Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 29 JW Art Project Update

Johnny Weir sent this twitpic of two pages of the Artbook on October 28th with this caption: '@JWArtProject to meeting chu #Artbook subarashii sugoku suki minna mo kiniiruyo!'
This is a translation of Johnny's caption from JW Art Project:
Part Two of translation:
Johnny sent this tweet on Friday October 29:
One last Tweet:


The JW Art Project Team:

The Subject Johnny Weir (and Ping, of course!)
Photography by Hidemi Ogata
Hidemi Ogata's Blog
Art Direction by Yumi Hamano
Producer Chie Hosokawa
Stylist Toshiko Nishikawa
Hair and Make-Up Artist Hiroaki Yanagisawa

Additional Photography by Kiyotaka Mori
Kiyotaka Mori's Website

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 25 JW Art Project Update

We received some news today from the team working on the JW Art Book!  The project has been delayed, and they are now hoping to release the book in January.  However, there is good news to go along with the announcement of the delay; they are planning to include an additional seventy pages in the book! 

Ping's Tweet
Ping's Tweet in Japanese
Ping's Tweet Number Two
Tweet from JWArtProject announcing a delay in publication

The following picture of Johnny Weir and Ping was posted today by JW Art Project along with their announcement of the book's delay.

The JW Art Project Team:

The Subject Johnny Weir (and Ping, of course!)
Photography by Hidemi Ogata
Hidemi Ogata's Blog
Art Direction by Yumi Hamano
Producer Chie Hosokawa
Stylist Toshiko Nishikawa
Hair and Make-Up Artist Hiroaki Yanagisawa

Additional Photography by Kiyotaka Mori
Kiyotaka Mori's Website

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Can I Say About the Lack of USFSA Support for Johnny Weir?

Originally posted in July on another Blog.  I needed a copy to link to that is more public, because the other Blog is now 'friends only', so this is why it is being posted here now!


I decided to write this blog to talk about the lack of support Johnny Weir has received over the years from the United States Figure Skating Association, better known as the USFSA. I have been working on it for a while; however for some reason I really can not seem to express it as eloquently as I would like. Therefore I decided to go head with what I already have and express it as best I can.

This is not the first time this issue has been talked about, and it certainly will not be the last. In a June 27, 2010 blog via the Sundance Channel Johnny Weir looks back at the Olympics: Fortius Altius Maximus, Johnny himself addressed the issue of his lack of support from his own federation. He stated

'At the Olympics, the US figure skating team is overseen by five main officials, a team leader, two assistant team leaders, a doctor and physiotherapist who are supposed to share responsibilities and at least one is to be present for every practice, event, press conference, drug test and so on for every single athlete. As a precursor to my event and the support I could expect to receive from my own team, not one team official showed up to my final official practice that night. Not one.'

This was recently discussed in a skating forum I am a member of. Of course it upsets a lot of people, and rightfully so. However, there were a couple members who responded by suggesting it was no big deal and how did we know skating officials showed up at other team members' practices? My response was that to my knowledge officials HAD shown up at other skaters' practices and events, but that it wasn't Johnny Weir's job to monitor that; and he was pointing out that this is a rule the USFSA has that they failed to follow in relation to him. The USFSA breaking their own rules is yet another example of Weir's own skating federation's lack of support of him.

It's hard to believe the USFSA, or any other skating federation out there, felt they could only support one athlete, and that it was appropriate to almost completely ignore another one as happened with Johnny Weir. This is not something that has only happened recently, or even something that has only happened since his problems in Torino in 2006. Almost from the time Johnny Weir showed up on the skating scene he has never had the full support of the USFSA. Former figure skating judge Jon Jackson stated the USFSA had never supported Johnny Weir, and they weren't going to support him in Vancouver either.

Even though Johnny Weir is a three time United States Figure Skating Champion he has been left off of literature and brochures picturing team members more than once. In 2007 there was no mention of him at all in any of the USFSA's officical literature. We are talking about a three time national champion here, and there is really no excuse for him to have been treated the way he was. Also in 2007 Johnny was forced to attend Champs Camp in Colorado Springs and miss five shows that would have paid him enough to pay his rent for a year. He understood why he had to go, and even said he learned some useful information; however other skaters were allowed to miss the camp including Evan Lysacek who was allowed to meet with sponsors instead of attending.

In 2008 Johnny Weir won the only United States medal at the World Championships from any American skater, and as far as the USFSA was concerned, it was like he did not even exist.

This breathtaking lack of support certainly continued into 2010, and includes the USFSA's Readers' Choice Figure Skater of the Year award for which fan voting concludes on July 15th, 2010. While Johnny Weir is certainly listed as one of the candidates because he is eligible, he again is not pictured on the website.

Though Johnny lacked support from his own federation he still managed to retain some standing with the international judges, even as the lack of support from his own federation damaged his international reputation.

It's possible the United States Figure Skating Association now regrets their decision not to support Johnny Weir. Despite the fact Weir can, by his own admission, be difficult to deal with; it's hard for fans to understand why he could not be supported along with the other skaters at least a little. He has a large fan base, and gained many new fans after the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, not only for how he skated; but also for how he responded to his placing, and to the comments made about him by broadcasters in Quebec and Australia. The USFSA looks bad for not supporting Weir, and it's hard to explain to parents who might want to put their children in figure skating why he has been treated the way he has by his own skating federation.

I am including video of the press conference Johnny and his agent Tara Modlin gave in Vancouver in response to some comments made about him by two commentators from Quebec. Johnny himself never brought up the lack of support in relation to this issue, but some of his fans have. While people like Olympic Champion Dorothy Hamill were there, a fan pointed out after Johnny's blog was published that no USFSA official had been at the press conference, and no official statement of any kind was made in support of Johnny Weir after these and other comments were made about him in particular. I'm sure he must have thought about what he was going to say beforehand, but there's no way he could have known for certain what questions he would be asked, and yet he still responded in such a spontaneous, intelligent and beautiful way. Johnny Weir is far more eloquent than those commentators or any of the other haters could ever hope to be. Six days after the men's competition and the sixth place finisher had over a hundred press people show up for a press conference regarding an attack on him personally, not his skating. And I think all the reporters went away impressed.

It is unfortunate that, while Johnny Weir can count on support from his family, friends and fans, he can NOT count on support from his own skating federation.

