Monday, September 27, 2010

Leaving 'Em Speechless in Seattle

Johnny addresses the guests
at HRC Seattle’s annual “asOne” Gala Dinner
as the evening’s Visibility Award winner
and featured speaker.
Yes, he’s rocking finger condoms,
vintage Versace, and meggings!

Dr. Marty Lieberman presents
Johnny with the Visibility
Award from HRC Seattle.
So Johnny blew into town late Friday night, and within 24 hours he had the wonderfully endearing Dr. Marty Lieberman, Human Rights Campaign Foundation Board Member, calling him a “force of nature” in awe-stricken tones while barely containing his shyly unbridled joy at handing Johnny the Visibility Award on behalf of the Seattle Steering Committee of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC Seattle).

And that’s before Johnny even opened his mouth to offer a classically compelling Johnny speech that really is just one long Weirism, which is going to keep the fabulous Nancy Knisley busy for days breaking it down into quotable quote upon quotable quote (and bless you for that, Nancy! We can hardly wait to read it all on your blog!).

Who else could deliver a speech containing the terms
“dominatrix,” “p*nis,” “f*ck,” and “b*tch” in such an impossibly charming, intelligent, and truly thoughtful way that he keeps getting interrupted with shouts of “We love you, Johnny!” and 
even “We love you! Keep speaking!” (to which he responded,
“OK, I’ll werk it”)?


Left to right: Johnny; Chris Speron, National HRC
Development Director; and Joe Solmonese,
National HRC President. I love the Mad Men
As Directed By Tim Burton And
Presented As An SNL Short Film vibe
going on here ...

But let’s backtrack for a moment to Dr. Lieberman’s introduction of Johnny, in which he explained the meaning of the Visibility Award and why Johnny exemplifies that meaning so well. Here’s some of what he said:

The HRC Visibility Award recognizes LGBT individuals who are living open and honest lives. Well, Johnny is doing much more than that. He is a force of nature, with all of his fabulousness swirling around him like the eye of a storm.

As one, Johnny has given courage to all the little boys and girls out there who want to pursue those dreams, regardless of what society says is right.

It took me forty years to get the courage to get a pair of skates and take skating lessons. No one should have to wait that long to realize their dreams.

I really want to thank you, Johnny Weir, for making the world a more welcoming place, and for your brave determination to be who you are.

Please take a moment and join me in watching ... Johnny Weir.

Following Dr. Lieberman’s intro, HRC Seattle presented a 3:30 video montage/tribute to Johnny that was so perfectly put together it left me in tears. Cut into clips of Johnny’s many media appearances this year—including Larry King, Joy Behar, Access Hollywood, and his Oly press conference—was his Poker Face routine from 2010 Nationals, with the entire montage set to “Poker Face” as the soundtrack.

Left to right: Tara; Camille Rodriguez, National HRC
Associate Director of Events; Johnny; and Chris Speron,
National HRC Development Director.
“Camille needs a raise and a bonus for dealing with
the two of us!” says Tara. “Camille was in charge
of us being here, and Chris was seated next to me
at the dinner. We love them!”

Fortunately for all of us, the incredible Nicole Davis (to whom we owe our undying gratitude because lots! of! Johnny! in! HIGH DEF!) recorded Dr. Lieberman’s intro, the lump-in-your-throat montage, and almost all of Johnny’s speech in three parts, now available on YouTube and in which we can spend the rest of the day rolling around (for starters, his hair is EPIC and, as Nicole noted, really beyond ready for its own reality show at this point. Also, said Nicole, “how is it that he can walk into a room full of the most beautiful people ever assembled, and be absolutely the most luminous and otherworldly person there? Also the most adorable.” Honey, I don’t know. We all just go with it. And bask.).

See the videos here, here, and here.

(Aaaaaaand Nicole’s YouTube channel crashes in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... )

Here’s the plate
we’re betting Johnny
didn’t touch ...
Nicole has been kicking herself all weekend because her memory card got overfull and threatened to vomit, so Part 2 is like one minute long, and then Part 3 is recorded in standard def because she had to switch to older technology. And she should stop that kicking right now because all three vids are fanTAStic and make you feel like you’re THERE (she had INCREDIBLE seats), and plus Part 3 offers FULL BODY SHOTS so WTF who cares about high def when those meggings just go on forever ...

Anyway, with Poker Face playing, Dr. Lieberman welcomed the featured speaker to the stage, that being Johnny, who of course arrived carrying a large glow stick (these were used during the event’s silent auction, so okaaaaaayyyy ... ), and a single notecard to which to refer during his speech.

