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.
A Conversation With Bob Turk (2017)
Interview with Amber Glenn (2014)
Interview with Axel Médéric (2013)
Interview with Doug Mattis (2013)
Interview with Fumie Suguri (2015)
Interview with Shawn Sawyer (2013)
For more LGBTQ+ skating history, check out this handy Pinterest board!