Friday, February 8, 2013

"My Eyes Are Always On Sochi"

Photo tweeted by Victor on Wednesday: 
"@Depesha Russian Fashion Show 
at the Russian Consulate #NewYorkFashionWeek"

So yesterday in fandom was slightly surreal.

To recap: Johnny was featured in not one but two USA Today articles on Sochi, which was a news focus yesterday because the 2014 Olympic Games are now just one year away. He made some remarks in the first interview regarding Russia's increasingly restrictive stance on LGBT rights—or rather, the complete lack thereof in that country, as the "gay propaganda" law continues its inexorable sweep across Russia because Putin is the new Stalin—which included this advice to other out athletes who may compete in Sochi's Winter Olympics: "If you don't call attention to yourself, attention won't come to you" and "[don't have] sex in a Metro station. And if you are doing that, then maybe you deserve to be caught." This has created a bit of a firestorm on some of the major LGBT blogs (most notably here and here, and with a mention today here), where his comments have been perceived negatively as (a) one of the more flamboyant US athletes admonishing his fellow athletes to not be so... flamboyant, (b) a reaffirmation of the homophobic belief that gay = people who constantly have random sex in random public spaces (which is exactly why Russia thinks the children should be protected from the gays), (c) classic blame-the-victim logic, i.e., "she was asking for it because she shouldn't have been dressed like that," (d) a rather naive take on how powerfully and randomly the propaganda law can actually be applied in Russia, and (e) a giant step backward, since "we’re long past the point where gay people should have to hide who they are at any event"—perceptions that provoked criticism of Johnny as an icon of LGBT pride.

And while all that was going on:

Philly Pride happily announced that Johnny, as an icon of LGBT pride, will be their special guest at WinterPride on Feb. 22, and the first-ever recipient of the WinterPride Award! (See more below.)

Johnny's USA Today remarks do have solid defenders. Those who supported his comments pointed out that he was offering advice to a select group of athletes in a very specific circumstance. But those who were offended felt that no one—and maybe especially not elite athletes who are role models, particularly to vulnerable LGBT youth—should be expected to willingly compromise who they are and how they live, not even for a few weeks, in order to blend into a country that grows increasingly more homophobic as it enacts increasingly draconian measures aimed specifically at oppressing LGBT citizens. Keeping your head down and trying not to attract attention is exactly the opposite of what the pride movement is all about.

And yet: It's also the grim reality of simply trying to stay out of jail—or worse—in today's Russia. A reality that Johnny and Victor encountered during their last visit.

There are no easy answers here, though plenty of strong opinions. The interview clearly touched a nerve, and the blog posts and comments sections rage on.

On a less-controversial note, there was much for fans to be excited about in his second interview. Some highlights:

It's [Weir's] dream to compete in his third Olympics and close out his career in the country that inspired his skating.

"It's very storybook—in my mind, anyway," Weir said Wednesday, exactly a year out from when Olympic figure skating will begin.

Given he's one of the sport's most popular skaters, known for his artistry and flair on the ice and sense of humor off it, Weir's return next season should make the lead-up to Sochi interesting, as always.

"I did falter in some big competitions in my career, but being counted out and not being seen as a threat is something I'm used to."

"I'm working on a children's book [!!] about believing in yourself and being strong against all odds and not being afraid to dance to your own song. I'm also working on a variety show [!!!!] that I would host, picking up kind of where Sonny and Cher left off. But my main objective right now is competing in the Olympics."

"For me, no matter what TV show I'm on, no matter what red carpet I'm walking down or fashion show I'm sitting front row at, my eyes are always on Sochi."

Meanwhile, as irony would have it, we have a few photos from Johnny's Wednesday event at Depesha's fashion presentation held at, yes, the Russian Consulate in NYC. And IDK why there aren't more photos than this because hello: Johnny. At. The. Russian. Consulate. With. Russian. Fashions. What could possibly be more photogenic? In echoes of last February's Fashion Week, we are apparently once again experiencing NYFWhat? Nobody Brought a Camera? (Again?). So here's the sad dribble of photos we got, which really do not even qualify as picspam so I guess they're just... pics:

Photo tweeted by @ElyszeHeld: 
"Depeche. Party at Russian Embassy. Lot of furs. 
Celebrities in house: ex-RHONY and Johnny Weir." 
Johnny's being interviewed by NTV America
with bonus Victor at left possibly holding Johnny's bag.

Johnny, Irina Sistina, and Andrey Dergo. 
Photo posted by Andrey Dergo to Johnny's Facebook 
fan page, with the ensuing convo:

Photo of the presentation, tweeted by Johnny: 
"A scene from depesha party tonight 
at New York's Russian consulate." 

Photo tweeted by Victor 
(as always, thank God for Victor): 
"And another one from last night...
@depesha @johnnygweir 
#RussianConsulate #FashionWeek"

And finally, this brief series. 
Photo tweeted by @FrontRowMag: 
"Just the room itself is gorgeous 
and worthy of envy. @depesha #nyfw" 
Yes, but there's something more to this...

...let's lighten it up and see what we have...

Aha! There, near the magnificent chandelier 
at the center of the room:  Yep, it's Johnny, 
being interviewed by NTV America. 
Random trivia note: To the right in the photo 
is Alex McCord of Real Housewives of New York fame.

