QUEER VOICES
01/18/2018 05:05 pm ET

Johnny Weir Explains Why He Waited To Publicly Come Out As Gay

"I didn’t imagine it as a great secret," the two-time Olympian wrote.
Though Johnny Weir has become an LGBTQ rights advocate in recent years, he didn't confirm he was gay until the release of his
Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images
Though Johnny Weir has become an LGBTQ rights advocate in recent years, he didn't confirm he was gay until the release of his 2011 memoir. 

Two-time Olympian Johnny Weir is “thrilled” to see LGBTQ athletes taking the spotlight at the 2018 Winter Games, but he’s also had to face questions about why he did not publicly address his sexuality during his competitive days.

Weir, 33, endured media scrutiny over his private life during the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games in Turin, Italy, and Vancouver, Canada, respectively. His energetic routine to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” at the 2010 U.S. Nationals prompted further speculation. 

Though Weir has become an LGBTQ rights advocate in recent years, many fans are surprised to learn that he didn’t confirm he was gay until the release of his 2011 memoirWelcome to My World

On Thursday, Weir explained on Twitter why he did not publicly come out “in the traditional sense” until a year after participating in the Winter Olympics for the second time.  

He continued: 

Weir’s remarks come nearly two weeks after figure skater Adam Rippon was named the first openly gay U.S. man to qualify for the Winter Olympics. 

The 28-year-old, who hails from Pennsylvania, soon may not be the only American athlete heading to the 2018 Winter Games who identifies as queer. Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, who came out as gay in a 2015 ESPN interview, is expected to find out later this month whether he qualifies for the U.S. ski team. 

As for Weir, he’s bound for Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month alongside fellow Olympian Tara Lipinski, where the pair will provide commentary for NBC’s primetime figure skating coverage. 

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