Short version of Johnny Weir's Vancouver press conference in response to comments made about him by two Quebec broadcasters:
Short Version of Press Conference

The entire press conference beginning to end:

Johnny Weir Press Conference

Part One of Press Conference

Part Two of Press Conference

Part Three of Press Conference

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Johnny Weir, Spirit Day, T. Rains and Support of the Trevor Project

Johnny Weir announced on Spirit Day that he and designer T.Rains have teamed up to raise money and awareness for The Trevor Project.  The Trevor Project is an organization 'determined to end suicide among LGBTQ youth by providing life-saving and life-affirming resources, including our nationwide, 24/7 crisis intervention lifeline, digital community and advocacy / educational programs that create a safe, supportive and positive environment for everyone.' 

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.  The Trevor Lifeline (866) 4-U-TREVOR/(866) 488-7386 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  All calls are toll-free and confidential!
Proceeds from the 'Army of One' t-shirt sales will go to The Trevor Project foundation.  Please consider ordering one today!

Your support is greatly appreciated!

For more information, please visit


Binky and the Misfit Mimes' Blog: Spirit Day

This is a wonderful Blog written by my friend Binky about 'Spirit Day' on October 20, 2010, and about Johnny's tee shirt project.

She does a better job than I would have of telling us why this day is so important, and relating it to Johnny Weir and so many others who have been bullied over the years.

The two of us do have some mutual readership (though hers is larger than mine), but if you come to my Blog and have not read hers, particularly this particular edition of it, please do go read it!

Thank You!

Army of One Tweet (1000th Tweet from Johnny Weir)
Purple On Tweet

Vogue Nippon Johnny Weir Video, Blog and Pictures

Vogue Nippon Johnny Weir Preview includes the above video plus a picture of the magazine cover, as well as a picture of Johnny with Hello Kitty and the link to the Fashion Blog below.
A lovely Japanese friend  has translated the red circled words as 'Johnny Weir, Prince of the Ice, experienced glamorous Tokyo'.

Visit the Vogue Nippon Blog which has seven photographs of Johnny Weir plus three videos.  Six of the photographs are from the Vogue Nippon issue, and one is from the Kiss and Cry area at the Vancouver Olympics.  One video is the 'Image Spot' from Be Good Johnny Weir, another is his Closet Confessions video, and the third is Johnny's performance of 'Poker Face' from Silk Skate For the Heart.  Included also is a link to LeBaron De Paris, the club where a party in Johnny's honor was held, and where one of the photo shoots for the magazines took place.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Johnny Weir and 'Just Dance' video from Battle of the Blades

This copy of the video is from Perez Hilton's home page.  If you venture over there, you might want to not read the comments.  Perez does no moderation of his comments, and you never know what you will read here! 

Another Source:
Battle of the Blades - Results Show - Season 2 Week 3 Johnny Weir Let's Dance posted by StarshineSandy.

Yet another source:
Johnny Weir Performing 'Just Dance' on Battle of the Blades 'let's dance' posted by pherber12.

Johnny Weir during end credits of Battle of the Blades posted by pherber12.

CBC News interview with Johnny Weir posted by MagZness.

ETalk interview Johnny is no stranger to slurs posted by MagZness.

botb Johnny.00.avi posted by aplysia06.

FT: In Fashion - Johnny Weir posted by FashionTelevisionCTV

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Unfortunately It's All About Hate and Ignorance... (Repost)

May 23, 2011 Update: Nash voices support for gay marriage

Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash, who is quoted in this Blog below for being one of the few professional athletes who have publicly stated they would have no problem playing against or being teammates with openly gay players, has spoken out in favor of gay marriage in a video released today by the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Nash's decision to join the campaign follows in the footsteps of New York Rangers forward Sean Avery, who also appeared in a video for the HRC earlier this month; and it also comes one week after Suns CEO Rick Welts revealed he is gay.

Added January 27, 2011:
Mick Molloy rejects homophobic claims  Mick Molloy is one of the Australian DJs who made 'homophobic' comments about Johnny Weir during the Vancouver Olympics.

Added December 24, 2010:
Quebec DJ censured for gay comments

CBSC Releases Decision Concerning Comments About Figure Skaters

Both of these articles discuss the outcome of complaints filed against Quebec broadcasters Claude Mailhot and Alain Goldberg.  The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council's Quebec Regional Panel noted that "There would certainly have been better, safer, more tasteful ways for the broadcasters to have had their discussion on that subject [Weir's costume and performance]," but the Panel concluded that the comments were not particularly negative and certainly not abusive on the basis of sexual orientation, as would be required to breach the Human Rights Clauses of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters' (CAB) Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.  The Panel also observed that the list of identifiable groups in those clauses does not extend to sports figures or athletes. 

The Panel reached a different conclusion with respect to the comments made on Dupont le midi, a radio broadcast hosted by DJ Stéphane Dupont. (This is an incident I had not previously know about until I read these two articles.)  On February 19, 2010, host Stéphane Dupont stated that he could not understand why Mailhot and Goldberg's comments had generated so much controversy because they had merely pointed out that there was [translation] "a queer in a sport for queers" ["un fif dans un sport de fifs"]. Dupont repeatedly used the words "fif" and "tapette" ["queer" and "fag"] to describe homosexuals in a derogatory tone throughout the discussion. The CBSC again received a complaint from the QCGL and a different individual audience member, both alleging that the comments were discriminatory.

The Quebec Panel found a violation of the Human Rights Clauses in this case because "the words and phrases and the tone of the host in enunciating them were scornful, derisive and denigrating."

Added December 12, 2010:
Here's Johnny (This article was one of several written about Johnny in relation to his recent trip to Melbourne, Australia where he performed in three shows.  The article discusses the comments made about him by both the Australian broadcasters and the Quebec broadcasters.)

Added December 4, 2010:
Sports, gender, questions and hate: From Caster Semenya to Lana Lawless, athletics figures out the future
This is a well-written article that discusses gender issues in sports, and tactfully includes Johnny Weir along with others.


