“I thought I would write this letter in honor of National Coming Out Day to make sure you know how important your coming out day was for me and revisit some of the things I may have forgotten to tell you.” These are some of the words Kelly Rippon, mom of Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon, wrote in an open letter to her son.
As the mom continued in the heartfelt letter, which was published by Good Morning America, she revealed how Adam came out to her, as they walked from an arena parking into the rehearsal he had scheduled for an upcoming show. “As we got closer to the door, you turned to me and nonchalantly mentioned, ‘Mom, you know that I’m gay.'”
Adam Rippon’s Mom Pens Letter About His Coming Out Experience From Her Perspective
Kelly admitted she remembers that her son’s declaration didn’t surprise her much. “I think my first utterance was ‘of course I know,’ and then went on to say, ‘good for you,’ and ‘thanks for sharing, I love you,’ and without much fanfare, we entered the building,” the proud mom wrote.
Kelly added that while her reaction on the outside may have seemed nonchalant, “on the inside, I want you to know that I was fist-pumping with pride for you.” And it was a big moment and because of that, Kelly realized that there are some things she didn’t say to Adam that day that she wants to say now.
“I know that formulating the most personal details of your life into a complete sentence and sharing it out loud was difficult and years in the making, no matter how easy you made it look that day. I want you to know that if I appeared upset or worried later that evening, it wasn’t because I thought there was anything wrong with you, it was because I knew there was something wrong with the world we both live in.”
Kelly went on to say that while the end of that day was light, she understood the gravity of the situation, and what coming out could mean for his career. “I did delight in the knowledge that going forward, your coming out would give me the authority to disarm the overly curious career saboteurs when they pressed me to declare your sexual orientation, which wasn’t my place or any of their business,” she wrote. “I no longer would have to say, ‘Why is that important to you?'”
“I never thanked you for that privilege of being not just your mother, but elevated to your ferocious momma bear has made me a better ally,” Kelly said. She then talked about the moment she realized how Adam’s truth had impacted more than just him, his family, and his career.
“I was on a flight to work just after the Olympics and a young college student sat next to me. We began to talk and I could see he was upset. He eventually shared that his parents disowned him because he told them he was in love with a man.”
Thanks to Adam’s strength and success, Kelly was able to tell than student that “his truth had a special power. […] I also told him not to worry because no one can disown something they never owned in the first place.” Kelly said when he learned he was talking to the mom of Adam Rippon he began to cry “and said that after watching you at the Olympics, he was inspired to travel home on his spring break and proudly come out to his family.”
He told her he prayed for a sign after his parents reaction to his coming out. The student went on to say meeting Kelly was the sign he prayed for.
“I meet many people like that young man who claim your advocacy lifted them to levels of confidence beyond their wildest dreams,” Kelly continued. “Hearing and reading these moments of your influence fill my heart with pride.”
“Pride has no size,” Adam’s mom added, before thanking her son for empowering her. “Before I forget to tell you, thank you for empowering me to live a life beyond my wildest dreams. I love being your advocate, I love being your confidant, I love knowing you’ve met the love of your life, but most of all, I love being your mother.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.