america's gay sweetheart

Adam Rippon has been speaking his mind for years. May he never stop.


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A post shared by Adam Rippon (@adaripp)

Leave it to America’s gay sweetheart, Adam Rippon, to speak his mind. 

In February 2022, the U.S. Olympic figure skater–who just four years ago became the first openly gay man to make a U.S. Winter Olympic team, and the first to win a medal at the Winter Games– ripped tore the Olympics a new one when he labeled the women’s figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics “a complete joke” after the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided to allow Russia’s Kamila Valieva to remain in competition despite a failed drug test.

In case you needed reminding (was February 5 years ago?), 15-year-old Valieva tested positive for a heart medication, trimetazidine, which athletes have been known to use to help increase circulation and endurance. The drug allows them to train longer, according to TIME. It’s also on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s banned list so… not a cute look.


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A post shared by Adam Rippon (@adaripp)

“Every other athlete in this competition is having their whole Olympic experience altered to accommodate an athlete with a FAILED test,” tweeted Rippon at the time. Which, go off honey!

“None of this is fair,” he continued. “You can be heartbroken for this 15 year old girl and at the same time be heartbroken that every other skater in this event will have to compete knowing that the competition is not clean.”

Of course this isn’t the only time Rippon has told us like it is.

Earlier in the competition, he blasted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for selecting Beijing as the host city of the Winter Games, claiming that the IOC was rewarding China’s “bad behavior” on human rights and that they needed to “step up.” 

And then there was that time in 2018 when a reporter asked Rippon his thoughts about then VP Mike Pence leading the 2018 U.S. Olympic delegation to South Korea, to which he masterfully clapped back with, “You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy? I’m not buying it.” *chef’s kiss*

Seriously, it was a whole thing. Pence offered to meet with the Olympian, who refused, and then Mike had a very thirsty response.

But the thing is, Rippon has never shied away from saying what’s on his mind. For him, it’s all part of bringing visibility to the LGBTQ community.

“I told myself that if I ever had that platform to say anything, I would say something,” Rippon once told the HRC. “I think the more visibility we have as an LGBT community the more normal it becomes for a young kid who lives in a small town like I’m from—I’m from a small town in Pennsylvania. I think that if you can share your story, you bring more normalcy to whatever situation that someone young may be feeling that they’re in.”

And part of that is bringing visibility to what queer love looks like. 

In January, Rippon and his longtime boyfriend Jussi-Pekka “JP” Kajaala got married in a small and private ceremony on New Years Eve (with his dog)… just the way Rippon always wanted. 


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A post shared by Adam Rippon (@adaripp)

After all, this is the same guy who once joked he’d rather get married at City Hall since weddings are expensive and “wouldn’t you rather buy a couch?” Hey, he’s not wrong.

Alas, what’s not to love about Adam Rippon: Could it be his charming musings on social media? His public feuds with bigoted politicians? Or the fact that he has no issue standing up to for the global queer community? Hey, why not all three… and then some! Welcome to the Pride 50, Adam. We hope you’re reading this from a very nice couch.

Pride50Welcome to Queerty’s Pride50. We’re celebrating the members from our community who are responsible for some of the most inspiring and extraordinary moments for LGBTQ people over the last year. See all the honorees