This is a repost of my August, 17 2010 Blog Unfortunately Its All About Hate And Ignorance

Despite the fact that I joined up with the Matthew Shepard Foundation and receive their newsletter, I somehow let the fact October 12th is the twelve year anniversary of Matthew's murder get by me.  (He was attacked on October 7th and left to die.  He was found eighteen hours later and died in the hospital on October 12th without ever regaining consciousness.)  Since along with Billy Van Raaphorst and Johnny Weir Matthew was mentioned in this Blog, I decided to go ahead and repost it.  Other than correcting a few small grammatical mistakes, updating the number of Twitter followers, adding one photograph, linking to some recent incidents and fixing a broken link, it is the same Blog.  I did not bring the comments on the original Blog over to this one; therefore, if you are interested in reading the comments on my original posting please follow this link!

Also consider visiting my Blogs A Follow Up to Some Recent Blogs…  and Johnny Weir: A Man Amongst Men

I touch briefly on a very important (to me at least) issue that I take seriously in Chapter Twenty-Three of my FanFic 'A Force of Nature: Part II'.  This story is one of my eight 'Criminal Minds' related FanFiction stories that focus on the character of Spencer Reid.  The story is posted on my page at  The issue is the treatment of gays in sports, and also in life in general. 

We hear about tragic incidents such as the murder of Matthew Shepard; a twenty-one year old gay man who had his whole life in front of him.  Matthew was attacked October 7, 1998 by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson for no reason other than he was a gay man.  I do not believe I need to go into the details of this wonderful young man's brutal murder to get the point across his tragic death stands as an example of the homophobic idiocy of a segment of the population.  Matthew's parents Judy and Dennis have attempted to make sense of their son's death by creating a foundation in his name.  Judy has also written ‘The Meaning of Matthew: My Son’s Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed’; a book about her son's life and death, and the changes she believes have come about since people found it acceptable to show up at her son's funeral with signs containing hateful slogans such as  'God Hates Fags' and 'Fag Matt Burn In Hell'.  The same group also showed up at a hearing for Russell Henderson carrying signs with similar slogans, but was met by peaceful counter demonstrators. 

Despite the morons who claim Matthew deserved to die because he was gay, I remember a number of Wyoming residents coming forward in an attempt to let the world know not everyone who lived in the state where Matthew was murdered were of the same opinion.  Matthew's own parents stated their son would "emphasize he does not want the horrible actions of a few very disturbed individuals to mar the fine reputations of Laramie or the university."  Dennis Shepard reportedly relayed through Wyoming governor Jim Geringer, that he did not want his son's death to become "a media circus" and that "we should not use Matt to further an agenda."  Personally I feel like crying every time I think of this young man's tragic death.

Matthew Shepard is only one example of a gay or lesbian person who was attacked, beaten or murdered simply because they were gay.  It happens far too often in the United States (and there have been a number of recent hate crimes against gays reported in the U.S.A.).  Or course it happens other places as well; for example two teenage boys were recently executed in Iran for the 'sin of being gay'.  However, I can speak far more knowledgeably regarding what I observe in my own society, and about the encounters I have online and in everyday life. 

There are three recent incidents that have prompted me to finally write this Blog.  Neither of these incidents resulted in any physical violence; they involved verbal insults, homophobic slurs and the questioning of an athlete's gender.  I would like to state at this point in time questioning a person's gender is not the same as questioning whether a person is gay or straight.  The questions of whether a person is gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, pansexual, trans-gender, or even a cross dresser often get lumped together.  However, they are not the same issues, and should not be treated as if they were.  Most gay people are neither trans-gender nor cross dressers; and people who are cross dressers or trans-gender are not necessarily gay.  In fact, most cross dressers are not gay. 

I would also like to point out words can often do as much damage as physical violence can.  Verbal assaults and insults can leave scars that last for years if they go away at all.  Scars of the psyche or the soul can be more damaging than physical ones.  Using the questioning of a person's gender or their sexuality against them for any reason is simply never acceptable period, and should not be tolerated in our society. 

The anonymity of the Internet has certainly made it easier for individuals and groups to spew their hate by feeling safe hiding behind 'fake' or 'anonymous' e-mail accounts and screen names. These sorts of people are too cowardly to spew their hateful vitriol against people in person to their face; therefore they hurl their insults 'anonymously' and refuse to accept any criticism of their opinions without going into attack mode, screaming censorship, or disappearing and/or changing their online 'identity'.

My first example took place on July 31, 2010 in a minor league baseball stadium.  Brent Bowers, manager of the Golden League Edmonton Capitals, stormed the field to argue with the umpires over a close call during the first inning of a game between his team and the Orange County Flyers.  The crew chief that day was thirty-four year old Billy Van Raaphorst, a California resident who also happens to be gay.  Van Raaphorst had ejected Bowers from a game the previous day; and had warned Bowers and some of his players regarding their heated objections in the current game.  It is at this point Bowers tirade against Van Raaphorst began.  Bowers referred to Van Raaphorst several times as 'a faggot' and a 'fucking faggot' among other things; and demonstrated by bending over and grabbing his ankles how he thought the Umpire 'took it in the ass'.  After Van Raaphorst said nothing stronger than 'Very Classy Brent', and then calmly walked away, Bowers continued to hurl insults at him until the plate Umpire ejected him from the game and escorted him off the field.  The game continued without further incident.
Brent Bowers was initially fined $500 and suspended for two games over his tirade.  However, Umpires across the Golden Baseball League threw their support behind Van Raaphorst and protested, threatening a work stoppage and refusing to officiate games over what they saw as a slap on the wrist.  The league toughened its penalty to a $5000 fine and suspension for the rest of the season, and Bowers ultimately resigned.

This incident, while certainly not reflecting well on Brent Bowers, is an example that sports is one of the holdouts in acceptance of gays within their ranks.  While some athletes such as Steve Nash of the NBA's Phoenix Suns, and recently retired MLB baseball player Ken Griffey Jr. have said they would have no problem playing against or being teammates with openly gay players; athletes willing to make such public statements of support are still few and far between.  It is sad that in the year 2010 anyone would find an outburst such as Brent Bowers tirade against Billy Van Raaphorst in any way acceptable; but some people didn't have that much of a problem with it.  Some people have stated if Bowers had hurled a racial slur at Van Raaphorst his punishment would have been initially harsher, as would have been the reaction to it within the sporting press.  Even the author of one of the articles I used as a reference for this Blog indicated he initially was uncomfortable with comparisons between the struggle for equality of gays and lesbians and the struggle for equality of racial minorities.

