Updated Blog (1/2007): Johnny Weir Criticized For Not Being Out
Johnny Weir, the U.S. figure skating and Olympic star finished an impressive 5th in figure skating at the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, but the buzz was rarely centered around his hopeful medal placement or a wrap up of his performance; it was and continues to focus on his sexual orientation.
Johnny Weir has been criticized for his flamboyant style and demeanor, but does that make him gay? And even if it did, should it matter? Weir is the fifth best figure skater in the world and a super athlete, yet his technique and skill is overshadowed by the speculation over his sexuality.
In an interview with the Chicago Tribune, former US champion Rudi Galindo commented on Weir's sexuality. "He's drinking tea with his pinkie finger in the air, and he's so over the top and feminine, why is everybody asking him about his 'style' and not just ask him if he's gay?"
Would it be acceptable for former athletes and the media to joke about the personal lives of other mega athletes? I don't recall the Super Bowl commentators freely discussing Bill Cowher's sexuality and mannerisms throwing the pigskin. Neither do I remember excessive gossip over the way Barry Bonds runs the bases or there being a gay witch hunt in the NHL. So, why the double standard and why is it so important that we know if Weir is gay? Can only ultra-masculine men be athletes or stars? Here is what Wier has to say on Johnny Weir Online:
Lisa from Moscow: Hi Johnny! I think my question is too private, but the most part of Russian and American forums discuss about your orientation. They speak about style of your skating and your clothes and determine it like "gay style". I think, of course, you have the right to choose your own way to be happy. Do you feel angry when this theme is the subject of wide speculation?
Johnny Weir: People talk. Figure skating is thought of as a female sport, something that only girly men compete in. I don't feel the need to express my sexual being because it's not part of my sport and it's private. I can sleep with whomever I choose and it doesn't affect what I'm doing on the ice, so speculation is speculation. I like nice things, and beautiful things, so if that is the only way people are determining that I swing one way or the other, then to me, that's sad. You can't judge a book by it's cover, ever. I never get angry about things because it's human nature to be jealous and rip people to shreds if you don't like them, regardless of the subject. I am who I am, and I don't need to justify anything to anyone.
More Johnny Weir:
- Gay Sports Fans
When NFL.com told a die hard fan that her request for the word "gay" on a personalized team jersey was "naughty" it reminded us all of how welcome (or un-welcome I should say) gays and lesbians are in professional sports...
- Former Baseball Star Billy Bean
Billy Bean was a star major league baseball player until the internal conflict of being gay in a homophobic sports world forced him to rededicate his life to gay advocacy...