Karina Manta is one of the few publicly out LGBTQ athletes in women’s figure skating. Along with her out gay ice dancing partner, Joe Johnson, they make up a particularly prideful duo, having recorded a number of top-10 finishes at the US Figure Skating Championships.
Now Manta is sharing the story of her journey in a new book, On Top Of Glass: My Stories As A Queer Girl In Figure Skating.
This week she joined Outsports’ Five Rings To Rule podcast to talk about coming out and being out in figure skating, body-image issues she has faced and how being different sometimes felt dangerous and how that contributed to the title of the book.
She also talks about the meaning of seeing rainbow pride flags in the stands when she takes the ice, knowing those are in part there for her and Joe.
Yet the book isn’t just about her time on the ice, it’s about her life and growing up.
“As much as the book is about skating it’s about teenage girlhood,” she said, “and skating gave me a heightened experience of teenage girlhood. I hope people walk away from it respecting and honoring that experience, and also believing that institutions can change to protect all kinds of people.”
On Top Of Glass comes out Oct. 19. It is already available for order at Barnes & Noble and other booksellers — a quick Google search will bring up your favorite option.
You can listen to the conversation with author and figure skater Karina Manta on the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast on Megaphone, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple podcasts and many more platforms. Just search for Outsports wherever you get your podcast.
And be sure to follow Five Rings To Rule Them All on Twitter.