Adam Rippon to receive Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign
Updated: March 11, 2018 at 5:22 pm
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has announced on Thursday that Olympian Adam Rippon will be honored with the organization’s Visibility Award at the 2018 HRC Los Angeles Dinner, to be held on Saturday, March 10.
Special guests also include fellow gay Olympian and past HRC honoree Gus Kenworthy, Teri Polo and Sherri Saum from the TV show “The Fosters,” Josh Duhamel from the film “Love, Simon.” Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema and Rep. Maxine Waters will speak and Grammy Award-winning band Portugal. The Man will perform.
“One word best describes Adam Rippon — fierce,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “By being out and proud, Adam is bringing LGBTQ visibility to a whole new level while capturing the hearts of millions around the world with his incredible talent and personality. He isn’t afraid to use his global platform to speak out for equality, and we are proud to honor him with the HRC Visibility Award at the 2018 HRC Los Angeles Dinner.”
Rippon won a bronze medal at the Olympics in South Korea. In so doing, he became the first openly gay athlete to win a medal at a Winter Olympics.
He also made headlines for challenging the choice of Vice President Mike Pence to lead the Team USA delegation at the opening ceremonies, citing his anti-LGBTQ views as making him an unwise choice. The team had three openly LGBTQ athletes, including speed skater Brittany Bowe.
Kenworthy also criticized the choice.
“At first, I had a few hesitations to come out, because I was afraid of repercussions that it might have. But at the end of the day, I felt like it was important, and it was an opportunity to shine a light on a subject that was bigger than me. I know when I was coming out I drew strength from learning about other people’s stories and hopefully my story will do the same for others,” the figure skater told HRC in an interview.
He came out in 2015, the same year as Kenworthy, who won a silver in the 2014 Olympics in Russia.
Watch HRC’s exclusive interview with Rippon below.
UPDATE: Watch Rippon receive his award and give a moving and inspiring speech:
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About the author: Jeff Taylor is a journalist, artist and social media editor. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, LGBTQ Nation and The Pride L.A. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @jefftaylorhuman.