I don't take on a project unless I know the end result is going to make me happy. If I can't give 100 percent to something, I choose not to do it because it's very difficult to have so many pots on the fire at one time.
If just one person, one child who is made to feel isolated, looks at me and sees that it is okay to be your own person and walk down your own path, then everything I have ever gone through will be worth it.
Statistically, I'd say there are about as many gay figure skaters as there are gay football players. The majority are straight. There are just those few exceptions, and those are the ones who have gotten picked on and followed over the years.
So many people in the gay community have always asked me to come out, say it like it is, and help our cause. But for me... I think my biggest statement I could give to the world is to be strong being myself... you have to make something of yourself, and that's what makes us strong.
I think I've gotten more attention after the Olympics than any other U.S. athlete, and it's really great that people are recognizing who I am and what I do. You look at Shaq and you see a basketball player. You look at Tiger Woods and you see a golfer. But people are responding to who I am.
Music is fun, but I'm an ice skater. I may sing songs and do shows, make movies and other things... that's all well and good and I enjoy it, and I would never trade any of those for anything. But figure skating is who I am.
I am an American man, and in America, we still think of figure skaters as little girls in pretty, sparkly dresses - I worked very hard to change the perception and image of figure skating, and I think I've done a great job on my end, but in figure skating, taste needs to evolve.
In spite of all the skills that I do have, to relate to the normal world I have no applicable skills. I can speak Russian, I can speak French. I know about Chanel. Especially vintage Chanel. I know what Halston is. All of these things, but they can't really be applied to a nine-to-five.
Masculinity is what you believe it to be. I think masculinity and femininity is something that's very old-fashioned. There's a whole new generation of people who aren't defined by their sex or race or who they like to sleep with.
I got into figure skating for the art of it, as well as the sport, and how much I love it. And, you know, I do everything that I want. I march to my own drummer. Sometimes people have an issue with that, and I can't control it.
It's of very little importance to me that I was born gay. It doesn't make me a better athlete, it doesn't make me a stronger person, it doesn't really do anything to enhance my life. It's just something I was born with, the same as green eyes.
I design all of my costumes. I like to go out there and feel like I have contributed to every part of what I do. I choose the music, the choreographer, I've obviously chosen my coach, my costumes - all if that falls under my realm of power, my realm of influence.
Being in the public eye is part of what I do, and taking on a multitude of different projects - television, radio, fashion, writing or deep-sea diving - is a blessing. It is also how I pay my bills and fund my own skating, as I don't have a sponsor or financial help from my federation.