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    Canadian Speed Skater Comes Out As Gay In Response To Russia's Anti-Gay Laws

    “I also have faith in Russia. I think – I hope – that things will get better.”

    Canadian Speed Skater Anastasia Bucsis has been out to her friends and family for many years.

    Now, in response to Russia's anti-gay laws and the controversy surrounding the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, she has made the decision to come out publicly.

    Bucsis tweeted this weekend from Calgary’s Pride parade:

    I'm proud to be from Calgary, I'm proud to be an athlete, and I'm proud to be gay. Happy #PrideYYC

    She was personally blown away by the outpouring of support she received:

    Swimming in love from the kindness of strangers.

    Anastasia Bucsis


    Swimming in love from the kindness of strangers.

    / Via

    “I could never promote that message of concealing who you are with all of this going on in Russia. I’m kind of happy that I did it on my own terms,” the athlete told the Globe And Mail.

    Having already set her personal bests this year, she hopes to qualify for Sochi in long-track speed skating.

    Bucsis joins the ranks of several other athletes that have publicly spoken out against Russia's anti-gay laws:

    Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, a certain choice for the Swedish national hockey team, said the law was “awful, just awful."

    American runner Nick Symmonds dedicated his silver medal in the 800-meter final to his LGBT friends.

    He said, "If there’s anything I can do to champion the cause and further it, I will, shy of getting arrested.”

    20-year-old Australian snowboarding Olympic hopeful Belle Brockhoff came out of the closet late last week to take a stand for LGBT athletes.

    And figure skater Johnny Weir made it clear he’s willing to be arrested in Russia in order to make a point about his commitment to the LGBT equality.