In Quotes

Johnny Weir says homophobia fueled his Olympic drive

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“I had just turned 16 and I was competing internationally at the Olympic level. An agent approached me with my mom and said ‘The world is your oyster and we’re the agency that can take you where you want to be.’ But he then looked at me and my mom and he said ‘If you work with us and we create this future for you, you can’t be gay.’ And at 16 standing with your mother that isn’t necessarily a topic that you want to address. My sexuality was not something that I’d really voiced because you’re afraid of how something that is just inside you will affect other people and you can’t fix that. You can’t change that. I was mortified and I remember going up to our room and my mom just said, ‘We don’t need them. You’re just going to skate really well, you’re gonna book the jobs by yourself.’ I used all of that negativity to my advantage and became a national champion.”–Olympic figure skater and current Dancing with the Stars contestant Johnny Weir, revealing to People how homophobia intimidated him as a teen figure skater. Ultimately, Weir says that fear pushed him to be more competitive.