Skip To Content

    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.

    Hong Wu / Getty Images

    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.

    Grigory Dukor / Reuters

    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

    Anastasia Bucsis@anastasure

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

    01:32 PM - 1 Sep 13ReplyRetweetFavorite

    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.

    Jamie Squire / Getty Images

    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."

    Jeff Haynes / Reuters

    He added, “I think that everyone should be able to be themselves. It’s unbelievable that it can be this way in this time, especially in a big country like Russia.”

    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.

    Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

    "I have a feeling that I would have to kinda go back into the closet a little bit because I don't want to risk my, like, you know, safety, being arrested or deported. I want to be able to compete and live my dream and become an Olympian."

    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.

    Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

    "Myself, even, just walking down the street, going to get Starbucks in the morning, and somebody could arrest me just because I look too gay."