 Johnny autographs the fine art print
of the Peter Jurik painting
for the lucky attendee who won it
during the evening’s auction.

And let the quotability begin (here are just a few choice moments from Johnny’s speech—I leave the rest for you to enjoy on the videos and for Nancy to compile wonderfully on her blog) ...

[Holds up notecard.] This ... is something I’m trying that’s very new for me. I usually try to freeball it when I give a speech like this.

I live my life the way that I want it to be lived. I live the way that I think is appropriate and a way that makes me happy. And that’s the most important thing to me: To be happy in life.

Having the freedom and the ability to be myself is something that every child, every person, deserves. And it’s something that I never take for granted ... I am so honored and so lucky to have grown up in a family like I did, that is very supportive of me no matter what I choose. If it’s to sleep with a man, marry a woman, dye my hair purple, they support everything. And I’m so lucky for that.

Be a freak. Be weird. Do things that you find interesting and find fun, and love it, and live it, and don’t answer ... to anybody.

More mingling, more
smiles, more talking
with his hands ...
It’s all about the after-party, and the after-after-party.

I was born and raised in Amish country. ... And I got into this crazy world of figure skating because I had one dream: To be an Olympian, and to represent my country, and to be fabulous.

So when I got on the ice in Vancouver, and every nation’s camera was pointed in my face, and there were all these ... cameras around the border of the ice rink, my music started to play, and I just said, “Go, b*tch.”

In that moment, I knew that I wouldn’t have a medal. ... When I finished skating, I was literally bent over backwards in the middle of the ice, and I got up and I crossed myself, and I looked around. People with every flag of the world were waving their flag for me. People were standing. People were crying and clapping. And I got, in that way, my medal.

So, in every realm, in business, in sports, you have to do it your way. You have to do it yourself. You have to be as empowered as you can be by the power that everyone has inside them. Even if you aren’t going to get the same things as everyone else, do it your way, and it will be completely the most fulfilling moment that you can have, when you finally reach what you consider success.

This award is truly incredible, and all of you please go get your drink on, and grind. Thank you.

 As the evening comes to a close,
Johnny continues to greet guests
and charm everyone within a 100-mile radius
of the greater metropolitan Seattle area ...

Epilogue: The work carried out by the nonprofit Human Rights Campaign is absolutely vital, and cannot be done without your support. Please consider volunteering for your local HRC steering committee, joining HRC as a member, or making a donation--whatever you can afford—to help them continue to fight for the rights of people everywhere. HRC is awesome—and they need you, me, Johnny, all of us, to maintain that level of awesomeness.

Yes! You can own a fine art print of Johnny
perfect for any/every room in the house!
Prints of artist Peter Jurik’sShowtime!”
are available for purchase from his website.
More info here!

Johnny Is skating in Yu-Na Kim’s fabulous show,
All That Skate, in Los Angeles on Saturday, October 2!
Everything you need to know about tickets
and special gatherings of The Cabal
is right here!
This show is expected to be televised
on Sunday, October 10, on NBC--
check your local listings!

Also on Sunday, October 10, Johnny will be performing
in Skate for the Heart in Youngstown, Ohio!
Tickets are available here,
and there’s a discussion page for fans here!
This show also will be televised on NBC
on Sunday, January 16, 2011, at 4 p.m. EST!

Please remember to register to receive
the JW Art Project’s email newsletter!
They have great tidbits to offer,
and you get a special sneak peek at an exclusive photo
from the book when you sign up!
The Artbook is expected to be published
by the end of October--can’t wait!

All photos courtesy of Nicole Davis
and Agentress Extraordinaire Tara Modlin.
Thank you both so very much!

Coming soon: More in the series
of translated interviews from the Mook Book
courtesy of the fabulous Akiko Nakata!

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


Nancy Knisley said...

Thank you so much for the shout out, Binky. I know this speech will keep me blogging for many days.

And, having listened to the video, I also know that the quotes will be entertaining, inspiring, and...exciting--yeah, that's the word--exciting to read since I don't use any *s in place of letters on my blog. I just tell it like Johnny did. Explicitly. :-)

-K said...

Thank you, Binky! So, so proud of him. I have tears in my eyes now, not only from his speech, but also from the memories it brought back from the olympics, of seeing him skate for the first time, and seeing his press conference, and being absolutely blown away by both. And since that time, he has never ceased to amaze and inspire me.

WheresMyKoppy said...

