Friday, May 3, 2013

"The Future of Everything"

sparkling light reflected on his face.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

This was clearly a milestone week in LGBT sports.

On Monday, the NBA’s Jason Collins became the first active male athlete in a major US team sport to come out. On the heels of his courageous announcement came the news that he had already been signed to an endorsement deal by Nike, who had recently made it known that they were actively seeking such an athlete, and who had signed newly out WNBA star Brittney Griner just days earlier.

Also this week, the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame, founded this spring here in Chicago, announced the launch of its website and Facebook page, and the opening of nominations for the first round of inductees. The nominating form is available here; completed forms can be emailed to According to the press release, chosen honorees will be inducted at a ceremony on August 2 in Chicago as part of the annual “Out at Wrigley Field” festivities.

(You know what to do: please download that sucker now and email it ASAP! Here are a bunch of details to help you fill it out.)

I hope, of course, that both Nike—which might be interested in making room on its roster for an out gay male figure skater, alongside its partnership with the lovely Ashley Wagner—and the Hall of Fame will truly consider Johnny. As we all know, he is an outstanding career athlete: a three-time US national champion, a two-time Olympian now aiming for his third trip to the Winter Games, a World medalist, and the only skater other than Michelle Kwan to win his sport’s Readers’ Choice Award more than once. 

Along the way to multiple gold medals, he has been knocked down more than once and had to fight his way back, often battling his own sport for the right to compete and live on his own terms. He officially came out in his autobiography, Welcome to My World, more than two years ago, and remains the only actively competing elite skater to have done so since 1996. Though, as he notes in his powerful must-read column this week for FCNP, “Out,” he was never really in the closet, since those in his closest circle have always simply accepted him for who he is.

Johnny has garnered numerous LGBT awards in the past several years, both for his activism and for simply living his life out and proud, offering hope and inspiration to people of all ages. In addition—and in contrast to his reputation for being loudly “flamboyant”—he has quietly been reaching out to those who struggle with self-acceptance since before he was officially out. One of the most poignant articles I’ve ever read is this 2010 piece in Slate, by the parent of a child attending a private camp for other young boys like himself—“a trip to a planet where we’re normal,” as the parent gratefully observes:

The face of a young man in a baseball cap fills the screen at the center of a circle of 30 or so children. “It’s Johnny!” they yell, meaning Johnny Weir, the “flamboyant,” figure-skating Olympian. The kids are part of an annual gathering of gender-variant and transgender kids—kids born boys who look and act like girls. Outside of this camp weekend, it’s rare for them to hear “how great I think you all are … being true to yourselves,” as Weir tells them. He says he loves the electric-blue spandex suit with the lime-green lightning bolt designed by one boy. He tells a 6-year-old that, no, he doesn’t have a girlfriend, but one day he would like to have a family of his own. And, yes, “Bad Romance” was his favorite song to skate to. “I’ve fallen,” he tells them, referring to the ice, not sin. “I’ve screwed up. The thing is, just sparkle so much that nobody notices. Yeah, that’s it. Sparkle! We’ve got to sparkle!”

Welcome to the guarded world of families with gender-variant kids, where a word like sparkle can move you to tears.

Earlier that year, of course, there was his unforgettable press conference at the Vancouver Olympics, in which he addressed the homophobic remarks of Canadian broadcasters who had sniggered during the men’s competition that Johnny should undergo gender testing to confirm that he was a man. His response, full of honesty, courage, and humor, is a testament to grace under pressure on one of the sporting world’s biggest stages. Though he was admittedly “pissed” at the comments, his main concern in confronting the broadcasters was this:

I don’t want, 50 years from now, more young boys and girls to have to go through this sort of thing and to have their whole life basically questioned for no reason other than to make a joke. ... I hope more kids can grow up the same way that I did, and more kids can feel the freedom that I feel to be themselves and to express themselves. That’s the most important thing, and that’s the message that I wanted to come out of this, because out of ugly, I think the most important thing in life is to make something beautiful.

Nearly a year later, and a few weeks after his book was published, Johnny received his 2010 Readers’ Choice Award, standing in front of the skating world at the 2011 US Nationals for the first time as a publicly out skater. In his acceptance speech, he again offered encouragement to those whom others seek to disenfranchise, both inside and outside his sport:

Always believe in yourself, and never be afraid to fall down. … I’m so proud of everything that I’ve accomplished; I’m so proud of everything that I’ve won, and that I’ve lost. And I can stand here and be happy and be excited about it, because I did everything on my own terms. I want the skaters of the future never to feel pressured or marginalized, or told what to do, or who to be, or what to skate to, or what NOT to wear. I want everyone to believe in themselves, love themselves, and stand here in ten years and be proud of where they’ve gotten.

Johnny is still the only sports role model out there for “pink boys,” the only one proudly embodying the message that you can grow up to be a real man who loves pretty things, competes in the Olympics, and marries the dude of your dreams. As the only American male athlete in any sport to marry his boyfriend while actively competing, Johnny and Victor—whose own story is equally compelling and really, really needs to be told in a book that I would buy instantaneously—are essentially the (handsome and endearing) poster couple for marriage equality in the US sports world, and beloved by fans even in places where homosexuality is met with disapproval and prejudice, like China and Russia.

