Guillaume Cizeron, who won the silver medal in ice dancing at the 2018 Winter Olympics with partner Gabriella Papadakis, has come out publicly as gay in an interview with the French LGBTQ magazine Tetu.
The catalyst for the article was a photo Cizeron posted with his boyfriend on Instagram last week, where he wrote: “Celebrate love ❤️ #internationaldayagainsthomophobia Happy International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.”
Cizeron, who lives in Montreal but competes for France, did not think the photo would get much attention since he has never hidden the fact that he is gay, though this was the first time he publicly discussed it.
“It was quite funny how people reacted to this photo,” Cizeron, 25, told Tetu. “I would not consider myself in the closet before posting this [photo], so I don’t really consider it coming out.
“Even though I have never spoken publicly about my sexual orientation, I am one of those who think that it is not something that [people] should have to do. Straight people don’t come out. ... I still hesitated a bit before publishing. Because I’m not in the habit of revealing really intimate things. I don’t know what got into me, I said to myself, ‘What do I have to lose?’”
Cizeron and Papadakis are an elite ice dancing team: They are “the 2018 Olympic silver medalists, four-time World champions (2015–2016, 2018–2019), five-time consecutive European champions (2015–2019), the 2017 and 2019 Grand Prix Final champions, and six-time French national champions (2015–2020). They have won 10 gold medals on the Grand Prix series.”
Despite not thinking posting the Instagram photo was a big deal, Cizeron said he was pleased by the positive response. “It made me happy,” he said. “Despite everything, there were 200 or 300 people who stopped following me at that time, out of 84,000.” He now has 85,600 Instagram followers.
Cizeron is a great example of the power of a public coming out. While he never felt a need to do so and is correct that straight athletes never have to make the same choice, his being visible will make a difference. It always does.
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