My other examples both involve the same person; figure skater Johnny Weir.  As a longtime fan of Mr. Weir, it is frustrating for me to constantly see that the first thing he is often asked is about his sexuality.  Weir is not publicly 'out' in the sense he is not particularly open in discussing as he puts it 'who I sleep with' (As of January 11, 2011 with the release of his memoir 'Welcome to My WorldWeir is indeed officially 'out'.); however at the same time he has never denied anything either.  It is sad that this intelligent, good-looking, articulate, loving, caring and talented young man has so many (thankfully not all) articles and interviews about him focus first and foremost on his sexuality.  It is unfortunate these writers and interviewers are missing so many other interesting aspects of this outstanding young man's life and personality; such as the fact he taught himself the Russian language, he also speaks French, or that he helps support his family and helped put his younger brother through school, when they focus so much on his sexuality.  Unfortunately this is unlikely to change any time soon.

I could go on forever regarding how I personally, from a fan's perspective, feel Weir has been treated by the figure skating establishment over the years, but that's not my objective here.  My objective is to get across how much hate and how many slurs he has had to deal with over the years.

When he returned from the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Weir was deluged with hate mail and e-mail using lovely descriptive words such as pussy, disgrace, faggot, princess, queeny, retarded, stupid, queer and as he put it 'many other lovely things, so try to be more original at least'.  One letter even suggested Weir should be 'raped to death'.  That people found it appropriate or acceptable to send anyone this sort of garbage, let alone a twenty-one year old young man whose worst crime was being a free spirit and not winning an Olympic medal, is beyond my comprehension.  And for some people, it only went downhill from there. 

Whatever else a person may think of Weir, or think they know about him, he does not deserve the venom that has been thrown at him from some quarters.  No one does.  It is beyond my comprehension that anyone finds it in any way acceptable.  One of the reasons I brought Matthew Shepard into this Blog when it was really meant to be about Billy Van Raaphorst and Johnny Weir is because that young man's horrifying death is a tragic example of what can happen when hate is carried to an extreme. 

A few months ago I was discussing some Johnny Weir videos on YouTube with some other users.  Most of the comments were positive, or at least related to Johnny's skating as opposed to his sexuality.  However, at some point a user made the comment Weir should be killed because he is gay.  Naturally the comment was not well received and was flagged and reported by a number of people, myself included.  Somehow Matthew Shepard's name was brought up, and I stated I cried every time 'I thought about that poor young man'.  Some poor excuse for a human being then posted these exact words 'Shepard got what he deserved and so will Weir'; and another poor excuse for a human being posted 'Shepard got what he deserved' without mentioning Weir.  All of the offending comments were deleted relatively quickly by the users, whether at YouTube's suggestion or of their own volition I can't say for certain.  However, they were not flippant remarks or idle threats, they were genuinely disgusting remarks. 

Soon after these incidents some of us started to get harassed via messages posted at our YouTube channels.  I was told more than once that both I and Johnny Weir were 'queers' and other wonderful little remarks like 'Stupid faggot, burn in hell!'  By the way geniuses, I'm a woman and I'm not gay, but even if I were, so the hell what?!  A few of my friends asked me why did I not get rid of the messages and block the assholes.  I stated I had reported and blocked them, but was leaving the messages up as an reminder of how stupid people really can be.  And like I always say, if you don't like something, don't watch it, don't listen to it, don't read it!  Why devote so much time, energy and effort to commenting on or attacking something you profess to not like or respect?  Leave the rest of us alone and let us try to enjoy it!

Johnny Weir has a reality show called 'Be Good Johnny Weir' on the Sundance Channel (soon to move to LOGO-TV).  The first episode of the show was actually a documentary movie titled 'Pop Star On Ice' which initially premiered in New York City and was subsequently shown at several film festivals across the United States.  There is one scene where Johnny and his friend Paris Childers are watching some commentary about Weir from skating analyst (and founder of 'International Figure Skating') Mark Lund, and Childers remarks he can't believe the comments are being made about a guy in his early twenties (Weir was either twenty-one or twenty-two at the time.) by the commentator.  He then asks Johnny "How old is this guy anyway?"  The commentary was aimed at Weir personally, and not his skating; something that is a constant source of frustration for both he and his fans. 

I wanted to give some context of what Johnny Weir has had to endure over the years to those who may not know him as well as I and some of his fans do; however I can't possibly cover it all here.  Therefore I am going to skip ahead to the Vancouver Winter Olympics in February, 2010.  Johnny Weir finished sixth at the Olympics, and a lot of people do not think he deserved that placing.  Many of us, and not just Johnny's fans, believe he should have finished higher; however, again, that's not what this Blog is about.  A few days after the men's figure skating had concluded, broadcasters Claude Mailhot and Alain Goldberg of RDS, a French-language sports channel in Quebec, mused on air if Weir was unfavorably judged during one of his 'typically flamboyant routines because he wore a semi-see-through pink and black outfit'.

"This may not be politically correct, but do you think he lost points due to his costume and his body language?" Mailhot said.

Goldberg responded that Weir's mannerisms might hurt other men competing in the sport. "They'll think all the boys who skate will end up like him," he said. "It sets a bad example."

The pair joked that Weir should take a gender test like female South African runner Caster Semenya was forced to undergo after stirring up speculation that she was really a man. Mailhot suggested Weir should compete against women.


There is video of this conversation during Episode 109, which is the 2010 Season Finale of  'Be Good Johnny Weir'.  The above remarks ignited a storm of controversy, and though Johnny initially found out about them when Dorothy Hamill came to interview him for 'Access Hollywood' while he was shooting photographs for 'Vanity Fair' magazine; the remarks soon were all over the place.  Dorothy can also be seen in Episode 109 of 'Be Good Johnny Weir'; and in the show and the actual interview shown on 'Access Hollywood' she is visibly upset and close to tears.  Weir had already addressed some mocking comments made by Australian broadcasters Eddie McGuire and Mick Molloy regarding his sexuality in an interview with an Australian television station when he first found out about the remarks made by Mailhot and Goldberg.

