Figure skating, when done right, is an exercise in grace under fire. It demands impeccable precision and flawless showmanship on a treacherously slick surface, all while under the microscopes of judges and audience alike.
With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Donovan Carrillo, a 16-year-old figure skater from Mexico, has the same kind of cool unflappability on Twitter as he does on ice, shooting down homophobic trolls as effortlessly as he lands his jumps and pirouettes.
On September 10, Carrillo was in Yokohama, Japan, competing in the figure skating Junior Grand Prix. For his routine, Carrillo performed to "Hasta Que Te Conocí," by legendary (and legendarily flamboyant) Mexican signer Juan Gabriel. The song, he later explained, was both an ode to his mother, and a tribute to the iconic Gabriel, who passed away in August at the age of 66.
His routine was a hit, reportedly earning Carrillo a slot at the upcoming International Skating Union's World Junior Figure Skating Championships. Unfortunately, as Pink News pointed out, it also earned Carrillo a deluge of homophobic blowback from internet small-brains convinced that harassing a world-class teenage athlete over his sexuality is a great use of their time.
Carrillo, however, would have the last laugh, taking to Twitter to put his hateful trolls in their place, once and for all.
"It doesn’t bother me that people call me gay, because I’m NOT," he explained. "It’s infuriating that people think the word gay is a joke or an insult towards my efforts"
"I admire and respect the LGBT community because I am friendly with many of their members, but I’m not a part of that community."
Carrillo's clap-back comes as a proposal for the legalization of gay marriage from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's prompted thousands of people to flood the streets in protest. In that context, his declaration of ally-ship takes on an added air of significance.
But Carrillo wasn't done, saving his best retort for last.
"The fact that I skate doesn’t mean that [I’m gay]," He concluded. "Just like being a soccer player doesn’t mean you’re heterosexual."
Bam! Point made.