Johnny Weir Is Fantastically Fabulous
For those of you weren’t aware, Johnny Weir is fantastically fabulous. And not just because of his figure skating outfits, either. Johnny Weir is fantastically fabulous all around. He’s a beautiful skater and a creative fashion designer who unfortunately became the butt of a few broadcasters’ jokes during the airing of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
There are a few out gay and lesbian athletes who are competing in the Winter Olympics this year (and more than a few closeted ones as well), and Curve even gave you a few a names to look out for. But no other athlete has received more attention than Johnny Weir. And it’s not because of his mad skating skills. Weir received attention because of his outrageous outfits and his flamboyance instead, which some broadcasters couldn’t help but address. Why? Because any athlete who doesn’t fit the mold is automatically scrutinized. I talked about this last week with Brittney Griner. When any athlete, male or female, doesn’t look or act like people think they should look and act, their sexuality, gender and motives come into question.
Sure, Weir may not be as “manly” as Evan Lysacek, but he is just as talented. He is a three-time U.S. National Champion, a 2008 World’s bronze medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Final medalist, and is currently ranked eighth in the world. Weir skated his absolute best in Vancouver, earning a personal best in combined scores. Yet, because of how he looks and carries himself (which is one of the things I absolutely LOVE about him), some narrow-minded broadcasters took it upon themselves to call Weir a “bad example” of a male figure skater, and suggested he undergo gender testing like runner Caster Semenya.
Ugh. Are male figure skaters supposed to look and act a certain way? Is anyone?
Personally, I think Johnny Weir is not only an excellent example of a male figure skater, but also of how to celebrate who you are no matter what anyone else thinks. When he was asked about the off-color comments in a recent interview, Weir simply took the highroad. He said, “I hope more kids can grow up the same way that I did and more kids can feel the freedom that I feel to be themselves and to express themselves.”
Then he joked about how he grew out his beard just to prove his manhood, and answered each question with a great deal of class. He also talked about the beauty of free speech and how he would never want the broadcasters to be fired for speaking their minds.
And not once did he ask for an apology. If that isn’t fabulous, I don’t know what is.
Blogger Bio: Lyndsey D'Arcangelo is a versatile writer, having experience as a journalist, copywriter, author, freelancer and blogger. She is the author of the Golden Crown Literary Society Award-winning book, The Trouble with Emily Dickinson (also a Lambda Literary Award finalist). Her recent novel, The Crabapple Tree, was published in May 2009. In addition to writing short stories and novels, Lyndsey also contributes regularly to a variety of national and local publications. Visit lyndseydarcangelo.com for more information.