Dating a guy in the closet
That sniggering stereotype has been prevalent for decades, even though few elite skaters have come out publicly, and only one, Rudy Galindo, came out during his Olympic-eligible career.This closet door is locked tight because skaters - gay and straight - know that so many of the people judging them, from judges to sponsors to TV viewers, want the female skaters to be "pretty ladies," and the men to be, well, And that's not how life, on or off the ice, works.By the time the men returned home, the popular perception of figure skating had changed: "It was no longer seen as something appropriate for men to do," says Mary Louise Adams, professor of sports sociology at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario and author of .Efforts to protect (and project) the macho reputation of male skaters have been under way for decades, and skating clubs and organizations tried to lure boys by playing up the masculinity of the sport and virility of its athletes. "Lots of boys sign up for skating because they want to wear sparkly costumes," says Adams.Deep in the iron belt of northern Minnesota, where boys are raised to be manly men and hockey is holy, Brandon Larcom grew up figure skating.From the moment he first stepped onto the ice at the age of 3, he had dreamed of becoming the next Wayne Gretzky, but a skull deficiency kept him out of contact sports."I'm the only male figure skater up there, and my dad's the town sheriff, and my brother pitches for the high school baseball team.As a result, the International Skating Union replaced its audience-friendly 6.0 scoring system with an anonymous, points-based alternative that fans still struggle to understand. As he writes in his new book, , "the names of the judges with their real marks are kept in a safe in Lausanne and only the general secretary and a notary can see them, if requested by the Technical Committees." Then, in advance of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Skate Canada launched a campaign to curtail the sport's dwindling audience - by manning up.
The alleged goal, according to critics, was to attract the "hockey crowd."Skate Canada's attempt to de-sparkle figure skating enraged gay rights groups.
Once, a girlfriend, a fellow skater, dumped him because her friends teased her about dating a male figure skater.