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Timothy LeDuc Became The First Openly Queer Pairs Skater To Win Gold At US Championships

Timothy LeDuc is making history.

Along with his figure skating partner Ashley Cain, LeDuc won gold in the senior division of the US Figure Skating Championships this past Saturday (January 26). This makes LeDuc the first openly queer figure skater to do so.

The pair skated wonderfully at the event held in Detroit, Michigan. The two kept with their regular routine of skating to Bella Bell for their short program and the soundtrack to the movie W.E. for their free skate.

Then speaking to Team USA, LeDuc noted how grateful he is for his career and this achievement.

“I’m very grateful. I stand on the shoulders of many great athletes who have come before me and allowed me to be open,” LeDuc said. “I believe I am the first openly queer person to win the U.S. pairs title. Rudy Galindo and Randy Gardner came before but I don’t believe they were out.

”Queer people still face a lot of challenges in this country. We’re still fighting for equality. I know for me personally I spent a lot of my earlier life self-deprecating because I didn’t understand who I was, and it’s taken years and years of work to overcome that; I still doubt myself sometimes.

“To be standing here today as the first openly queer athlete, I don’t say that to honor myself, I say it to show to others that you can do this, you can overcome, and you are worth it; you don’t have to doubt yourself for any reason.”

Timothy LeDuc quietly came out as gay in 2017. He had already been partnering and competing with Ashley Cain for a year before that. But as the years go by, LeDuc has become more expressive about his sexuality, as he sees the need for representation in sport.

“We still live in a country where I can be fired in some places just for being out,” he told Outsports in 2018. “We live in a country where 40% of the homeless youth are part of the queer community. Young queer people are more likely to commit suicide than their straight counterparts.

“Every queer person who has the means to be out should be out.”

LeDuc added more to this argument in his talk with Team USA, saying:

“Queer people still face a lot of challenges in this country. We’re still fighting for equality.”

“I know for me personally I spent a lot of my earlier life self-deprecating because I didn’t understand who I was, and it’s taken years and years of work to overcome that; I still doubt myself sometimes.”

“To be standing here today as the first openly queer athlete, I don’t say that to honor myself, I say it to show to others that you can do this, you can overcome, and you are worth it; you don’t have to doubt yourself for any reason.”

LeDuc and Cain’s win at the US Figure Skating Championships will booster their chances of competing in following events such as the Four Continents Championships and the World Championships.

h/t: Team USA, Outsports

Comments

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What's up with all the emphasis on "queer" as opposed to gay ?

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Totally agree with you WTH? He's gay.

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