Thursday, February 18, 2010

Other gay skaters opened the door for Johnny Weir

Although Johnny Weir declines to discuss his sexuality, it doesn't require the world's best detective to figure out he is gay. He has been criticized heavily for his flamboyant mannerisms and costumes. Many critics seem to be obsessed with Weir's sexuality. Others are critical because he has chosen not to out himself.

The sport has not been kind to gay skaters. In fact the reaction has almost been homophobic in an effort to counter the male figure skating stereotype. I remember Matthew Hall who for a short time skated at the same club as my daughter. He won a bronze at the 1989 Canadian Championships and came out in 1992. I distinctly remember Skate Canada distancing themselves from Hall because the skating establishment felt he presented a poor image of the sport. Other skaters such as John Currie and Toller Cranston did not really come out until the end of the competitive skating careers. In reaction, skaters such as Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko emphasized a macho image and athletic style in the 1990s.

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