Weir's initial reaction is summed up in his remarks to Hamill.  "Every little boy should be so lucky as to turn into me," Weir told her.  "And that's all I have to say about that."  And that was all he had to say about it for a while; however he continued to be asked about it, and finally, several days later, and more than six days after the men's figure skating competition had concluded, Weir conducted a press conference to address the comments made about him. 

More than one hundred journalists from around the world attended Johnny Weir's press conference.  He sat on the stage with only his agent Tara Modlin by his side and addressed the comments and took questions from the journalists without the aid of notes or any other assistance.  With pride and dignity he calmly responded and dealt with slurs and comments no one should have to deal with. 

A few weeks later while introducing Weir at an Equality California fundraiser, EqCa Executive Director Geoffrey Kors stated that Weir's response to the Quebec broadcasters comments had been 'magical'.  Again, footage from the EqCa event, the press conference, and of the Quebec broadcasters may be seen in Episode 109 of 'Be Good Johnny Weir'.  There is also a shortened version of the press conference, and two sources for watching the entire press conference available.  Both sources may be found in my Blog 'Johnny Weir, A Man Amongst Men'.  The video of the EqCa appearance is found on the same Blog, as is an interview with Weir conducted on the red carpet of the recent GLAAD Manhattan event. 

The entire press conference was twenty-seven minutes long and because of its length I will not address everything said here; however I do highly recommend following the link to my Blog and watching the entire press conference, or at least the two and a half minute long shortened version.  While some people would have been visible angry, and certainly Weir must have been upset; he didn't ask for the broadcasters to be fired, or for any action to be taken against them.  He simply hoped for them to have learned something from what they said and the reaction to it.  I can not imagine anyone reacting as well, and with such class and dignity, as Johnny Weir did to these comments.  Despite the fact he doesn't know these men personally, what they said about him had to have hurt.  How could it not?

One of the best things that came out of the whole ugly mess in Vancouver was this beautiful quote from Johnny Weir (said at the press conference):

'Out of ugly, I think the most important thing to do in life is to make something beautiful."
--Johnny Weir

Though I could go on endlessly (haven't I already?) regarding what Johnny Weir has had to deal with over the years, and even what he's had to deal with since Vancouver; I only have one more thing to mention. 

Johnny Weir and Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek have traded a few barbs over the years, especially the last three years or so.  They are close in age, and basically came up through the ranks of both junior and senior levels of figure skating at the same time.  Johnny Weir has leveled a few digs at Lysacek, and Lysacek has leveled a few digs at Weir.  Neither of them has done it in a vacuum, and with a few exceptions one has often been responding to something the other said. 

However, having said that, a few days ago on August 7, 2010 Evan Lysacek crossed the line.  He said four little words that will forever taint anything he could possibly say afterward for a lot of fans.  In response to a stupid question from a fan on Twitter, who was at the time going by @TahitianFantasy (Angela Springfield), but who later changed her name to @BahamaEscape (Angela Springfield), and now to @MidnightInFiji (A Springfield/Tabitha Starfire), asked Lysacek this question:

'Hey Evan, is Johnny Weir really a guy? hard to tell from the photos I've seen LOL ;)'

To which Evan Lysacek replied: 'verdict is still out'.

At first glance it doesn't seem like much.  However, look again, and think again.  The question from @TahitianFantasy is clearly asking Evan Lysacek whether Weir is really a 'guy'; and on top of that it is done in a joking manner.  This Tweet sat on Lysacek's feed for five hours, until he came along and decided to answer it.  Of all the questions he could have picked out to answer, he picked out this one.  Lysacek knows about the hurtful comments made about Weir's gender in Vancouver; not to mention the additional comments made about his sexuality, and he could easily have avoided answering this question altogether, however he chose not to ignore it and deliberately picked it out to respond to.  Because of the comments in Vancouver, and the history between Weir and Lysacek, this can not possibly be written off as a flippant or joking remark.  Questioning Weir's gender was not funny for Mailhot and Goldberg, and it is NOT funny for Evan Lysacek either. 

For around twelve hours fans of both Lysacek (who currently has 60,762 Twitter followers) and Weir (who currently has 77,661 Twitter followers) sent Lysacek questions about his Tweet and asked for explanations and hopefully an apology.  Finally they received an answer, but it wasn't the one we expected.  Lysacek first tried to claim the Tweet was sent from a 'fake account'; a Twitter member who has/had an account EvanIysacek (using a capital I instead of a L).  The EvanIysacek account is a parody, and since the owner quickly responded and distanced himself from the remark this explanation did not wash for Lysacek. At this point he began to claim he was hacked.  This also did not go over well with a lot of fans, and it was actually pretty stupid when all the facts are looked at.  Evan sent the Tweets claiming he was hacked from his 'official' Twitter page, and this was all while the offending Tweet was sitting ON his 'official' Twitter page right underneath his explanations.  'Twittergate' as some fans have come to call it has been documented brilliantly in the Blog Olympic Gold Medalist Shows His True Colors with screen caps and time lines.  If you read this Blog, and I hope you do; you will probably understand why this was such a big deal and you will also see a mountain of evidence that makes it next to impossible to believe Lysacek's Tweet came from any place other than his 'official' account, or that he was hacked.

Some fans are completely convinced Evan Lysacek was genuinely hacked, and others do not see why this was all such a big deal.  It was a big deal because Evan Lysacek answered a stupid, insulting question with a stupid insulting remark knowing what Weir has had to deal with in the past; and then tried to blame it on someone else.  When blaming it on someone else did not work, he then tried to claim he was hacked. What's even worse is that the person who sent the question in the first place did not understand why it was such a big deal.  At first she ignored it, and when people started calling 'her' on it and not just Lysacek she tried to push it off by saying she didn't like Weir.  She thought it was okay to ask an insulting question about him because she 'doesn't support him'.  In addition she has no idea what the difference between gay, gender, sex, trans-gender and so forth is.  She even went as far as to tell me she 'didn't know Weir was gay' when she asked the question.  And that makes it all okay?  Is Angela/Tabitha seriously telling me she was questioning the gender of a man who she thought was straight?  As if it was okay to question Weir's gender regardless of whether he is gay or straight?

Two days after the Tweet Lysacek sent an 'apology' out via TwitLonger.  However, even his apology was lame.  Nowhere in his apology did he say 'I apologize...' or 'My apologies...', and he also did not apologize to his own fans, many of whom were deeply hurt by the whole mess.  And Evan, you're right, you can NOT apologize enough! 

