Adam Rippon to lead LGBT youth engagement campaign, team up with Britney Spears at GLAAD awards

Fresh out of the Olympics, Adam Rippon has been announced as the new face of GLAAD’s youth engagement campaign.

The openly gay figure skater won the world’s hearts with his charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent at the Olympic Games – unafraid to send a metric ton of sass in the direction of the head of the US delegation, anti-LGBT VP Mike Pence.

After arriving back in the US, Rippon has already been fielding a string of media offers.

Appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show yesterday, he announced his first partnership – with LGBTQ non-profit GLAAD.

Speaking about his relationship with GLAAD to Ellen, Rippon said, “I’m working with GLAAD’s youth engagement program and you know this is so important because we’re reaching these kids and they’re becoming activists in their community. When I was young, to have somebody out there that I could’ve looked up to, it would’ve made a world of difference, and it would’ve changed my life.

“When I was young, I had a goldfish named Princess Diana, and that should have been the writing on the wall for me.

“I also had a goldfish name Diaria, spelled diarrhea, for balance. It’s a family name.

“But to have these young kids going out there and changing the world. This is something that I need to be a part of.”

“It is really important for the youth out there to have somebody, and have a face on television and sports and every area, and say that there are gay people everywhere, and know you’re not alone.

“One in five kids today identify with some sort of LGBTQ identity. That’s one in five. Right here, we’re two for two.

“So look to your left. Look to your right. And if nobody’s gay, you’re probably the one!”

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 17: Adam Rippon of the United States competes during the Men's Single Free Program on day eight of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Ice Arena on February 17, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)


It was also announced that Rippon will join Britney Spears onstage at the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards next month (April 12).

The pair have previously tweeted their adoration for each other.

During the Olympics, Britney tweeted: “Hey @Adaripp…. I just wanted let you know that I am a fan, I am not in denial, and that you are THE MOST FUN!! Keep making us all smile at the #WinterOlympics and good luck today ✨⛸”.

He responded: “I could feel you on the ice with me @britneyspears. I now have an OVERWHELMING desire to post Instagram fashion shows, google stock imagines of corn, and paint on the balcony of my dorm in the Olympic village. Thank you for not being in denial, LOVE YOU”.

Speaking to Rippon, Ellen said: “I love you so much. I don’t know what I’m going to do with you, but I’m doing something with you.

“I want you to do something on the show. You’re fantastic, and we want to be the first to make a donation to your fundraiser.”

The talk show host surprised the athlete with a $10,000 donation to the cause.

She also raised his long-running spat with Pence.

She said: “I think you’re awesome for being so out and open with who you are.

“I know that you talked about the Vice President and saying that – because I don’t know if everyone knows this, but he believes in conversion therapy, and he thinks that you can change people from who they are.

“So you made a statement about that. And then I guess he reached out. He called you. You didn’t take his call because you were focusing. If you spoke to him, what would you say?”

Adam Rippon (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Rippon said: “I’m an openly gay man competing at the Olympics. and [to interact with] somebody who thinks that gay people might be this societal collapse of our nation, I didn’t feel like it was the right time.

“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.

“I think going to the Olympics, it’s given me a really great platform to give a voice to people who feel like they don’t have one.

“So 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. It’s not for me.

“I would hope and pray that he is open enough to sit down and hear people’s stories and meet these people that he has those feelings about.”

Rippon said he was still a “hot mess” despite his rise in media profile.

He said: “I’m still the same old hot mess I was 10 years ago. I’m still that same person.

“My life has completely changed, but at the core I am still that same old disaster.”

Rippon wore a ‘&’ pin on the show, to show solidarity for those most vulnerable to discrimination in the current cultural and political climate.

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, said: “This year America fell in love with our LGBTQ Olympians, and Adam Rippon stood out in that esteemed crowd with his activism, passion, humor, and willingness to always be himself.

“Adam is a champion who will accelerate acceptance for LGBTQ youth and inspire them to achieve their dreams while proudly living their truth.”