Pride Month

 

Nine years before the Civil Marriage Act made same-sex marriage legal across Canada, the figure skating world celebrated a historic first. Two Pride flags were displayed at the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships in Edmonton in support of openly gay competitor Rudy Galindo.

While many LGBTQ+ skaters today enjoy supportive messaging from their skating associations, such was absolutely not the case in the not-so-distant past. Decades ago, a skater's decision to come out of the closet could have had dozens of consequences on their career, including discrimination by federation officials and judges "of a different generation", lost sponsorships and opportunities and harassment by off-kilter "fans". 

Clipping about the 1995 LGBTQ+ film "Thin Ice", written and directed by Fiona Cunningham-Reid

As Pride is celebrated around the world this month, I urge you to take some time to learn a bit more about LGBTQ+ figure skating history. 

REQUIRED READING


For more LGBTQ+ skating history, check out this handy Pinterest board!