Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pride

Johnny looking very Grand Marshal-y
in this gorgeous photo posted by LA PRIDE
as the 2011 LA PRIDE Parade Grand Marshal! ♥


I thought this post would be easier to write than it is. But my eyes keep getting all blurry.

So yesterday I woke up to this link posted on Johnny's FB wall by my dear friend Jenn Kay:

(Click for larger view, or read the article here.


And I have just been all OMG!!! since then. This on the heels of the news that it looks like his Spectacular may really happen--in Vegas, baby!--is just so much WIN all at once that I can hardly take it in. And then there's all the Macy's LGBT Pride Month events coming up in June, and Skate for Hope, and the ITNY Gala this fall at which he is the honored guest ... wow!!

So I was happily flailing with fellow Johnny fans about this news (JOHNNY. ON. A. FLOAT. THAT. IS. ALL. Plus, in response to our desperate pleas wondering where we might be able to watch all this glittery gloriousness unfold, the LA PRIDE people were kind enough to post a link on our FB flail thread to the live webcast of the parade on Sunday, June 12, beginning at 10:30 am PDT!).

And then one of the conversations I was having got a little emotional as we were sharing remembrances of the road Johnny has traveled to get to this point, and the criticism he has endured over the years from both the straight and the gay communities:

"All those years Johnny took shit from spectators and the press and his federation for his sexuality. He never denied being gay, never had a girlfriend, never pretended to be anything other than what he was. And he never sought help from the gay community. He stood out there. All. Alone."

"Exactly. And he still is out there alone in a lot of ways. How many athletes did Phil Hersh quote criticizing the 2012 US Olympic chef de mission? Just one. How many openly gay not-yet-retired figure skaters are there? One."

"Totally agree. I personally am thrilled to tears that he is free enough of USFS to just live completely out loud AND has risen to the challenge of accepting the responsibility of speaking out and being a role model."

That last one is me. And that's what makes this so hard to write.

I literally am thrilled to tears.

Of pride.

The overwhelming, bursting pride in seeing someone coming into his own after years of small-minded, fearful idiocy trying to hold him back.

So much pride in who he is, what he stands for, the way he lives his life, the example he is to others, and his ability to learn, grow, change, and yet never be anyone other than who he is.

Born this way.

And if anyone was ever born to be the Grand Marshal of one of the largest LGBT Pride parades in the world (nearly half a million participants expected!), it's Johnny. And not only just to see what he'll wear, which I'm sure will be EPIC.

The theme of LA PRIDE is: "Working together, we will see a day when every human being is fully able to take Pride in who they are, every day of every year."

I can't think of another person who more fully embodies that message than Johnny.

In an article leading up to the announcement, LA PRIDE organizers wrote: "The Grand Marshal’s role is to be a focal point for the LA PRIDE Parade; they bring the press, and attract their followers, and most of all, help us all celebrate Pride. This year’s Grand Marshal is an exciting and timely selection representing what is happening in the life and times of LGBT people across the nation."

Johnny is the beautiful face of a new generation of gay activism, though he did not set out to fill that role. All he's ever fought for is to be himself. From the excellent piece about him on the LA PRIDE website:

"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," said Johnny, who became more open following the recent epidemic of gay teen suicides hoping his story would help others.

"I hope that I can continue to inspire individuality in people regardless of age, sex, race, sexual orientation, or religion," he said upon receiving the Visibility Award from HRC Seattle.

But I think as he's become ever more unfettered this past year, he's come to understand what a powerful, positive impact he can have on the lives of others, partly by celebrating all that he is, including those qualities with which he was born.

One of my favorite quotes about Johnny comes from one of the people who knows him better than almost anyone except maybe his mom: Super Managtress Tara Modlin, in Be Good Johnny Weir, Season 1, episode 8:

"Johnny needs to be--Johnny. Because he has a star that is very much unlike anybody else's, and is capable of things that no one else in the world can accomplish."

