Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Flower Balls of Steel

Johnny stars in To Russia With Love
a documentary from Robert Redford’s Sundance Productions 
that examines the lives of LGBT athletes. A portion of the documentary 
was filmed secretly at the Sochi Olympics, amidst Russia’s strict anti-gay 
propaganda laws, while Johnny was being hailed as the breakout star 
of the Games for his work as a figure skating commentator for NBC. 
The film, for which Johnny also is an executive producer
will premiere Wednesday, October 22, 8 pm ET on EPIX.

More details below! 

Photo via EPIX. 
Stunning larger-than-life version here.

UPDATE!! Via Johnny: “Thank you @JpJWeAngels 
for another amazing bouquet! I will sleep beside it tonight!”
Johnny is now in Niigata for the final 
Fantasy on Ice performances this weekend.

More updates 
from Japan below!

Finally!! Johnny’s episode of 
Hollywood Game Night is happening 
this month! Set those DVRs ASAP!

Yes!! Summer touring continues! 
Johnny returns to Japan this month for more 
Fantasy on Ice tour performancesThen, get ready:
the Weibocalypse of Artistry on Ice happens in July and
August. Please see Johnny’s official website for all 
his performance dates this summer!

Dear Johnny, 
we believe in you, 
we support you, and 
we love you always.

Note: Candles last only 48 hours, so please visit often 
to keep the love and light shining...

Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

This post is dedicated to every. single. person. who gave Johnny hell about going to Sochi.

I’m looking at you, Harvey Fierstein.

For all the people in all the comments sections with their shrill cries of, “He’s only in it for the money! And then he’ll go home with all his millions [as if]. He doesn’t care about LGBT Russians! He only cares about the cameras!”

For all those who poured vodka meaninglessly into gutters while Johnny actually got on a plane and flew into the belly of the beast they were claiming to protest, dressed himself to the nines every day for three weeks, swept past Russian security with his head held high, and garnered worldwide headlines praising him for being amazingly, fabulously himself and a fashion icon so outrageously fascinating that his Instagram following skyrocketed daily, and in that boldly glorious over-the-top way, drew attention solely by being himself—no speeches, T-shirts, or rainbow pins needed—to all the people in Russia who aren’t free to do just that.

For all those who called him a sellout and a disgrace and a traitor (and much, much worse) to the LGBT community, and who mourned the fact that once Sochi was over, the world’s attention would be drawn elsewhere and no one would ever say much about the whole gay propaganda thing again and somehow that would be all Johnny’s fault for having gone there in the first place. (These are Internet commenters. They don’t have to make sense. They just have to be as loud and hateful and illiterate as possible. Although some weren’t just anonymous commenters. Some were actual “news” bloggers, whose equally hateful invective would seem to sort of undermine their “Love Is Love” philosophy of tolerance and acceptance and diversity. Now I’m looking at you, Dan Savage and John Aravosis. Among many, many others.)

Yep, this post is for you.

So as it turns out, not only was Johnny waging his own personal campaign of self-love and self-acceptance on a global stage simply by showing up to work every day in Sochi as Johnny Weir, he also, at that same time, was starring in a documentary about LGBT athletes that was being secretly filmed in Sochi without the Russian government’s knowledge, let alone permission.

The announcement yesterday revealing this project was astounding, and immediately reminded everyone who had been so deeply involved in judging Johnny for the last year that oh yeah, there’s still an ongoing LGBT crisis in Russia.

And the film’s premiere in October will again put the spotlight on that crisis, while also highlighting the burden borne by LGBT athletes struggling to achieve their Olympic dreams against the backdrop of longstanding societal discrimination and screeching lockstep activists and gay propaganda laws and enormous pressure from all sides to protest/not protest/do something!/don’t do anything/speak up/shut up about the situation.

I don’t have the words to express how proud I am of Johnny.

After I read the article in The Hollywood ReporterI cried: for him, and all the shit he had to endure when he was doing something so amazing even beyond his commentary gig, and for how he conducted himself with such grace and integrity throughout; and with quiet, awestruck pride. That man has balls of steel.

But that’s OK because lots of other people had some good words. This tweet was one of my favs:

BRB signing Harvey, Dan, and John up for the EPIX free trial offer with a start date of October 22...

The poster for the documentary. 
From the EPIX website.

Johnny’s Still in Japan...


Via Johnny: “Found the best shorts of my life today 
by the genius Mihara Yasuhiro!”

Via Johnny: “Travel time. 
Lost my pants again!”

Via Johnny: “A taste of my new program 
by Kenji Miyamoto. ☺️”
More from Johnny and Kenji in Part 3 below!

Part 1: The Johnny Version of Where’s Waldo.

Via Sarah Àlainn’s Tumblr: finale of Fantasy on Ice 
in Toyama. Yes, he’s in this pic!
Click for larger view.

Via Sarah Àlainn’s Tumblr. He’s in this one too!

