Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dear Binky...

Where it all began for me...

I am always amazed when I receive mail from people
who actually read this blog--well, first I'm amazed
that they read, and secondly that they would bother
to take the time to write.  I'm thrilled to hear from readers,
and since many have asked some of the same questions,
today we present: You asked, Binky answers!

Dear Binky: Are you going to the Skate for Hope show in Columbus, Ohio? I would love to meet you! -- A Big Fan
Dear Fan: Thank you! I would love to meet you, too! But I can't go without my kids, and since we've already had the chance to meet Johnny--though we'd love to do that repeatedly, by which of course I mean "daily," like, say, at Starbucks, Johnny? Starting tomorrow? My treat! We can talk about getting you those leggings from Barneys--we feel bad hogging up three VIP tix when there are so few available. It's someone else's turn this time. :) Also that's Father's Day weekend, and I don't think my husband wants to spend it either (a) alone here because I've taken his children to Ohio with me to sigh over Johnny Weir, or (b) in Ohio sighing over Johnny Weir with us. But I am hoping to get to another show and meet-n-greet sooner than later, where I would love to meet more Johnny Weir fans in person!

Dear Binky: I really like your writing! Do you write for a living? Or do you have a real job? -- Just Wondering
Dear Wondering: I have been a freelance writer/editor/graphic designer since 1995. Before that, I worked in corporate communications out there in the real world, including at a large Chicago law firm. The last real job I had before I became a mom was copy editor for an award-winning Illinois newspaper, which was my favorite job ever although I used to cry at deadline, scrambling to get my pages to the pressroom with the publisher literally breathing down my neck. After our children came along, I was blessed to find freelance opportunities so I could work from home at night while the kids slept. But since freelance projects that pay actual money all taste like they have paper close to them, the blog is my creative outlet. Because Lord knows my husband doesn't have time to listen to all the things I apparently need to say.

Dear Binky: I love the blog. But why blog only about Johnny Weir? -- Curious
Dear Curious: I've never been one to shy away from impossibly gorgeous and talented men who clearly need someone to write endless posts of silly stuff about them and encourage them to live their dreams, get more sleep, and enjoy the hell out of everything that comes their way. Someone's got to do it. Might as well be me.

Dear Binky: I am wondering if you can offer your advice to a Johnny fan who's just not sure where this is going. I am not ever going to be friends with Johnny or Patti, and lately looking at the Facebook page and even the blog just makes me kinda sad. Please help! Thanks. --Feelin' Blue
Dear Blue: Oh sweetpea, thank you for writing to me, and I am so sorry you're feeling down.

You know, that's a tough one. I've had days where I've blogged away and then there's little response from anyone and I feel all ... unread ... and lonely. And no, I won't ever get to be friends with Johnny or Patti, because there's family, and then there's friends, and then there's fans, as Japanese super-fan Ikuko gently reminds Johnny in BGJW. And like Ikuko and literally tens of thousands of other people, I fall into that vast outer circle of fans. Because seriously, Patti just cannot host all of us for Thanksgiving, even though we'd all be happy to bring a hot dish and eat out on the lawn.

So what's the point of this crazy over-the-top fandom? I can only tell you what it means to me, and hope that my perspective might be helpful to you.

In my life, God sent Johnny Weir skating across my computer screen to "Poker Face" in January this year to open my eyes and my heart to more things in heaven and earth than I had ever dreamt of in the remnants of my complacent, self-satisfied, ex-Lutheran philosophy. Johnny opened the door for me and ushered me into a whole other world, a dazzling Technicolor place that I had completely missed, sitting in a dark, fear-filled corner as I had been until recently, listening to the harsh and loveless condemnation of "differentness" from closed-minded religious hypocrites. 

I stumbled through that door, squinting and blinking my eyes at the overpowering Light infusing it all, into a place of breathtaking beauty, heart-wrenching pain, and unsurpassed artistry. I've never seen anything like it, and I never want to go back.

