Zach – My Pride StoryJune 1, 2023
Pablo – My Pride StoryJune 13, 2023
As athletes, we have a responsibility to not only represent our country, but ourselves and the people we impact as well. One of the ways we do this is by being true to who we are, and celebrating that truth with Pride.
Coming out was one of the ways I had to find freedom for myself. Otherwise I would have been trapped in other people’s reality. Believe it or not, life as an openly gay international figure skater came with a lot of struggles. Only when I found my identity as a person, as a gay man, did I feel like it was less of a struggle.
When I was growing up being gay was treated as a joke, but as I grew older I met more people from the LGBTQ+ community and it helped me accept and learn about myself. I was out socially, but not to my family or my close friends.
Being a skater meant I was constantly scrutinized; the feeling of wanting to be liked or relevant was dreadful. It was only when I left the competitive world, became a show skater, and learned to love myself and what I do on the ice that I found the will to come out to my family in 2015, when marriage became legal in all fifty states.
When I returned to competition ice in 2019 I felt that I had a sense of responsibility to not only represent the Philippines, but the LGBTQ+ community as well. I made history as the first out Filipino athlete to win an international competition!
While my goal was to qualify for the Olympics it never superseded my daily goal of being kind to myself. Being proud of who I am, and good to those around me and who love me unconditionally is something I will always strive to do every day.
– Christopher, San Diego, CA.