are filled with stereotypes; gay men also conjure up a multitude of stereotypes. Add the two together, and a common sum is figure skating. Welcome to my world as a male figure skater.
Stereotypes are generally based on some truth. They generally offend at least some portion of the group, as they are simplistic and frequently negative. The gay male figure skater stereotype is one that I spent much of my life fighting until I realized it made no sense for me to fight it. In its essence, I am the stereotype. Figure skater: check. Gay: okay. But do I have a big G branded on my forehead? No.
On a quick glance, I do nothing to break this stigma, but Ive found that being a figure skater has shaped my life far more than being gay or straight. What does it matter about ones sexuality when talking about a sport? It doesnt seem to be a topic of conversation in most sports where athletes are assumed to be straight. When there is a big skating event on TV that I invite or force my friends to watch, they always want the inside scoop, which basically becomes a guessing game of gay or straight? Although I could make a stink and ask why it matters, I dont, because then it turns into an issue. It shouldnt be one. Actually, I eagerly divulge any information I have. Being a figure skater and a journalist, a switch flips me into TMZ of skating mode. Figure skating is an endless frozen pool of drama and entertainment.