Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir says he was surprised by the press reaction to his coming out as gay.

The American star told NBC’s Today show: ”I’m very surprised by the reaction. I’m a person – I’ve never lived in a closet. I’ve never claimed to be anything – I’ve never claimed to be straight or gay. I claim to be Johnny Weir.”

He announced he was gay earlier this month, having refused to clarify his sexual orientation in the past.

Continuing, he said: “And I think that’s something that’s very important for anybody in this world, is to own who you are, regardless of what you’re born into.

”I was born a white male. A white gay male, and I don’t celebrate being white or male. So, why should I celebrate being gay. That’s my opinion on the whole thing.

When asked if he would consider becoming a gay rights activist, he said: “I know people have been after this for years, and have worked so hard and tirelessly…. They definitely wanted me to be an activist.

“But the best way I can be an activist is to live my life, and not make that the main thing that is Johnny Weir. I’m much more than just a gay man.”