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.”

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

Hong Wu / Getty Images

2. 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

3. Bucsis tweeted this weekend from Calgary’s Pride parade:

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

Anastasia Bucsis


Swimming in love from the kindness of strangers.

/ Via

5. “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.

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

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

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

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

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.”

Jeff Haynes / Reuters

9. 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.”


10. 20-year-old Australian snowboarding Olympic hopeful Belle Brockhoff came out of the closet late last week to take a stand for LGBT athletes.

“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.”

Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

11. 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.

“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.”

Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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