When figure skater Brian Boitano came out publicly as gay just a couple weeks ago, he wasn't doing it to open the world up to his private life, he did so to further relay a message set forth by President Barack Obama. He wanted to promote "tolerance and diversity". According to a report by the New York Daily News on Jan. 2, Boitano opened up about his choice to come out.
Like many celebrities and athletes who have come out publicly, Boitano's story does spark inspiration, but the 50-year-old felt there was a deeper message, especially after being named to the U.S. delegation for the 2014 Sochi Olympics by President Obama. He felt the opportunity presented itself and he wanted to add his voice in representing his country and LGBT communities across the world.
In an interview with the "Today" show on Jan. 2, he said:
"I always wanted to represent my country as best I could. And I knew that I had to go past my comfort zone and reveal a private side of my life that I've never done before because I felt the message is so strong."
Boitano also made it clear that he wasn't hiding who he was or ashamed. He is proud of the support and positive reaction he has received. He feels his presence alone speaks volumes on how he feels about Russia's anti-gay laws. Sometimes the loudest and strongest voice is just being seen for who you are and showing pride.
"I think the statement is already being made by us being on the delegation, and Bille Jean (King) and Caitlin (Caow) and us standing together united as gay people showing that there is freedom of speech and we are successful human beings and athletes - and I think that that speaks measures."
As Russia's anti-gay laws has and will continue to spark protest and controversy leading into the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Brian Boitano has decided to show the world who he is by simply being who he is.