In the wake of Collins’ announcement on Monday came a tsunami of Internet reaction, including dozens of photo galleries acknowledging LGBT athletes who had gone before—all of which included Johnny, of course. One of my favorites, “10 Awesome LGBT Athletes,” gave dry facts and figures about nine athletes before swooning into fangurl mode over Johnny. In the midst of the (totally appreciated) gushing was this beautiful sentence:

I like to think that people like Johnny Weir are the future of everything.

I do too.

Pointing the way to the future
as beautifully as possible, 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for gorgeous full-size image.

A Special Offer for Johnny Fans 
from TWELV Magazine, 
Exclusive to the Blog!

Kayso remember this incredible photo shoot for TWELV Magazinea high fashion and lifestyle magazine that donates 12% of its  proceeds to charity?

Yesterday I received an email from the awesome Ashley, who works for TWELV and wanted to let me know that they are currently offering the issue with the special Johnny Weir collector’s edition cover—originally priced at $50—to Johnny’s fans for just $25 for a limited time only.

Ashley explained that the cover is only available through the magazine directly, as it’s no longer on newsstands and there are just a few copies left. So if you’d like to grab one, you need to do it fast! Please email Kevin at, and he’ll explain how to order and pay for your copy.

May I just say that I own one of these, and it is worth every penny. And not just for the photos, although you could definitely make a case for that. Here’s the intro to his article and photo spread:

Like the asteroid named after him, Johnny Weir shoots into Sochi and the pages of TWELV. While figure skaters in America don’t usually carry the kind of name recognition of, say, Eli Manning or Venus Williams, one skater has captured millions of fans, vaulting him into the ranks of the elite.

Yes, of course, go right ahead and email them now. I’ll just be here re-reading my copy....

Beyond Brunch:
Dinner With Johnny and Victor. 
No, Really.

Reminder: Get your tickets now for the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund’s HEROES event, at which Johnny is being honored with the National Hero Award! Also: during the event, they’ll be raffling off dinner with Johnny and Victor plus an overnight stay for two in NYC, according to the poster above.

Wait what...?


Bonus pics!! Photo tweeted by Kelly Green: 
“What’s a designer without a @johnnygweir 
#moodboard #lovehim @ Food Network” 
Dear Kelly: Yes, we love him too WHAT ARE 

Photo tweeted by Johnny: 
“Brotherly stare down with @BozJWeir 
circa 2006 in Delaware. #throwbackthursday”
Love this.

Photo tweeted by Johnny: 
“Thanks for dinner @RitasItalianIce! 
Shades of spring... @ Rita’s Italian Ice”

UPDATE: Plus one more today from Johnny
“New costume crotch shot. If you ain’t got a sparkly crotch, 
you ain’t got nothin’. @ Stephanie Handler Design Studio.” 
Perfect ending to the week. :D

Bonus video!! Last night Johnny tweeted the link 
to his performance at 2004 NHK Trophy, and asked 
everyone to enjoy. Please do. Absolutely gorgeous.

Please continue to tweet @Nike 
in a non-irritating way and tell them 
you’d love for them to sponsor Johnny! 
If you’re not on Twitter, you may write to them 
at Nike World Headquarters, One Bowerman Drive, 
Beaverton, OR 97005. More info here! #JustDoIt

To see up-close how battered and worn his skates are 
from thousands of training hours—particularly the left skate, 
because Johnny is a rare clockwise jumper and spinner—
please click here. Photo © David Ingogly.

Johnny’s latest column for the 
Falls Church News-Press: 
Powerful and moving.
His columns are published every Thursday 
in the “National Commentary“ 
section—don’t miss a single one! 

Congratulations to Johnny, winner of the 
Delaware Valley Legacy Fund’s HERO Award!! 
Johnny will be honored at the DVLF’s annual 
Heroes event on Sunday, May 19, in Philadelphia. 
Tickets on sale now! For more info, 
please visit the DVLF website.

ICYMI: Johnny Weir random rehearsal clips. 
Video link
Alternate link.

15+ exclusive new photos 
© David Ingogly.

“Army of Johnny.”
25+ exclusive new photos 
© David Ingogly.

NEW in the fan store: Gorgeous hi-res fan art 
donated by the artist exclusively to Team Weir-Voronov
Johnny as the “Swan Prince,” 
© @MDCXVIII on Twitter. 
Available as a poster or as a 
Japanese fans: Please use this link.

And Johnny as the “Phoenix,” 
© @MDCXVIII on Twitter. 
Available as a poster or as a 
Japanese fans: Please use this link
Order yours today! All proceeds donated 
administered by the lovely Patti Weir.

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!

Ice Dreams returns! (Though apparently
not to Chicago, sadly.) More info here!

Patti has posted a new message 
on Johnny’s Comeback Gift Fund website, 
with her thoughts on 2013 Nationals 
and what lies ahead for next season. 
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.

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

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!)

Need to see Seasons 1 and 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....

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


aaaack said...

Awesome post, Misfit Mimes. Wish someone would hire you to write full-time about whatever is going on in your mind.

Binky and the Misfit Mimes said...

Thank you so much, aaaack!! <3