Yes. Including becoming a symbol he did not seek to be to bring light to the lives of people he may never meet who will draw courage and strength from his star in ways he might never know so that they can find the pride and conviction in themselves to be able to say, as Johnny wrote in Welcome to My World:

"I'm not ashamed to be me.
I love my life and accept myself.
I am proud
of everything that I am
and will become."



Bonus pic! Tara and Johnny atop the Las Vegas Eiffel Tower,
tweeted by Tara last night. :)



Please help Johnny meet his goal
of raising $10,000 for breast cancer research
by visiting his donor page!
And buy tickets NOW to see Johnny
perform in Skate for Hope on
Saturday, June 18, in Columbus, OH!
(Same weekend as the Annually Awesome
Columbus Gay Pride Parade--win-win!)

UPDATE: Johnny will be performing
FOUR times at Skate for Hope!
He'll be in the Headliners' Opening and Closing numbers,
and also will skate two solos!



Yes! Johnny's dresses are now available
for purchase only on eDressMe.com!



At last: Pop Star On Ice is now available on DVD!
Order yours today from the Pop Star On Ice website!



Johnny tweeted recently:
"Buy my single,'Dirty Love' via iTunes.
Tell all your friends to as well. The more copies sold
takes me one step closer to making a video! №1!"
THE WORLD NEEDS THIS VIDEO
IN THE SAME WAY THAT IT NEEDS AIR.
You know what to do.
Please buy the song from Johnny's website,
or just click the "Buy" button on the player
at the top of the blog!



Hey, Welcome to My World also is available
as an eBook! More info on Johnny's website!


copyright 2011 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved

9 comments:

germansoulmate said...

This blog entry is made of win. I can pick out everything you have written and quote it. I would have to quote the entire blog. Outstanding as is the subject of this blog.

bsontwit said...

I am so proud of Johnny! and I'm proud to be his fan for the last decade! ♥

Beth

-K said...

Wonderful blog, Bink. I can't find the words to express how proud I am of him, or how much I admire him - more every day it seems, because he just keeps getting more amazing all the time! So glad you are here to say it better than I ever could :)

wendys said...

LOVE!! Love. Love. LOVE. This sounds like a blast, doesn't it??! It isn't just about Johnny being proud of who he is, he's helping other people to feel pride in themselves. I predict it's going to be a perfect day, and not just because he'll be riding on a float. But omghowmucharewegonnaloveTHAT! werk! xoxo

germansoulmate said...

Just thinking about that little word "Yes" and coming to the conclusion that one of Johnny´s best traits is saying "Yes"...Yes to challenges, Yes to people, most important Yes to himself and Yes to life.

I wished more people could and would say that. Perhaps they can learn something from Johnny.

aaaack said...

Misfit Mimes, you word it so well. Tears well up in my eyes.

Here's hoping that the day will soon come when LGBT will gain equal rights and respect and life becomes a bowl of cherries. And that Johnny lands all his quads, fills all the seats in his spectacular(s), sells out all his little black dresses, and becomes the "Queen of Everything" in the words of Mary Engelbreit.

Princess Johnny-Love ♥ said...

beautifully, beautifully written!

and, yes, a climate-controlled Matryoshka doll covered in Swavorski crystals and carried on a red velvet pillow by several mouthwatering attendants.

xo

Robin

jenn said...

Johnny truly comes from a place of yes. Maybe it's the faith required to launch yourself in the air over and over, each time believing you'll land that jump and not come crashing to the ice. His complete belief in himself and what's possible is amazing. I don't think I could be prouder (but I'm sure he'll find a way to make me). Thanks for the lovely blog, Binx!

PumaJ said...

Thank you, Binx, for yet another fabulous blog post:-) You so Rock!

Mazel tov to LA Pride for choosing my younger Femme sister, Johnny, to be the Grand Marshall of their parade!!!