Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon announced on Thursday he would be partnering with GLAAD to work on fundraising and youth engagement.
Wearing his bronze medal for team figure skating from the 2018 Winter Olympics, Rippon appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to make the announcement.
“When I was young, to have somebody out there that I could’ve looked up to ― it would’ve made a world of difference,” Rippon told DeGeneres. “It would’ve changed my life.”
Rippon agreed that it is important to show that “there are gay people everywhere.”
“One in five kids today identify with some sort of LGBTQ identity,” he said. Addressing the crowd directly, he added, “So look to your left, look to your right, and if no one is gay, you’re probably the one.”
Degeneres made the first contribution to Rippon’s fundraiser with a $10,000 donation in his name.
The two also talked about Rippon’s feud with Vice President Mike Pence. Pence tried to give him a call but Rippon “didn’t feel like [the Olympics were] the right time” for them to speak.
“If I had the chance to have a call with him now… I have nothing to say to Mike Pence. That’s not a conversation for me,” he said. “If that call were to happen, I would say, ’You know what? It’s not for me. It’s for those people [whose] lives have been affected and changed by legislation that he’s pushed.’ It’s a chance for them to share their stories and their experiences.”
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