Seven more fabulous out LGBTQ+ athletes of figure skating

Two time US pairs figure skating champion and 2022 Olympian Timothy Leduc (tall person in the middle who has recently come out as nonbinary) with their pairs partner Ashley Cain- Gribble, my parents and me.

This blog is loaded with links to explore! Please do explore them.

Since 2022 is a Winter Olympics year, it is now time for my third installment of this series. My first installment published in 2016 was titled “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating” and my second in 2018 was “Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men (since retitled people) of Figure Skating and One Bisexual Woman.”

This year I am so pleased to now include more women in my series and also mention an out nonbinary Olympian! Actually there are 8 people cited in this blog since I include the first out LGBTQ ice dance team as one.  In my first installment of this series I profiled 7 men, but now this one includes 4 men, 3 women and one nonbinary person! Three cheers for increased diversity!

Important Note 1: This blog only features athletes who voluntarily, personally and publicly disclosed themselves as LGBTQ.

Important Note 2: Why does this matter? Given the historic stigma and non-acceptance of LGBTQ people in many parts of society, it is important to profile out LGBTQ role models to demonstrate the success and excellence of LGBTQ athletes.

In alphabetic order:

Here I am flanked by US champions Gracie Gold and Jeremy Abbott

Jeremy Abbott – This soft spoken 4-time US men’s champion is remembered for his guts and determination in completing his program at the 2014 Olympics after a horrendous fall and slamming into the boards with high impact. His getting up and completing his program was gritty, phenomenal and inspirational. Link to article about this performance.

Kevin Aymoz – This 5-time French national mens champion known for his innovative moves and emotional performances was one of 6 Olympic French athletes who all “came out” together during 2021 LGBTQ Pride Month (link to article) leading up to the 20221 summer and 2022 winter Olympics.

My parents and me with Jason Brown at 2019 Skate America

Jason Brown – This US nationals men’s champion and now two-time Olympian is one of the most beloved figure skaters around the world for his always positive attitude and friendly interaction with fans everywhere. Most skating pundits agree that Jason is the world’s most artistic skater and he almost always receives the highest program component (artistic) score when he competes.

Amber Glenn – This elegant and athletic American skater came out as pansexual (being romantically, emotionally and/or sexual attracted to people regardless of their gender) in late 2020 and then in 2021 finished with her best ever US nationals competition by winning the silver medal.  (Link to Amber’s story)

Timothy Leduc – This two-time national pairs champion and now 2022 Olympian with their partner Ashley Cain-Gribble gets a second inclusion in my series. Why? Timothy recently and boldly came out as nonbinary (see my recent blog about nonbinary), becoming the USA’s first out nonbinary Olympic athlete (see article about this.)

It was so cool to meet Karina Manta and Joseph Johnson after their fabulous “Sweet Dreams” ice dance at 2019 US Nationals

Karina Manta and Joseph Johnson – Karina Manta and Joseph Johnson’s rendition of “Sweet Dreams” (link to video) received a standing ovation at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Their performance was one of the highlights of the 2018-19 season, and they were the only athletes invited to the Skating Spectacular who did not medal at U.S. Nationals. Karina in her hot leather mini-skirt played the seductress to the clean cut sweet and innocent Joseph.  They now perform with Cirque du Soleil

Kaitlyn Weaver – It is wonderful to see more women in figure skating coming out as queer. Kaitlyn and her ice dance partner Andrew Poje competed 13 year for Canada, winning three medals at worlds and competing in two Olympics. Sadly, Kaitlyn stated when coming out that she did not so during her competitive career for fear of it negatively affecting her scores.  Link to an article that includes Kaitlyn and Jason Brown.

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Blog author Stan Kimer, in addition to training as an adult competitive figure skater himself, is a career development and diversity consultant with a deep expertise in corporate LGBTQ diversity strategy and training. Please explore the rest of my website (which includes my own figure skating page) and never hesitate to contact me to discuss diversity training or consulting for your organization, or pass my name onto your HR department.

Happy New Year! My Top 7 blogs of 2021

This is now one of my blog traditions! Every year for the past several around New Year’s, I share my top 7 most read blogs of the year. It is really fun to go back and pull my website stats to see what people read the most. And for the first time ever, all of the top blogs were published before this year, and people found them via google search.

Quick stats about his year’s list:
• Five of the 7 dealt with some general aspect of diversity
• Two of the 7 dealt with diversity within sports
• For four of the 7, I had a collaborator assisting me with the content

Here are the seven most read of 2021, starting with number 7 and working up to number one. At the bottom I will give an honorable mention to the top blog published in 2021

7) This year’s number 7 was written in 2019 – a book review titled A new fantastic book in inclusive leadership: “How to be an Inclusive Leader” by Jennifer Brown. I often use industry leading consultant Jennifer Brown’s material when I teach about inclusive leadership.

6) A guest blog written in 2018 by my cousin Brandon, who has a masters degree in social work and now works in the Federal Prison System – Five Misconceptions about Atheists from my Experience: A guest blog by Brandon Garrick.

5) “Five Things Never to Say to Hispanic People” is a companion piece to this year’s number one blog, guest written by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado. It probably hit the top 7 list for the first time since people could link to it from the top blog.

4) My fourth most popular blog was also 2019’s number 4, but it did not make the list last year – “Three Wonderful Recent Examples of Diversity and Sports,” in which I provide short summaries with links about an NFL football player with one hand, an WNBA player who is a new mother with her wife, and a college track star who overcame a harsh abusive upbringing in Africa.

3) I received excellent assistance from local activist and Muslim woman Zainab Baloch for the third most read blog (with over 2,000 hits) and published in 2018, “Five Things To Never Say To a Muslim.”

2) Last year’s number one is now number 2. With over 4,500 hits across the two blogs were 2018’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.” With 2022 being an Oympic year, I plan to write my third installment of this series in January.

1) With the growing number and visibility of Hispanic Americans, Number 2 for the previous three years now made it to number 1 in 2021 with over 6,500 hits! “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

Since none of the few dozen blogs I wrote in 2021 made it into the top seven, I will give honorable mention to the top 2021-written blog, a book review – A Diversity Book Truly for EVERYONE – “Empowering Differences” by Ashley T. Brundage.

I wish all of my faithful readers a happy and hopefully COVID-free 2022.

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