In these past few months, since being shaken out of my stupor by Johnny, I have become a loud and tireless advocate of LGBT rights; I have taken the time to research what the Bible, my book of faith, really says about certain topics, and have been happily startled to see that the dogma I was taught is WAY off the mark, and brightly eager to share that knowledge with EVERYONE ("Ask me about my scarring church experience!"); and I have met countless wonderful people--including you--with whom I would never have crossed paths otherwise, who were all drawn to the same beautiful place by the same beautiful man: Johnny Weir.

This is a man who has spent his life sacrificing everything to share his gift with the world. His gift is not only his unparalleled skating; it's also his whole self, his open-hearted, open-minded embrace of other people and of life--and also of his fans, to whom he is so gracious and kind, and of whom he is most appreciative.

In return, my blog--my expression of fandom--is my very small gift to him.

And because it's a gift, I give it to him freely.

No strings attached. No ulterior motives. Just puttin' it out there hoping--trusting--that somehow, the love will find its way to him.

For me, I am happiest in my uber-fandom when I remember to center myself with this thought: Being Johnny's fan isn't about hoping that he'll notice me, that somehow I can work my way into a closer circle, that maybe someday I can be considered almost a friend. Like nearly everything in life, being Johnny's fan isn't really about me at all.

It's about saying thank you to Johnny.

And every time I tweet #realityWEIR; every time I post a link; every time I squee over a photo; every time I write a blog entry in support of him or try to rally the troops into voting for this, watching that, donating to this, that's what I'm doing: I'm thanking him for being who he is, and for all that he has gone through to bring us his gift. And hoping that all of us together, tweeting and squeeing and sighing and trying to help him win every possible award, can somehow, in some infinitesimal sense, help to ease the wounds he has suffered along the way, especially at these last Olympics.

Being a Johnny Weir fan isn't about sadly realizing you'll never really be friends with the Weirs. It's about knowing that, in raising your voice alongside tens of thousands of others, you have brought such unexpected joy to the Weir family through your gift: your support of Johnny.

And it's also a lot about wallowing in the wondrous escape that is Weirlandia, all of us in this crazy thing together, connecting in unexpected ways, brightening each other's paths with love and grace and lots of glitter, each of us rediscovering our inner free bitch, baby, and collectively celebrating that rediscovery.

So, dear Feeling Blue, let me give you a big cyber-hug and gently remind you that without each and every one of us, Johnny uber-fandom would not be what it is. You are an integral part of it all.

You, too, are a fierce and fabulous gift. :)

PLEASE VOTE HERE for Johnny to win
the 2010 Readers' Choice Skater of the Year Award!
And please keep voting for Johnny
as "Most Addictive Reality Star"
in the NewNowNext Awards! Vote here
(he's the last one listed in the fifth category--scroll down!)
or on Twitter by constantly tweeting #realityWEIR.
Voting ends June 4, which gives us plenty of time
to get Johnny oh, say, ONE MILLION votes!

copyright 2010 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Maggie St. said...

You crawled inside my head again Binky and totally nailed it! Fans, supporting Johnny ♥ Sharing our collective joy and enjoying the sometimes silliness we "more mature ladies" engage in over Johnny & his Family.

And continuing to thank my G-d that she gently turned my head to look at the TV set the moment Johnny took to the ice in Vancouver; reminding me that beauty and fierceness still exists in this world, if we only remember to look up every now and then.
* * * * * * * * * *
All in all, I much rather have your voice rattling around in my head. Every time I see a pic of Johnny sitting on the ice, the first thing I hear is my Grandmother's voice, telling me that one will get 'piles' if they sit too long on cold things! Then I start thinking about Johnny's butt. Next thing I know, it's an hour later, my coffee has gone cold and I have a strange smile on my face, and a pile of work left undone on my desk.

Then again, maybe Grandma knew what she was talking about! ;)

bsontwit (Beth) said...

love this blog! especially the last response to feelin blue. it is so funny how we dont really know each other but we all seem to feel exactly the same way about Johnny and Patti.

