American figure skater Amber Glenn is known in the sport as someone who is set to come into her own as an elite competitor. The 2014 U.S. Junior national champion has made a steady, consistent rise up the senior ranks. Next month, the 20-year-old Texan will be among the favorites to win a senior national championship, and lead the U.S. contingent at the world championship World Figure Skating Championships at Montreal.
Off the ice, she’s also come into her own, and last week she publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation for the first time, using the term “bisexual/pansexual” in an interview with the Dallas Voice.
While there are many out male figure skaters, a woman coming out as LGBTQ is still a rarity. According to the website, Glenn was out to those in the sport she was closest to, but felt now was the time to step out to fans.
“The fear of not being accepted is a huge struggle for me,” she told Dallas Voice. “Being perceived as ‘just a phase’ or ‘indecisive’ is a common thing for bisexual/pansexual women. I don’t want to shove my sexuality in people’s faces, but I also don’t want to hide who I am.”
Although there is a distinct difference between what the term “bisexual” means and what “pansexual” means, a Healthline article in September confirmed what Glenn and many people are now doing: using both words to describe their sexual attraction.
She cites U.S. pair champion Ashley Cain-Gribble as a role model whose example in part helped her move forward. “I try to follow the example Ashley sets and her overall demeanor when she skates in front of thousands of people,” Glenn told the Dallas Voice. “She’s so strong and confident. I really look up to her and admire her for that.”
Glenn’s comments mirrored much of what she’s been known for, on and off the ice, and in social media. She has been open about the high and lows of the sport and often uses her platform to encourage younger skaters. Glenn’s coming out drew a widespread response on social media, including a great deal of support.
huge congrats to @AmberGlenn_ for being proud of who she is, and we are all so proud of you as well ♡♡♡ ️ keep getting stronger!— alexis. ☆ gpf emo vibes (@originsparkle) December 15, 2019
self ❤️ I have always cheered her on (ie screaming and crying when she got both of her assignments, and even when I saw she was at champs camp) but NOW you are never going to hear the end of my love for Amber Glenn— Leila — CRYING CUZ OF KEVIN (@GoFigureLD) December 15, 2019
Hat tip to Nick McCarvel.