What was Johnny Weir saying while all this was going on?  Nothing.  Once again he responded with class and dignity and said nothing.  He went on about his daily life; working, training, interviewing, writing, and made no comment whatsoever because he does have class and dignity.  And good for him!  His wonderful parents Patti and John Weir raised both their children properly, and trust me, it shows!  As my friend 'Binky' said:

‘So he can look at your appalling little tweet, crinkle his nose at its foul aroma, and then step gracefully aside and sail right on past it up there on the high road, choosing not to dignify it with even the slightest bit of his attention.

And if somebody has the bad manners to ask him about it, he can simply smile, shake his head slightly, and respond, with grace and class (look ‘em up…) and a look of genuine pity on his beautiful face…’

Other sources for 'Twittergate' info:

Misfit Mimes Blog: I Don't Evan

Misfit Mimes Blog: Oh I See He Decided to Go With Multi-Part Option D

One last thing; I promised my readers at an explanation for why I made a point of mentioning the 'hockey players' in Chapter Twenty-Three of my story 'A Force of Nature: Part II'.  Episode 109 of 'Be Good Johnny Weir' covers the time between the U.S. Nationals Figure Skating Championships in January 2010 and the Vancouver Olympics in February 2010.  It also covers some of the happenings in the first few weeks after the Olympics.  Anyway, near the beginning of the episode Johnny is training at his rink and he is getting ready to leave.  He tells us he has to 'go brave the hockey players'.  He then tells us that 'last week they called me Johnny Queer', and goes on to say they made blow-job gestures at him.  You see him nervously walking out of the rink carrying his skate bag and you can't help wondering if he's worried about another encounter with the dumb jock hockey players.  Until we saw that scene, a lot of Johnny's fans hadn't made as much of a personal connection with what he has had to deal with on a daily basis for a number of years now; the slurs, the comments, the gestures, etc.  One of my friends said, "I never thought about him having to deal with it in his personal life."

He does have to deal with it in his personal life, and it's sad.  It's sad for him, it's sad for Billy Van Raaphorst, and it's sad for the millions of other people out there like them.  A lot of people out there should be ashamed of themselves, because all these people deserve better.


For More Information Please Check Out the Following Websites: 

The Advocate Online

GLAAD on Twitter

Equality California Home Page

Out Magazine

Matthew Shepard:

Matthew Shepard Foundation

Remembering Matthew Shepard on the 12-Year Observance of his Death

A Matthew Shepard Memorial Page Matthew Shepard Page

Johnny Weir:

Gender Test THIS (Olympic Champion Shows His True Colors)

MisfitMimes Blog: I Don't Evan

Misfit Mimes Blog: Oh I See He Decided to Go With Multi-Part Option D

Misfit Mimes Blog: Guuuuuurrrrrrlll!

Johnny Weir: A Man Amongst Men  (My Blog with video of Vancouver Press Conference) - Evan Lysacek Questions Johnny Weir's Gender

Evan Lysacek Twitter Incident Another Example of Homophobia in Sports (Also addresses the Billy Van Raaphorst/Brent Bowers incident)

Johnny Weir's March 2006 Blog  (Describes Some of the Slurs He Has Endured)

Sundance Channel's Johnny Weir Page

French Broadcasters: Johnny Weir Should Take Gender Test

Quebec Gay and Lesbian Council Calls on Broadcasters to Apologize

Complaints Filed Against Homophobic Sportscasters

Billy Van Raaphorst:

Manager Out After Anti-Gay Rant Against Umpire

Ump's Ordeal Shows Sad State of Sports

Minor League Manager's Outburst Toward Gay Ump Was All About Hate

Read More About Manager Bowers

Caps Manager Accused of Anti-Gay Rant

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

All That Skate Odyssey, Part One

First I would like to apologize in advance if I forget anyone, leave anyone or anything out, miss spell anyone's name (I have decided to use first names only.  We who were there know who we are!), or attribute something to the wrong person!  I have a very good memory, but I have found out over the years that my memory when it comes to skating shows or rock concerts and the like is sometimes not as reliable as it should be, ha!  I need to take notes, but who wants to take notes while watching a skating show or listening to Bruce Springsteen kick ass and show everyone else how it is supposed to be done?  However, with the souvenir program from 'All That Skate' I at least cannot forget the order of the show or the numbers the skaters did!


'All That Skate Odyssey, Part One'

I originally did not think I would be able to attend All That Skate in Los Angeles.  I was born in North Hollywood at Victory Hospital, and I consider Los Angeles to be my hometown.  When Johnny Weir was originally added to the cast I could not believe figure skating could be this cruel to me!  I had never seen Johnny Weir skate in person, even though I have been a fan of his since around 2004.  Now he was going to be less than 450 miles away from me at the Staples Center, a distance I could drive in my sleep if my car were not totaled, and I was going to miss him?  I spent a little bit of time on Johnny's Facebook Page and on Twitter telling everyone even close to California (and several who ended up flying in from much further east) who wanted to go to the show good luck, enjoy the show, I can't come, whine, whine, sniffle, sniffle, cry, cry...  Ha, ha!  I was happy for my friends, however depressed for myself!

I was thrilled Johnny was going to be there, but I did not see how I could possibly make it.  I did not find the show's ticket prices to be out of line, nor did I at all find the distance to be too much, however my financial situation at this point in time was not and is not conducive to a trip of any kind, let alone one that involves purchasing a ticket, traveling and an overnight stay some place.

Ten to fifteen or so years ago I was in a much better place financially and I saw a number of shows and competitions.  I attended the last World Professional Figure Skating Championship in Landover, Maryland and the first one in Washington, D.C. at the then new MCI Arena (now the Verizon Center).  I attended a pro competition in San Jose, California the name of which is escaping me; I attended numerous Champions On Ice shows in Phoenix and in California, I attended Brian Boitano's Skating Romance I, 1996 Nationals in San Jose at what used to be the San Jose Arena but is now HP Pavilion at San Jose, Torvill and Dean's tour, a team pro competition in Tucson, Arizona (yes, really!) and one of Brian's Holiday shows in Las Vegas back in 1999.  I even took my then much younger nephew to a couple Disney On Ice shows.  That show in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay was in fact the last skating show I attended.  Therefore it is easy to see that I stopped attending shows well before Johnny Weir joined Champions On Ice or fully graced the skating world with his unique presence. 