I could have written your response to blue, its so close to how i feel. I dont normally find people who think like me, so this surprises me (in a good way). Loving Johnny Weir means accepting yourself and others and being true to who you are. His skating gets your attention and then he has a message, be yourself, be real, we are all unique and thats where the good stuff is in us. Its a wake up call to live. I have been a loyal fan of his since he started nationals in 2003 but this message just became fully clear to me in the last few months, it really is ok to just be yourself. that used to scare the hell out of me...boy do i wish i had gotten that 20 years ago!

Here's one of my favorite quotes(its from Elizabeth Cady Stanton a nineteen century social reformer):

Nature never repeats herself,
and the possibilities of one human soul
will never be found in another.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, Binky, I am really moved by this blog post today. Let me start by saying that your way with words stuns me on a daily basis, but today in particular.
3 years ago, I went through a very, very, painful time in my life that included dealing with the death of a child. For the first couple of years afterwards, I just sort of baby- stepped through life, not really engaging anything or anyone inparticular. About a year ago, I decided enough was enough, life is too short to wander through. I slowly started putting myself out there again, testing the waters.
One afternoon, I'm wading through mindless celebrity gossip on Perez Hilton.com- (because celebrity gossip has got to be better than my crap, right?) and I find a video of a man in a beautiful black costume and black/blue facepaint. I've always had a fascination with figure skating, but haven't actually watched in years. So I click, and Pokerface plays.......

"Johnny opened the door for me and ushered me into a whole other world, a dazzling Technicolor place that I had completely missed, sitting in a dark, fear-filled corner as I had been until recently,"

Well, the rest is history. I've been a Weiraholic ever since, and really, absolutely, in my heart of hearts, I KNOW Johnny has, in some small way, helped me to heal. Because if Johnny can put himself out there, and love the way he does, despite the naysaying and negativity others put upon him, I can too.

Will I ever be friends with Johnny? Nope. But I did meet him briefly, and the thing about him that most impressed me was that no matter what we look like, or how exhausted he might be, he appreciates us. And I try to incorporate this into my life now, when the dark, icky thoughts want to bring me down. We're all special, sparkly people, and it makes me a happier person to try to see that in the world. As the Great J himself says "take something ugly, and make it beautiful."

Binky, you do this on a daily basis, so from the bottom of my newly glittered heart- THANKS!!!


auntyamyj said...

My dear Binks, you really captured the true nature of what it is to be a Johnny fan! So very very true!

Wendy said...

Love it, Mama, and especially your response to 'Feeling Blue'. Just as kind and insightful as always -- one big reason why we love you, too (that, and the belly laughs).

I tend to over-use similies and analogies, and this one is so horribly cliche!, but I sometimes think this about supporting Johnny: The wind beneath his wings. I want Johnny to fly!

Setting aside the fact that it's necessary to his success as a performer, it's just a damn nice feeling to know that there are people in the world who are rooting for you and want you to be happy. Johnny, being a pot stirrer, will always have challengers; I want him to know he will also always have defenders.

If my supportive tweets, votes, posts, whatevahs help tip the scales in my small way and extend positivity, I feel I'm helping. I believe Johnny is aware of the collective love and that that helps him to be happy, successful, and strong.

And that's it, right? Therein lies the purpose, and the cure.

xoxo and #realityWEIR (did I just say that out loud?)

Dana said...

"I have taken the time to research what the Bible, my book of faith, really says about certain topics, and have been happily startled to see that the dogma I was taught is WAY off the mark, "

That's the best reason I've ever heard to read the Bible!

Nico said...


How is it that the simplest Q&A format post is the one that makes me cry?? That's just not fair, sister. Knock it off!

It is amazing the transformation one's life goes through upon entering Weirlandia. I perform a thousand Johnny-related rituals each day now...not to mention what happens when I'm asleep...that never happened before. For me, it's more of a homecoming than a new place, but I've been away for far too long. And, like you, I don't ever want to leave.

I think you're right that it's about gratitude (a million thank yous x infinity to the Weirs, esp.Johnny) and I also think it's about his absolutely unique place in our modern world. And how that gives all of us a stronger sense of freedom, voice, empathy, humanity and hope. Some people might argue that I'm being overdramatic, but to that I would simply say "that for now, those critics can eat it."

You, too, are amazing. Please don't ever kick us off of YOUR lawn. xoxo Nicole

Anonymous said...

