Canada's Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje perform their ice dance free dance during the ISU World Team Trophy Figure Skating competition Friday, April 12, 2019, in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan. Pride month means a little bit more to Weaver this year. The two-time Olympian and former Canadian ice dancing champion publicly came out as a queer woman on Friday in an interview with CBC and in a post on Instagram.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Toru Hanai

Former Canadian ice dancing champion Kaitlyn Weaver comes out as queer woman

Former Canadian ice dancing champion Kaitlyn Weaver comes out as queer woman

Former Canadian ice dancing champion comes out as queer woman

Pride month means a little bit more to Canadian figure skater Kaitlyn Weaver this year.

The two-time Olympian and former Canadian ice dancing champion publicly came out as a queer woman on Friday in an interview with CBC and in a post on Instagram.

Sharing her authentic self with the world has been “overwhelming,” Weaver said.

“I made my post this morning, which was scary but exciting. And then I put my phone down and we went paddle boarding. … I just wanted to kind of let it soak in,” she said from the Hamptons, where she’s on vacation.

Hours later, she returned to messages of love and support.

“It’s just such a heartwarming feeling to know that now I can be my most authentic self and I have some people in my corner as well.”

It’s been about a decade since Weaver, 32, realized she was queer but she avoided facing her sexuality, concerned about the impact it could have on her career. She was afraid people would think she was faking her connection with skating partner Andrew Poje — and that it would affect their scores.

“LGBTQ+ people are not accepted everywhere in the world and you just never know who you’re talking to. And when your livelihood depends on that, it’s scary. If it’s scary to tell friends, it’s definitely scary to tell people who are judging you for a living,” she said.

“It was just never an option to come out when I was still competing. It just wasn’t even an idea I would entertain.”

Instead, Weaver spent years directing all her attention toward skating and away from facing her true identity.

“As an elite athlete … you put your personal life second and your sport first,” she said. “So it was easy for me to kind of set everything aside, especially things that I didn’t really like and focus all of my energy on becoming the world’s best ice dancer.”

Figure Skating