I attended most of the shows other than Torvill and Dean and 1996 Nationals due to being a huge fan of Boitano's.  There is absolutely no doubt about that!  I even took the plunge for 1996 Nationals partly because it was less than fifty miles from Brian's hometown of Mountain View and where he lives now in San Francisco.  Besides, I seriously did not need to find a reason to visit the Bay Area!  And yes, I did meet Brian in San Jose, along with numerous other skaters.  So basically I find nothing wrong with travelling a long distance to see a figure skater I admire perform or compete.  To be perfectly honest, Johnny Weir is the first skater since Boitano I would travel a great distance just to see.  There are other skaters I like, and if they are there in a show or it takes place close to me and I am able to go; fine, great, go ahead and do it!  But Brian and Johnny are the only two skaters that I would travel across the country for, or travel several hundred miles for.  I made some amazing friends through being a fan of figure skating and of Brian Boitano, and I am still friends with most of them.  Now I have found myself making amazing friends all over again through being a fan of Johnny Weir!

When it came to All That Skate L.A. my amazing friends found it unacceptable for me to NOT be at the show.  In fact they decided I HAD to be there!  A few of us put our heads together and figured out a way for me to get to the show.  I never would have been able to do it without their assistance and INsistence; and for that I am and always will be, completely humbled and grateful! 

Once I mentioned I was going friends started congratulating me and telling me they better hear all about it when I came back!  And then the fans who had purchased V.I.P. or front row seating found out we would also be able to attend a private dress rehearsal the afternoon of the Saturday, October 2nd show!  The dress rehearsal would be at 2 pm with the evening show scheduled to begin at 7pm; and we would receive a souvenir program and a V.I.P. lanyard at the rehearsal!  The United Kittens of Weirlandia began planning for what signs we should bring, exchanging cell phone numbers and trying to set up special gatherings of our group.  Several people went to great lengths to set up a dinner between the rehearsal and the evening show, and Lizzy made a reservation at The Farm of Beverly Hills at LA Live when the Yard House would not take one.  However, she later found out the rehearsal time was longer than we thought, and it then seemed unlikely there would be time for a dinner and freshening up for everyone involved between the rehearsal and the show.  The gathering was then changed to an 11am early lunch at The LA Market; with plans to meet in the lobby of the JW Marriott, where several fans as well as the skaters were staying, at one pm to introduce ourselves and distribute signs before walking over to the Staples Center for the rehearsal at 2 pm. 

I found myself with a ticket from Phoenix to Los Angeles on Greyhound and I started to get excited about going to the show and meeting everyone!  I did try everything I could think of to get to the show another way; however it just did not work out.  Enterprise had weekend car rental rates as low as $9.99 per day, but then insurance and fuel costs have to be figured in.  The airline fare sale on Southwest ended before I could purchase a ticket; and the airline I spent years accumulating frequent flyer miles on (going back to when TWA still existed as a separate entity) conveniently had no flights available on which I could use my miles.  Seriously, why even have a frequent flyer program if you can never use your miles?  American would not let me use them going to Orlando back in 2002; or in 2006 when I took my niece to a national cheerleading competition in Knoxville, Tennessee; or in 2007 when I took her to a national cheerleading competition in Madison, Wisconsin.  So really, what level do you have to be at in these programs to be able to actually USE your miles??!!  But I digress...

Anyway, I did what in retrospect wasn't the smartest thing I could have done...I booked my bus ride for October 2nd, the morning of the show. I would be leaving the Phoenix bus depot at 3:35am and arriving in Los Angeles at approximately 11:45am.  (I have since decided if I ever have to take Greyhound anywhere again; I will NOT do it on the same day as the event I am attending!)  This meant that, although the wonderful Judith and Ila offered several of us the use of their hotel rooms to freshen up before the dress rehearsal and the show, I would basically be travelling all night with little sleep and arriving tired and likely looking like I crawled out of a hole somewhere...  Not only that, but I would also be missing the early lunch, which meant I would not be able to meet my friends until later.  This turned out to be even more disappointing than I realized beforehand! 

Back to the bus ride...  Since I do not currently have a car and was on such a tight budget I decided the way to get to the Greyhound station would be to take public transportation.  Since the latest north/south bus within walking distance went by at approximately 6:20pm, this meant I had to be ready to go at that time or walk dragging my suitcase to the next leg because I really could not afford a cab and SuperShuttle only goes to the airport.  So, after running around all day Friday October 1st to make sure my parents were taken care of with enough groceries, etc. since it's difficult for them to get around; I packed at the last possible minute, took a shower and got myself dressed.  I brought a change of clothes for when I arrived in Los Angeles, another change of clothes for the show that evening (a new pink top that looked more red than pink once it was on); and a change of clothes for the trip home on Sunday.  I also brought more pajamas and underwear than I needed (on previous trips I have been known to bring every pair I own just in case, lol!), and I was on my way.  South on Stapley to Main Street, west on the link to the light rail station, west on the light rail to 24th street, and south on 24th Street to the Greyhound station located on the southwest corner of Buckeye and 24th Street just west of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. 

I arrived at around 9 pm for a bus that would be departing at 3:35 am.  Yay!  I knew this would be the case when I planned to get to Greyhound on public transportation, and I didn't think it would be that bad.  I had a book on an interesting subject that turned out to be a bit of a yawn, plus I brought my clipboard and notes with me to work on my fanfictions if I wanted to.  I managed to complete a chapter of my story A Force of Nature: Part II I had been working on while I waited; however it still isn't updated because I simply have not had the time to put it up since I came back from Los Angeles.  I started on a chapter of another story, but it is nowhere near finished.  I tweeted a few times from the bus depot about how some women were dressed, rude people and gratuitous use of the 'F' word.  As it turns out the rude guy I tweeted about turned out to be the one who dropped about seventy-five percent of the F bombs later.  He actually was only still in Phoenix because he had been kicked off an earlier bus for arguing with the driver.  Nice!