Oh my... you brought tears to my eyes. Okay, let me try to explain why...
Whenever I read your blog, you just tell what I cannot put into words. Those emotions and feelings I feel towards Johnny that I can't express. Mostly because I have a very low estime of myself in general (not about what I'm writing, as long as it is in my language). Following Johnny is helping me a LOT to work on that low confidence. Because I'm shy and never really learned how to share my feelings with people, how to express them. And also because my english sucks sometimes and it's just TOO MUCH emotions I'm getting overwhelmed by them and can't write correct sentences. So I'll never say "thank you" enough for all the beautiful things you write. It's so true and honest. It is really beautiful, coming from the heart. Very inspiring also. I feel blessed to know someone like you, even if we didn't meet. You said to that girl she was a precious gift, and a lot you told her, I can relate to. So I want to tell you something too: You are a very precious gift to all of us, Weirlandians.

WheresMyKoppy said...

Very nicely said! I actually wrote a couple of blogs about Johnny myself, but only in response to some rude things said about him. I really like yours. It's so seldom that someone is able to touch people the way that Johnny has been able to touch so many people. I remember sixteen years ago when my brother died I was at college and unable to leave for home for two days. I remember sitting there with tears running down my face eating a bologna and cheese sandwich because I knew I had to eat, and I popped a tape of Boitano skating into the VCR and after watching him skate I felt better at the most difficult time of my life just watching him skate. Johnny has that effect on me now. When I'm down I pop in the three shows I've managed to get of BGJW, or I watch one of his performances on the computer (not on DVD or tape, unfortunately!) and I feel better. That beautiful long program from Vancouver makes me feel better every single time. If I want a little smile I can watch 'Poker Face', or 'I Love You, I Hate You'. I can't really explain it, all I can say is it works. It works because it's Johnny and it's beautiful.

I won't ever be friends with Johnny or Patti Weir, either. But we have TV and video and interviews and we know he appreciates our support.

Jessica Lane said...

“Being Johnny's fan isn't about hoping that he'll notice me, that somehow I can work my way into a closer circle, that maybe someday I can be considered almost a friend. Like nearly everything in life, being Johnny's fan isn't really about me at all.

It's about saying thank you to Johnny.”

True dat. I’ll admit, there are days when I should probably print these words and tape them to my bedroom mirror to remind myself that just because I have long, involved conversations with Johnny in the privacy of my head and live in a tree in front of his apartment, we are not friends and I am not going to give birth to his glitter covered babies.

Seriously, perspective is very important. When people get their knickers in a twist over some random soundbite floating through the youtubes or a carefully quoted interview where Johnny, maybe, comes off as, god forbid, less than perfect I laugh my butt off. They aren’t his mother. She is an incredibly capable woman who has raised two amazing children and continues to guide Johnny gently through life and she does not need any unwanted help, thank you very much. They aren’t his friends. His friends love and support him through everything, even when he’s threatening to smother them with teddy bears. They aren’t his lover. But a girl can dream. :)

Beautifully said, everyone. And, Vinky, you made me cry. Again. But in the best possible way.

Fanatics unite! And I thank God or whatever/whomever, everyday, that I’m blessed with obsessing over someone so friggin’ awesome!

Anonymous said...

beautifully said, which seems to be what i say every time i comment on your blog. you've got me repeating myself but i'm running out of compliments!

"And because it's a gift, I give it to him freely."

uh, yeah! Johnny's smart and talented and has an amazing mom to call on if he needs advice. and hey, world, don't forget he's only 25 . . . remember being 25? feeling young and immortal and so eager to drink in the world?

a little message for sparkly pretty birdies to carry to Johnny:

i will be your fan no matter what, cause i respect and admire you and you skate like a dream. i don't care who you take photos with, whether you're competing or not, or if you do something people consider outrageous.

and, please please, have mercy on us in the northwest and come skate here! with LOTS of advance notice, so we can all sell our souls to buy super VIP tickets and get one of those real hugs you give.

pretty please? before i die slowly of yearning?

Robin aka Princess Johnny-Love