I stayed up waiting for your Blog! You didn't disappoint me and neither did Johnny!

I am SO upset MM! I typed up a wonderful (I think!) comment for your Blog, and then Blogger gave me an error message. I don't know if I can recreate it. I try to train myself to copy before i try to post just in case, but I didn't this time :- (

Thank you so much HRC Seattle, MM, Nicole, Tara, and especially JOhnny Weir for the wonderful photos, video, for the descriptions of the event...

I am SO PROUD Of JOhnny! I am glad he is being recognized by organizations like this and EqCa for just being Johnny and for living his life the way he chooses to live it. WE all know not everyone in the community likes him, and we also know why. However, these awards and appearances at events like the GLAAD Awards are proof that not everyone thinks that way, and also that JOhnny despite his refusal to have labels stuck on him, is embracing who he is and acknowledging those who appreciate it and him.

I am so happy we have the privilege of being fans of this talented, artistic, intelligent, gutsy and completely unique human being!

Thank you everyone MM, Nicole, Tara, Johnny for all you did to bring this Blog to us who could not be there in person!

WheresMyKoppy said...

Was the word 'inspiring' in the comment I just posted? Because it was in the original... Wah! Did I also say it was a privilege to be a fan of Johnny's? I know I meant to... I can't believe I lost that comment! Anyway, thanks again for putting so much work into this wonderful Blog, and looking forward to hearing more from Judith, and Nicole and to Nancy's Blogs...

germansoulmate said...

I just have to say it again. Nancy and MM, your blogs are my favourite blogs. I simply love them because they make me smile and laugh out loudly.
And the hopefully never ending source is this man who is the way he is and isn´t ashamed of being himself despite the hate and jealousy coming his way. I´m sure he knows there also are a lot of love and many people trying to understand what makes Johnny tick, how he lives his life and saying a "F*ck you" to all the naysayers whose expectations he doesn´t meet.

I´ve been looking forward to today´s blog and have not been dissappointed...neither by you, Binky, nor by Johnny.

Thank you.

Debora Walsh said...

He's left me speechless in NY! I'm at my desk all teary-eyed, my heart is bursting with happiness and pride for him.

I am continually moved by Johnny Weir... alternately sad that such an extraordinary talent has had to endure such hateful, small-minded bigotry and ignorance in the pursuit of his own dreams; and ecstatic in the realization that ultimately, he has risen above it all, confident in himself and his ability to excel.

His wise, yet effervescent, personality is an inspiration everyday to live life on your own terms, unapologetic and undeterred; in pursuit of personal fulfillment and your own degree of happiness…and to perhaps even take some time along the way to create something of exquisite beauty.

Now, THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is a REAL champion.

theresa said...

I am glad that as the months pass Johnny feels that the wonderful reception he received from his performance is in fact his Gold Medal. I know in my heart that I will always cherish his heartfelt performance over ANY perfectly landed quad.

TY Binky!!


Maggie St. said...

Congrats to Johnny for this award. How wonderful that he continues to be recognised for his achievements and for staying true to himself. Yes Johnny, you are truly Champion of the World ♥

And a fan-TAS-tic speech, made even more fanTAStic by wearing finger-condoms :)

(thanks to Nicole for the vids & to Binky for the usual XOXO)

Anonymous said...

MM thank you for great blog again and for pics! Nicole, thanks so much for taking the time to video and for sharing it with us so we could hear the speech too!

Gail, i hear your pain, i wrote a comment early this morning and then the error came and of course my nice long comment was gone! very upsetting before I even had my morning caffeine!!!

I loved Johnnys speech. I am trying to take the advice that he is giving to live the way you want to live with no explainations. love that concept! I have always kind of done that to a degree, now I have decided to feel less guilt about it! I want to hug the woman who screamed out "WE LOVE YOU-KEEP TALKING!"!! She sums it up well.

So, Johnny hope you still keep talking for a LONG time, keep Skating too. Both are wonderful gifts! ♥♥♥

Beth - twitter bsontwit

Li said...

Congratulations Johnny for this wonderful award and excellent speech! Well done Binky, you go BB!

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

beautiful, eloquent, lovely man! watching his speech just made me SO HAPPY!!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

love that he was honored, love his lovely self that can captivate any audience, skating, speaking, or posing ("I'm from Amish country and I look like this" hee hee!)

thank you to everyone who helped capture this special Johnny moment for everyone who couldn't make it.

and, OH!! a shout out to his hair, which was impossibly perfect!

and to Tara, cause she rules!


Robin aka Princess Johnny-Love