Adam Rippon always wanted to be a role model for the LGBT community.
The Olympic figure skater came out back in 2015 and has since become an icon for the LGBT+ community around the world, and admitted when he came out, he hoped he would be able to give young children more confidence.
He told Detroit News: “When I came out, I hoped that one day I would be a role model.
“I’m the oldest of six kids in my family, so I am sort of like an older brother – not sort of, I literally am.
“I really like being an older brother and I like sticking up for people, and the Olympics are an incredible platform where you can really speak up and speak your mind and have a lot of people listen.
“When I was at the Olympics, I took full advantage of that opportunity.”
He went on to say that before he came out he “didn’t trust” himself and almost gave up skating when he hit rock-bottom, but his life changed when he decided to finally be himself.
“I think I got that confidence from, basically, building my way up from the ground up,” he added.
“I think for a long time, I didn’t trust myself, and I finally got to this rock-bottom place where I needed to trust myself or just not continue.
“And I finally said, ‘OK, I’ll give myself a chance’, and just by giving myself a chance, I really, like, opened my whole world.
“When people say, ‘Who cares’ or ‘What does it matter, I think that’s great’. It shouldn’t matter, and nobody should care.
“But there are a lot of people who do care and it bothers them, and I think that’s why it’s important to share your stories.
“As a young kid just hearing about somebody that might be like you or come from the same place that you came from, or you relate to on some level, can give a young kid a lot of confidence or strength that they didn’t know they had by just having that little bit of a role model.”