1998 Gay Games Category D participant, Women's
1998 Gay Games Category D participant, Pairs with Linda Carney
1994 Gay Games Pairs champion, Level 2, with Linda Carney
1994 Gay Games Compulsory Dance 1 champion, Level 1, with Linda Carney
1994 Gay Games Women's silver medalist, Level 2
Co-founder, with Arthur Luiz, of the International Gay Figure Skating Union
May 29, 1998
The circumstances of my coming out and becoming a figure skater are actually quite intertwined. I had, what I was led to believe were totally unrealistic, fantasies about being a skater as a child. I knew I was gay by age 13, but the frightening things I "learned" about lesbians in the Stamford Connecticut Public Library only 42 miles away from the goings on of that summer of 1969 in Greenwich Village, scared me into the closet for nearly 20 years.
At 32, with severe Ulcerative Colitis to prove it, I was no longer able to live the double life of a closeted dyke with a husband and house in the 'burbs. My life needed changing and it needed it BIG TIME! I left my husband, bought a pair of skates and came out.
Never before an athlete, I began getting up before dawn to skate every day before work in New York City's garment center. I traded the suburban house for a Chelsea apartment near Sky Rink.
When I became a skater, I became an activist. I found a political voice I didn't know I had. In 1991, I learned of the Gay Games coming to NY in 1994 and began lobbying to get figure skating included as an official sport. Co-chairing my sport in Gay Games IV was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding experiences of my life. I competed (and medaled) in three events, making history as part of the first lesbian pair figure skating team.
Click on photo to enlarge it
To have changed the face of a sport that I never even dreamed I could be a part of will forever remain one of the high points of my life.
On May 16, 1998, I married the woman of my dreams in a ceremony that was as much a political protest as it was a celebration of our love. Officiated by Brent Nicholson Earle, of the Federation of Gay Games and the Rainbow Roll for the End of AIDS, who asked guests and witnesses to "honor, support and respect" our marriage "regardless of its illegal status", our wedding ceremony reminded us of the evils of the Defense of Marriage Act and questioned why, when the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the Constitutional right of convicted felons to marry, law abiding, tax paying gay men and lesbians can not.
The "flavor" of the figure skating competition in Amsterdam may be quite different than it was in New York. While we celebrated the diversity, creativity and individuality of the skaters at Gay Games IV, the organizers of Gay Games Amsterdam have planned a more "traditional" figure skating competition with the emphasis on technical merit. If, in my solo program, I am marked down for wearing a rainbow unitard covered with thousands of crystal beads, because I am not in the "skirt which must cover the lady's derriere" that the International Skating Union requires, I will not care. If Linda and I get no credit for overhead lifts in our pairs program because my 102 lb frame is barely smaller than hers, I will not care.
She and I are skating to "Somewhere". Our portrayal of the couple longing for a place safe for their love is more important to us than whether our sit spins are in unison (although, our coach is coming with us to Amsterdam to make sure that they are). In my solo number, I celebrate my love for the Dyke that I am illegally married to.
I am a lesbian skater, as much as I am a skater. I am proud to share that part of myself with the world in Amsterdam this summer.