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Blake Skelljerup Comes Out — Again!

Blake Skelljerup Comes Out — Again!


The former Olympian talks about boyfriend twin confusion in an article celebrating National Coming Out Day.

When gay Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup initially came out, the process was relatively seamless -- but he's found the process is ongoing, as he notes in discussing an encounter with a teenage clerk who assumed Skjellerup's fiance was his brother.

In "Coming Out Again!" published yesterday on The Huffington Post for National Coming Out Day, Skjellerup writes about coming out to family, friends, and fellow members of the New Zealnd Olympic speed skating team, all of whom were quick to accept and support him.

"Upon coming out publicly in May 2010, I thought that that would be last time I would ever have to come out. Boy, was I wrong. Since then I have had to come out again and again."

A recent coming-out quandary came up at the bodega where he and his fiance, Saul Carrasco, get their breakfast every weekend. "Last week I let my fiance sleep in while I went out and grabbed our breakfast," Skjellerup writes. "While paying for our order I was chatting with the son of the owner, who looks to be around 15 years old. He said, 'You and your brother are always in here, and you really love a cream-cheese-and-peanut-butter bagel!'

"Now, having been alerted by others to the very slight similarity in our looks (#boyfriendtwins) once or twice before, I wasn't too shocked at hearing him say that. What I was shocked at was my reaction: I just smiled and laughed without correcting him. Here I was, having to come out again, and I didn't know what the right thing to do was. Should I correct him and perhaps risk compromising the quality of my bagel, or should I just let him figure out on his own that two brothers don't normally spend every Saturday and Sunday morning getting breakfast together?

"While I am a big believer in using visibility to champion and highlight diversity, it had been four and a half years since I'd last smiled and laughed without correcting someone who'd assumed I'm straight," Skjellerup notes. He also asks readers what they would have done in the situation. Share your responses in the Comments section below.

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