Via Sarah Àlainn’s Instagram. 
And he’s most definitely in this one.

Part 2. Johnny and Friends, 
and Johnny Being Johnny.

Via Akiko Suzuki’s blog.

Via Toshiko Koseki: “I love to see them ... 
Stef said welcome to Toyama. What a lovely person. 
Johnny is sweet as always.”

Via Johnny: “When the ice gets rough, 
only Kitty-chan can help!”

Via Johnny: “Flower balls!”

Part 3: Koreography With Kenji.

Via Kenji’s blog.

Via Kenji’s blog.

Via Johnny: “Kenji-san killed me with choreography today, 
so I killed him with charm. :) 
I’m so excited about my new program!”

Via Johnny: “It’s really hard to get through July 
without doing penguin slides.”

Bonus vids!! New Artistry on Ice promo!
Video link.

Brief clip of Johnny from a Fantasy on Ice 
group number. Love his costume.
Video link.

An amazing blast from the past, just uploaded 
by Hyacinth’s Classic Figure Skating channel on YouTube: 
Johnny’s SP from US Nats 2002, when he was just 17. 
His portion begins at about 10:10. 
Bonus: wonderful commentary by 
Sir Terry Gannon and Dick Button.
Video link.

And one more. 
From the EPIX website.

Johnny and Tara’s brilliant commentary 
segment from Late Night With Seth Meyers!
Video link.
Watch their interview with Seth here.

Johnny and Dora!!
Watch his spot over and over again 
here, here, or here!

On Johnny’s website, 
linked to his retirement statement
Thank YOU, Johnny!

ICYMI: Johnny plans to discuss his personal difficulties just once, 
in an exclusive interview with Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush. 
The three-part interview is available at these links:

UPDATE: In response to a rash of erroneous reports in the media, 
Johnny spoke briefly with Access Hollywood again
to set the record straight.

Also on the blog:
“Rise Like a Phoenix”
An exquisite black-and-white series 
of Johnny at rehearsal. 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Favorite Fairytale”
Beautiful Johnny being happy on the ice. 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Cure for the Uncommon Cold”
Gorgeous sun-drenched Johnny picspam, 
for those of us who prefer our winter 
a little less... wintry. 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Random Tuesday Roundup, Or: Is It Summer Yet?”
More Sun Valley
 since because Chiberia. 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Because It’s Glorious.”
A look back at Johnny’s first national title 
and his thoughts on Nationals, accompanied by 
20+ exquisite black-and-white portraits.
Exclusive photo © Elena Vasileva.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Frost Giant.”
25+ exclusive pics of Johnny
performing Army of Me.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

All of Him Is My Treasure.”
Fans react to Johnny’s graceful exit 
from competitive skating.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for larger image.

“Practice Is Perfect”
25+ exclusive photos of Johnny’s 
Sun Valley rehearsal.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

“Dear Johnny...”
Selected black-and-white photos of Johnny’s 
hauntingly beautiful Schindler’s List debut.
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.

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

A number of Johnny’s auction items 
have been relistedwhich 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!

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.

Please click to vote for Johnny 
once a day as “Best Sportsman”
Because he retweeted Luisa Lotka  to tell us he wants us to! 

Need to see Seasons 1 and 2 all over again? 
Watch episodes online anytime on Logo!
Please be sure to check in with GetGlue a
nytime 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


WheresMyKoppy said...

When the U.S. appointed their delegation to Sochi, there were several LGBT athletes who were a part of it. At least one didn't officially 'come out' until he had been announced as part of the delegation. I always said that took guts, and it certainly took even more guts for Johnny to go the way he did, especially in the face of the criticism he took. The fact that he was received so well for his commentary, particularly by those who are not part of the LGBT community, was a definite bonus. To now find out he was secretly taking part in this documentary shows that what he says and does is worth more than what a thousand of his detractors say and do. Kudos to him, to the Sundance Channel, to the producers of this documentary, and to anyone else involved with it.

Thank you so much, Binky, for what you do, and for making sure everyone knows about this, and for expressing your opinion in such an intelligent, forthright way.

aaaack said...

Bravo to Johnny both for making this documentary and showing up in Sochi in all his plumage. Boycotting the Olympics clearly would be yet another form of being forced into the closet, so why are so many gays calling for it?

That said, Johnny has a very haunted look in that top photo from hiding his considerable private pain, as well as the extensive demands of his underground production, which risked violating Russia's outdated, obnoxious, and outrageous anti-LGBT laws. Russia has a reputation for surreptitious spying and surveillance, so the filming process must have been very anxious.

Johnny Weir lives by his internal compass, which is far ahead of that of every other closeted LGBT skaters. He is ahead of most LGBT athletes in any sport as well (with relatively few exceptions).

Lately, Johnny looks like a big weight has been lifted from him. At least in his body language. Here's hoping he will continue on his compass-driven path and not second guess himself or dwell on doubts and losses. Breaking silence on this secret documentary is no doubt part of that weight.