You know, as a gay teen in the late 70s and early 80s, I idolized the artistic finesse and athletic grace and power of male figure skaters.
I always (quite naively) presumed that many of them must be gay.
Like I presumed that ballerinos must be gay.
It seemed to me (in my insular little world of masculine stereotypes) that any man who dared express himself artistically in a physical way probably couldn’t be totally straight.
I think my mindset must have been quite common.
I suppose the official figure skating world must have been and must still be reacting to those stereotypes when they create standards and enforce expectations.
It’s a shame that men aren’t supposed to be artistic with their bodies — not if they’re to be accepted as “real” men.
I’m glad things are starting to change.
It’s going to take of work. A lot of Adam Rippons and a lot of Billy Elliots.
Thanks so much for taking the time to write this story so well.
Fred, are you listening?