 2013 at 2:43 pm
    Gaspar Marino says:

    I think it’s a little mean in condemning him for not coming out sooner, or in assuming he’s unhappy, but honestly can anyone say that the are surprised, I mean honestly, she dropped her purse about 20 or thereabout years ago. Really not a revelation, Brian, but wish you good luck anyway.

  6. That’s great that he had the courage to come out. I wish him well both personally and professionally.

  7. You mean he wasn’t out officially by now?

  8. @Jim Steele … “too cowardly to make a difference when they had the spotlight” … Really? I would say he has a huge spotlight shining on him right now and his public coming out at this time *will* make a difference. Much like Wentworth Miller choosing to come out with his letter to the St. Petersburg International Film Festival, informing them about why he was declining their invitation to be the guest of honour.

  9. When Brian Boitano was actively competing, it wasn’t as accepting a world as it is now. The president of the U.S. wouldn’t have been sending openly gay ambassadors to a homosexual hating nation to make a pro gay statement back in the 80s. Remember that Greg Louganis came out well after he stopped competing. He is now hailed as an ambassador for the gay community. Brian will take his rightful place in history the same as Greg and Billie Jean King.

  10. O.K. I stand corrected…well actually, I sit corrected. Technically, I guess it could be either way according to this: I’d call it a draw but since it’s your website, you get the win!

  11. No surprise in the very least. All the years during Brian’s early skating career in Sunnyvale, CA everyone from the skating club, skating friends and associations all knew.

  12. I think anyone who is known to the public should be patted on the back for having the courgae to come out. Whether he did it years ago or now I am proud of him and I wish him the best. I hope there will be many more who follow his footsteps. Congrats Brian!

  13. Brian is a wonderful man whom I’ve met several times. He was always very open about it, and I even asked him why he didn’t do the the cover of people (Lance Bass had just come out that way, to which he replied the people in his life know him, and love him and that was enough for him. It is a process for everyone, and each road is different. I wish him nothing but continued success, and pray he will be safe in Russia.

  14. This is not news…everyone in the SF Bay Area and skating community has know for years.

  15. I am always impressed with a notable figure ‘coming out’. So far Brian’s coming out is not being horrific or a detriment to his career(s) – have not seen nor heard significant negative publicity. Met this talent 8-yrs ago at the REAF in SF accompanied with his proud Mother, I was impressed with him on stage as well on/off the ice.

  16. I agree, Rich B. It didn’t occur to me he wasn’t out publicly and I am not from CA.

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