Monday, November 15, 2010

Congratulations, Johnny: Cover Star of Out Magazine's "Out 100," and Also "Diva of the Year"!

(Can I just say what a thrill it is to write yet another headline this year that begins with "Congratulations, Johnny!"? :) )

Johnny's photo in Out magazine's "Out 100" gallery,
in which he was named "Diva of the Year." Love this!
You can read Out's profile of Johnny here.


So on Friday Out magazine revealed its December cover for its special "Out 100" double issue, and there among the five cover stars was Johnny! Right alongside Rachel Maddow, Julianne Moore, Ricky Martin, and Nate Berkus!


Out.com also was kind enough to post this video about the five cover stars:


And they offered this behind-the-scenes look at the production of the special Out 100 double issue. Watch for Johnny briefly from about 3:25 to 3:29 (still need to make a .gif of this ...).
In their profile of Johnny, Out notes:

[T]he skater’s growing media empire ... exponentially expanded in 2010 with a reality TV show, Be Good Johnny Weir, on the Sundance Channel, the recording of his first single, “Dirty Love,” which he’s been told “sounds a bit like Depeche Mode,” and starring on ABC's Skating With The Stars as a judge.

Topping off the banner year, which also saw Weir winning the 2010 Logo NewNowNext Award for Most Addictive Reality Star and the U.S. Figure Skating’s 2010 Readers’ Choice Award for Skater of the Year, was his acceptance of the Visibility Award from the Human Rights Campaign Seattle in September.

So three things:

(1) "STARRING on ABC's Skating With the Stars." Yes! Starring! He's a star! (Well, of course we in Weirlandia already knew that, but it's so exciting to read it / hear it from other people who are just joining the party!)

(2) I love that of the achievements listed here, Johnny's fans helped with both the NewNowNext Award and the Readers' Choice Award. :)

(3) Immediately on the heels of Out.com's news came comments on several sites asking why Johnny was chosen for the Out 100 when he's never officially "come out." Same thing happened with the HRC Visibility Award.

So on the one hand Johnny is too gay for the USFSA and Stars on Ice and a lot of people with whom I used to occupy pew space, but he's not gay enough for this type of recognition. Or not openly gay enough. Or something. (Although Julianne Moore and some others on the list are not gay, but are fervent supporters of LGBTQ rights and equality. Which is very cool.)

I understand that there is legitimate frustration behind the resentment sometimes directed at Johnny, that there are many who feel that he's too coy about himself, that a formal "coming out" is a necessity, and that celebrities have a unique responsibility to clearly "come out" because their very celebrity status affords them a platform from which to help less-celebrated community members, and to fight for the rights of all in the community.

In the behind-the-scenes video, Out editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin explains that "the Out 100 is an annual roll call of men and women who live their lives out and confidently, and who, in their particular field, have achieved something that we feel is worthy of recognition."

And in the Out profile piece, Johnny says: "I never think of myself as an activist in any capacity, but I am glad that people can find strength and inspiration in my triumphs and defeats. ... I hope that I can continue to inspire individuality in people regardless of age, sex, race, sexual orientation, or religion."

And I am reminded that in order to "come" out, first you'd have to be, you know, "in."

And Johnny's always been ...

Not "in." Not "out."

Just ... Johnny.

Which is his whole point.

He resists labels not because he's ashamed of anything about himself and not because he doesn't want to be part of any particular group, I think, but because labels are stupid. And limiting. And dehumanizing. And if he's an activist about anything, it's about moving our society to a place where labels aren't important--or at least, only important as casual descriptors, like what color your shoes are, not as reasons to discriminate against or bully or deny rights to certain people.

I realize that sounds really idealistic, and many in the trenches point to the fact that he couldn't take this no-label stance with any kind of credibility had not so many gone before him defiantly and loudly and very admirably declaring themselves to be most definitely "out." True. And to all those who paved the way for someone like Johnny to be someone like Johnny, our society owes a deep debt of gratitude.

I like ideals. They give us something to strive for, even though we generally fall short. And the ideal of a society where everybody is just a person, all of us equal no matter what our various qualities--straight, gay, short, tall, thin, fat, man, woman, black or white or any color in between--is something I personally would very much like to see become a reality. A society where each individual is inspired and free to be fully himself or herself, "regardless of age, sex, race, sexual orientation, or religion."

A society where someday an Out 100 list won't even be necessary. And our grandchildren will look at our dusty copies of Out magazine and ask, "What does this mean? Where did they come out from?"

Well, the Dark Ages, honey. And we're so glad that a lot of people who were full of light helped bring an end to all that. Let me tell you about one of them, that young man there in the gold pants on the cover ...

So congratulations, Johnny! Can't wait to buy my copy of Out when it hits newsstands on November 23! (the day after the Skating With the Stars premiere! Gaaaaaaaaaaaah!)



Designer T. Rains and Johnny have teamed up to raise money and awareness for The Trevor Project! This organization is "determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources." Proceeds from the "Army of One" t-shirt sales will go to The Trevor Project foundation. Order yours today! Your support is greatly appreciated!
For more information, please visit www.thetrevorproject.org.



