‘He doesn’t represent me:’ Adam Rippon challenges Mike Pence in cover star interview with BFF Gus Kenworthy
The pair, who won over the world with their friendship at the Winter Olympics, have shared their definitive bonding anecdotes, tales of being out in sport – and in Rippon’s case, his clear disdain for the US Vice President.
Rippon harkened back to the time he made the headlines for refusing to meet Pence, who is vocally opposed to LGBT+ rights.
“Pence has been on record saying that he thinks that gay marriage is going to be the societal collapse of America. OK. He doesn’t represent me. I think the fact that he tweeted at me that he’s for all Americans just before the opening ceremony is out of touch,” said Rippon to the publication.
“Are you for me when I get back home? Are you for that gay couple that wants to get married? Are you for that trans person that wants to join the military? You’re not,” he said.
For Kenworthy, the release of feeling truly like himself came during this year’s Olympics – and through meeting Adam.
During his performance at Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014, the star was still in the closet.
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Although he had a boyfriend he was not out in the public eye, and “hated [himself] for it.”
“I didn’t have the best Olympics experience the first time around, in Sochi. I felt like a fraud. I wasn’t being myself. I had a boyfriend at the time that I wasn’t telling anybody about — and I wasn’t out to my parents. And then post-Games every interviewer asked me, ‘Who’s your celebrity crush? What’s your type of girl? What’s your ideal date?’ And I was just lying. And I hated myself for it,” said Gus.
The pair have high hopes for the future of LGBT+ Olympians after the incredibly warm reception they received since their performances.
“Before the Olympics I was doing a bunch of interviews, and it was just like, ‘gay Olympian,’ and then it was ‘gay Olympian Adam Rippon,’ and when I left it was just ‘Adam Rippon.’ And maybe Gus and I are the face of gay Olympians, but the next gay Olympians will be featured for the incredible stories they have to offer first, not because they’re gay. Being gay will just be a fact about them, like their hometown, or the number of siblings they have, or the high school they went to. It will just be a fact,” said Rippon.
“Like a super-fun fact,” added Kenworthy.
The full interview in Out magazine is available to read now.