Postcards from Paradise: 
Déjà Vu Edition

The Aruban news article (translation here) popped up again, this time on and with a few extra pics!

From left: Sjeidi Feliciano of the Aruban 
Tourism Authority; the cool kid; the other one; 
Ronella Tjin-Asjoe-Croes, also of the ATA; 
and Miriam Baiz of the Aruban Olympic Committee. 
(Argh at the watermark.)

Miriam Baiz prepares to give Johnny an AOC pin.

Johnny and Miriam.

Sjeidi, Johnny, Miriam, and Victor, 
sans sunglasses but with watermark perched 
neatly on his head.

Bonus pics!! Fan art tweeted by the truly amazing 
@ayukovon: "@JohnnyGWeir Hi! I tried to imagine 
of you a little when I watch Beyoncé 
in the Super Bowl Halftime Show." 
One of my fav pieces ever by Ayumi. 
Absolutely gorgeous.

Posted by Westin Aruba to their Facebook page: 
"Johnny is back! Two-time U.S. Olympic figure skater 
Johnny Weir visits us again, getting some r&r 
before preparations for the next Olympics. 
Johnny is pictured here with husband Victor Weir-Voronov 
and Richard Roy, our general manager."

Speaking of husbands:  PLEASE VOTE 
for Husbands the Series and its star, Brad Bell 
To vote, go here, and scroll down a bit to get to 
the voting widget on the righthand side of the page. 
Scroll down in the widget to click on the name 
"Husbands" above the Husbands' logo, and again on 
Brad's name above his photo. Then click "Submit Vote" 
at the bottom of the widget. You can vote once a day 
through February 11! Love this show so much. 

Johnny's latest column for the 
Falls Church News-Press—and his best one yet.
Simply beautiful.
His columns are published every Thursday 
in the "National Commentary
section—don't miss a single one! 

Screencap of the awesomely happy WinterPride page. 
Please go check it out, if only to enjoy 
endless replays of the little skater gif... 
The event is not on Johnny's website yet, 
so IDK if it's for real, but if so: Tickets are just $20 
and it looks like serious fun!

ICYMI: Skaterpalooza! 40+ exclusive pics 
of Johnny with figure skaters Max Aaron, 
Ross Miner, Zach Donohue, and more!

Auction update: This gorgeous gold jacket
by Elizabeth & James, seen here on Johnny 
during his stint on Rachael vs. Guy
is available!

A number of Johnny's auction items have been relisted
which means if you missed out the first time around, 
you're in luck: It's not too late to own a piece of Weir Gear! 
Go check it out and see what treasures you could take home!

NEW in the Team Weir-Voronov fan store:
Johnny buttons!! 
Click this link to buy yours now!
Japanese fans: Please use this link.

Johnny keychains!! 
Click this link to add some sparkle to your keys!
Japanese fans: Please use this link.

"A Mighty Dream" calendars for 2013, 
in both 12-month and 18-month designs! 
Order yours today! All proceeds from the fan store 
are donated to Johnny's Comeback Gift Fund
administered by the lovely Patti Weir.

Patti has posted a new message 
on Johnny's Comeback Gift Fund website, 
with her thoughts on 2012 
and what lies ahead. 
Please go read it now!

Please alert absolutely everyone you've ever met 
to "like" and follow the new 
on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr
Because he should be on all the things. 
With or without ice. 
But definitely with Viacheslav.

Yep, I'm still promoting this silly poll
in which you can vote at least once a day. 
Please vote for Johnny!!

Need to see Season 2 all over again? 
Watch episodes online anytime on Logo!
Please be sure to check in with GetGlue
anytime you're watching the show... 
or thinking about watching the show.... 
or wishing you were watching the show....

Landing quads and kicking ass!
Read his comeback statement 
and the update on his website!

Yes, YOU can be a part of Johnny's comeback!  
Please visit Johnny's Comeback Gift Fund today 
and chip in as little as $1 via PayPal. 
Our small gifts can help make his dream of competing 
in his third Olympic Games come true!
And now you can leave a message 
of support for Johnny, too!

Please click to vote for Johnny 
once a day as "Best Sportsman"
Because he retweeted Luisa Lotka to tell us 
he wants us to! (Note: With his "58.132" rating, 
he is currently in 1st place in both 
Figure Skating AND across all sports!)

Q and A! Go read it now!

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

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

Johnny tweeted:
"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!"

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 2013 / Binky and the Misfit Mimes / Lynn V. Ingogly / all rights reserved


Maggie St. said...

Although my wallet no longer is, my eyes, my hopes, and my prayers are on Sochi. ♥

aaaack said...

Having read Russian (Dostevski, Turgenev, Gorki, etc.) and other literatures, I recognize that it was not that long ago when too many hubands used to routinely beat their wives, and parents would routinely beat their kids. Sadly, Russians still too routinely beat their LGBT, but just as there has been great progress made against family violence, there is hope for progress with violence against LGBT, too.

Johnny recognizes that change takes place slowly and does not want to risk harm to innocents in Russia. Never forget that acting flamboyantly/openly still gets way too many LGBT killed or abused in the USA, still.

Ayukovon, you always outdo yourself. Such a pleasure.

There needs to be a Husbands program series with Russian and other different foreign subtitles to help advance the cause worldwide. It is a real gem and so is Brad Bell (as disarming and charming as Ellen Degeneres and Johnny Weir) and its other stars.