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

Here it comes: Johnny's quarter-century memoir,
Welcome to My World, will be available
January 11, 2011--that's just two months away!
You can preorder it now on Amazon!

OMG! Skating With the Stars premieres
just ONE WEEK from today! Get those DVRs ready
and tune in to ABC on Monday, November 22,
at 9 pm EST/8 pm CST! Don't miss it!

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 Artbook when you sign up!

Special holiday offer!
In exchange for a donation to Toys for Tots,
Trish Aaron-Misiura will send you one handmade,
Johnny-inspired Christmas ornament! More info here!

Please vote for Johnny as "Must-Follow Personality"
in the Fourth Annual Mashable Awards!
To vote, enter "@JohnnyGWeir" in the box after "I nominate,"
and then choose "Must-Follow Personality"
from the pull-down menu.
You can vote once a day until Monday, November 29!
The top five in each category will advance
to the finalists' round, which begins December 1.

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

10 comments:

germansoulmate said...

Applause for that blog!!!

I´m also looking forward to that day you describe so beautifully.

Debora Walsh said...

OMG, Binky this is one of your best blog posts ever!..."Well the Dark Ages, honey..." so great!
There is nothing I can add to this, you've said it all.

One of my favourite quotes (and its arguably one of the most frequently noted) is from Jack Kerouac, and describes my thoughts on Johnny Weir perfectly...and I can't wait for SWTS just so the rest of America can get on the bandwagon.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!”

...and I can't help but think that deep down inside, even his inevitable haters will be going "Awwww!"

germansoulmate said...

That´s a really beautiful quote, Deb. I have to copypasta it, and you are right, you are inclined to think of Johnny reading that quote.

bsontwit said...

As a person who hates label too, I totally understand why Johnny doesnt want them either. They explain so little about who you are as a person. And I think everyone needs to not judge when or if someone "should" come out, its really not anyones choice but the person who is coming out...or not coming out.

Beth

WheresMyKoppy said...

Thank you so much for this Blog, MM! I just posted the article, the videos (looks like we both figured out the embed thing), and didn't add any commentary of my own. I have gone several rounds with people who think Johnny doesn't deserve recognition by these organizations for the reasons you discuss here. I feel like you do, and you expressed it so eloquently.

I just don't understand why some members of the LGBT community expect celebrities to be carrying around a sign declaring their sexuality. I, and some members of the LGBT community feel the same, think it's far more important to be just living your life who you are unapologetically. I think that's exactly why he won the Visibility Award, and why the OUt 100 thing is so important. Just because he's a celebrity he shouldn't have to declare his sexuality and more than a straight person should. I know not all people feel that way, but I do, and some others do as well.

aaaack said...

Well said, Binky. Yes, labels are dumb. And people whose brains wrap only around labels versus around the reality of a wholistic human being are dumb.

Besides, c'mon, if a guy's video launches with his emerging from golden Faberge egg, what more proof or fun can you want?

You rightly use the words "growing media empire." With plenty of additional pieces/parts to be added...radio/TV talk show, exercise tape, diet book, guest appearances on comedy shows, health/diet foods/drinks line, signature scent, signature blackberry/cell phone/video player, unisex jewelry line, various clothing lines, cleaning fluids line, luxe cleaning instruments line, signature vacuum cleaner line (say, in collaboration with Hoover, Miele, or Dyson), signature family resort with ski/skating lessons, etc. (This is getting too long...you're welcome to run with this and turn it into a column, Binky.)

Cheryl1127 said...

"You Can't Stop Me With The Glitter" - - just when I think I can't love him more he goes and makes me *BURST*!!!!! Thanks for all this great work Binky!! :)

WheresMyKoppy said...

When we were at 'All That Skate L.A.' one of the gals we were talking to in the lobby after the show was telling us she had written an article and then a Blog defending Johnny against those who said he didn't deserve the HRC Visibility award. I wish I could remember her name, but I know she talked to Judith a bit since she had been there.

Thanks once again for this wonderful Blog and for all you do MM!

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

k, so this is just perfect:

"And I am reminded that in order to "come" out, first you'd have to be, you know, "in."

And Johnny's always been ...

Not "in." Not "out."

Just ... Johnny."

love today's blog! i can't wait till i'm old, sitting on the front porch in my cute combat boots and explaining to my grandkids how silly people used to be. if the whole "out vs. in" thing is a foreign concept to them, i'm gonna be so damn happy! ♥

Maggie St. said...

Since I don't seem to be able to get a job, can I get that guy in the first picture, please? He will make me very happy, just by sitting in my house and being himself. (and, if he wants to clean, who am I to stop him?) ;)

Just when you think it just can't get any better for Johnny, it does. I am constantly doing my squirmy 5-year-old-can't-behave-much-longer happy dance for him.

Every where we look, everything's coming up Johnny.

As it should be.