After a few hours I started to think maybe I should be trying to get on an earlier bus, and then I would arrive in Los Angeles earlier and possibly even make the lunch at the hotel.  However, by the time I got around to thinking about it, I realized it would be impossible.  There was some sort of issue with a bus that was originally scheduled to leave at 1:35 am, and many of those passengers did not get on that bus and ended up on my 3:35 am bus.  I managed to get on the bus and find a decent seat (or so I thought!), and we departed half an hour late with a really cool driver named Michael.  Great!  I'm always afraid to fall asleep on airplanes because I'm worried I'll snore or something, lol, but since I managed to have a seat to myself on a bus I figured no one would notice if I tried to sleep and snored a little.  The seat near the window would not lock in any one position, so I set my purse and tote on it and tried to stretch out in the other seat.   

We arrived in Blythe, California for our first rest stop at a little after six am.  It's normally a thirty minute meal period because the small bus station is behind a McDonald's with several other fast food restaurants within walking distance.  Michael however gave us twenty minutes because we were already a little behind and most of us headed right for the McDonald's.  I actually ordered the wrong breakfast, but it tasted okay, so what the heck, right?  I brought it back to the bus and a little while later we were again on our way.  We made short stops in Indio, San Bernadino, Riverside, Claremont and El Monte before finally arriving in Los Angeles.  I did nap off and on during the trip and I honestly can not remember what stops I was awake for and which ones I might have been dozing during.  I didn't need to get off anyway.  BTW, what do tall people do on buses?  I'm about 5'3" and it's hard for me to find someplace for my legs...  But again I digress! 

We had left Phoenix half an hour late, but we arrived in Los Angeles fifteen minutes early!  I grabbed my purse, my tote and my bag out of the overhead bin, stepped off the bus in my hometown, thanked Michael and headed inside the bus depot.  The bathroom was being cleaned, naturally, so I found myself something to drink and wandered back to the ladies room.  I had forgotten to pack my toothbrush, so I had to buy one from the overpriced store at the bus depot in Phoenix. In the bathroom I brushed my teeth, washed up, changed my clothes, fixed my hair and did my makeup.  I looked tired, but not nearly as bad as I expected to, which isn't necessarily saying a whole lot!  Ha!

I asked a female security guard if she knew how to get to the Staples Center, and she did not.  Since it's only three miles away I was a little surprised, but I went outside in hope of finding someone who did know.  Yes, I do know I can find these things out in advance, but I didn't beyond addresses and distance, okay?!  I found an employee on break outside who told me exactly how to get there.  I could take a cab for what he figured would be around ten dollars, or I could cross the street and get on the city bus.  The employee even told me where to get off the bus and to make sure I got off before the bus turned right on to Figueroa Street since I needed to go left on Figueroa.  He was very knowledgeable and helpful.  I thanked him and walked across the street hoping I would make it to the JW Marriott in time to meet the rest of the group. 

Next All That Skate Odyssey, Part Two

Visit All That Skate Odyssey Picture and Video Links for links to pictures and video of the show!

All That Skate Odyssey Picture and Video Links

A couple of my videos did not upload properly, and YouTube indicated they were rejected due to a duplicate upload.  I tried deleting and re uploading, however I kept getting the same message.  Therefore I signed in under a second account and uploaded all the videos again.  Unfortunately two of them still show as 'Rejected - Duplicate Upload', however it is only the two of them.  The videos I shot listed below in my original Blog are still there, however most of them are now also located in another place:

All That Skate Los Angeles Rehearsal Videos
All That Skate Los Angeles Show Videos
Short Video of Stephane Lambiel in the hotel lobby

This drool worthy glimpse of Johnny in Skaters Versus B Boys from All K Pop simply MUST go at the top of this post and extra large!


I did bring my own video camera to both the Saturday afternoon rehearsal and the Saturday evening performance of All That Skate L.A.  However the quality is not nearly as good as I hoped it would be.  In addition, I felt like two ushers were watching me during the rehearsal, so I put my camera down for part of it and thus did not get the entire show. That evening I walked down the wrong aisle and did not get to my seat in time, therefore I did not get the opening number on video.  Due to all these factors, while I have now uploaded all twenty-six of my videos to my YouTubeChannel in two separate playlists, one for dress rehearsal videos and the other for show videos; I would also like to direct readers toward some other wonderful sources of video from the show!  (There is WAY more video available than I have listed here!  Simply check out the Blogs and sources below, or perform a search at YouTube.)

Johnny Weir: Ice dance debut? This is a fun video from practice sessions at All That Skate L.A. of Johnny ice dancing with good friend Tanith Belbin.

Please visit my friend Misfit Mime's Blogs:
A Banner Day at All That Skate, All The Good Parts of All That Skate (Actually It Was All Incredibly Good, But We'll Start Here) Saturday Special! Revisiting Seattle to Avoid Pining for LA ...  and Friday Fun: Postcards from LA for links to wonderful videos and pictures, humorous stories, show reviews, and great pictures of the banners sent by the wonderful Chinese Johnny's Angels to be displayed at the show in Los Angeles!

Also visit Nicovember's YouTube Channel for several All That Skate L.A. videos of stunning good quality!  She has Johnny's performances from both shows, as well as several other pieces of video of great quality!

Visit All That Skate's YouTube Channel for behind the scenes on the production of the show.

Visit Yunayuna111's YouTube Channel for more videos!

All That Skate LA Sunday Stephane Lambiel and Johnny Weir Tik Tok spins 10.3.2010 posted by Marnianne.

Johnny Weir in All That Skate L.A. by julieryzha.

Johnny Weir Poker Face via FanCam by YanisRei.

Visit Tnguswlsk You Tube Channel for several quality ATS L.A. videos.

Visit PrideIOfEarth You Tube Channel for ATS L.A. rehearsal videos.

Visit littlehoarse You Tube Channel for several quality ATS L.A. videos including Johnny Weir ATS LA - teaser for Poker Face!

Johnny Weir taking a bow at AtS LA  by midwintering.

Visit AB1111111111111111AB YouTube Channel for quality videos from the NBC telecast!

Here is my own 'Silly Souvenir Video' showing some of what I brought home from the show, though I forgot to shoot my three signs!

Brief glimpse of Stephane Lambiel in the lobby after the show.  I, unfortunately, did not have my camera out when Johnny came through the lobby!

ATS 2010 LA Act 2 08 Johnny Weir - Pokerface uploaded by AB1111111111111111AB.