Blake Skjellerup | Johnny Weir | News | Olympics | Russia

Russian 'Spokesperson' Johnny Weir Tells Gay Olympic Athletes to Tone Down the Flamboyance or Suffer the Consequences

Figure skater Johnny Weir is a self-described 'Russophile' so the country's proposed ban on gay "propaganda" (already passed in St. Petersburg) won't stop him from competing in the Sochi Winter Olympics, but he's warning other gay athletes not to do certain things or suffer the consequences, USA Today reports:

WeirIf he makes the Olympic team, Weir doesn't want to make an issue of his sexuality, he said. For him, the Olympics should be about sport and competition. But he does have advice for gay athletes unfamiliar with the culture.

"My advice would be: Watch what you do when you leave the Village, don't be aggressive, don't wear a big rainbow flag fur coat. If you don't call attention to yourself, attention won't come to you."

Then Weir added, in a way only he can, "I'm not going to be having sex in a Metro station. And if you are doing that, then maybe you deserve to be caught."

Added Weir: "I love Russia and there is nothing that will change that. I'm a true patriot and spokesperson for their country. It's appalling they can censor their public, but I try to do everything I can. I have been in talks with different LBGT organizations in Russia with how I can help."

Out speed skater Blake Skjellerup is more hesitant: "I don't want to have to tone myself down about who I am. That wasn't very fun and there's no way I'm going back in the closet. I just want to be myself and I hate to think that being myself would get me in trouble."

St. Petersburg's restrictive law bans and impose fines ($16,000 on individuals and up to $160,000 on legal entities) on all Gay Pride events, LGBT organizations, and anything considered to be "promotion" of homosexuality.

The federal law, if passed, would enact similar penalties.

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  1. I think I now officially have 0% respect for this guy.

    Posted by: Chrisme | Feb 7, 2013 11:16:34 AM

  2. It's like the pot bedazzling the kettle. I mean, really?

    Posted by: Mikey | Feb 7, 2013 11:21:31 AM

  3. I enjoy a backward corrupt violent country of vulgar gangsters
    and whorishly dressed women as much as the next guy.

    However, it's a little creepy to hear this lap dog say people they deserve a violent response for kissing their partner in public.

    Having traveled all over the world, I must say no where is more depressing and more soul draining than spending a day in that barbaric dump of a nation.

    Posted by: Mike in nyc | Feb 7, 2013 11:22:39 AM

  4. Sell out.

    Posted by: mike | Feb 7, 2013 11:25:59 AM

  5. F Russia - I wouldnt crap that pathetic country

    Posted by: disgusted american | Feb 7, 2013 11:27:43 AM

  6. "Don't call attention to yourself".

    WTF ?
    Seriously ?
    All the struggle, the losing ones we love, the expulsion by our families, the pain of trans-national relationships who can't marry, the endless question by immigration officers, the kids bullied in the play yard.......maybe we were all wrong to call attention to ourselves.

    OK; I'm heading back into the closet. Thanks.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 7, 2013 11:38:11 AM

  7. But what will Johnny say when authorities arrest him for his skating routine? Several of those could easily be classified as 'gay propaganda'. Will he still defend a country that arrests him for just being himself?

    Posted by: hugo | Feb 7, 2013 11:43:53 AM

  8. Johnny has made a lot of money off exhibitions in Russia and his biggest fan bases outside the U.S. are in Japan and Russia. His spouse is of Russian Jewish descent. But loving some foreign country is no excuse for tacitly accepting their laws. Yes, it would be stupid to have sex in a metro station in Russia (or in most places, due to public decency laws), but the propaganda laws in Russia are much more pernicious than that. They could even be construed to allow legally putting him in jail for being a married gay man putting on a public performance, if he made the Olympic team.

    I'm disheartened that he hasn't used whatever small leverage he has as a celebrity to be outspoken for the rights of others. I doubt it does Russian LGBT groups any favors to have someone stupidly capitulate to the propaganda laws in a public statement.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 7, 2013 11:44:39 AM

  9. So Weir compares being "Out" with having public sex in a Metro Station.
    He is beyond pathetic.

    Posted by: Cam | Feb 7, 2013 11:47:35 AM

  10. what is the problem? this sounds like sensible, reasonable advice for a very specific situation. It's not supposed to be a philosophical meditation on the closet.

    Posted by: nico | Feb 7, 2013 11:51:50 AM

  11. People are complex, I get that. But Weir would do more FOR Russia if he boycotted the games due to the increasingly repressive government and social stance against the LGBT. I'm a Russophile myself, and am saddened and frustrated that I must "present" in a certain way (i.e. steadfastly str8 and unacknowledging of LGBT issues despite being out an in a long term, parenting relationship) to gain acceptance among Russians I know.

    Posted by: JoelD | Feb 7, 2013 11:52:09 AM

  12. Weir is a stale joke.

    Posted by: MARCUS BACHMANN | Feb 7, 2013 11:53:52 AM

  13. Up next: Lindsay Lohan counsels girls on safe driving and responsible drinking.

    Posted by: FuryOfFirestorm | Feb 7, 2013 11:54:58 AM

  14. Does't this line of logic sound awfully familiar? Hmmm I wonder from where I've heard it before?

    "I'm gay, but I'm also Christian. I have my faith and I'm not apologising for it. So all you gays whom are prosecuted, discriminated against, and victimised by the pious, you've only got yourself to blame for wearing a rainbow coloured fur coat."

    Posted by: czchu | Feb 7, 2013 11:57:50 AM

  15. Wow. I respected him as an artist and skater but now I have no respect for him as a person. Coward. I almost hope he gets arrested just for being there, as if nobody knows he is gay. And how "nice" of his husband to go along with not being allowed to cheer on his man openly if he won because of a disgusting anti-freedom Fascist country repeating the sins of Adolf Hitler. COWARD!!!

    Posted by: RMc | Feb 7, 2013 12:02:50 PM

  16. I think he's just trying to give advice to athletes to make sure they are not arrested and thrown in jail, and/or subjected to violence. This would really apply to anyone while in any homophobic country.

    Posted by: Jack M | Feb 7, 2013 12:04:41 PM

  17. Other than Johnny Weir I don't remember any really flamboyant Olympic competitors.

    Posted by: db | Feb 7, 2013 12:08:03 PM

  18. This is the gay version of 'she wore a short skirt, so she was asking to be attacked' line. He's funny, but he's not especially insightful, sadly.

    Posted by: Ryansson | Feb 7, 2013 12:12:22 PM

  19. In order for Weir to compete at Sochi he would have to win a spot on the US team. Since he took 2 years off from competition after the last Olympics and has recently withdrawn from competition again this year, his qualifying looks extremely unlikely barring a miracle. But, y'know, cute shrug.

    Posted by: Matt | Feb 7, 2013 12:21:37 PM

  20. The best thing for civil rights would be for a whole bunch of gay athletes to be arrested and thrown in jail for kissing or showing PDA's.There would be an outcry in the west denouncing the fascist anti-gays laws introduced in Russia.
    And remember Pussy Riot are still in jail, for phuck's sake.

    The advice should be; stand up for yourself; remember that we are proud ( hint: the Pride Parades),
    show gay affection in public, our Russian Brothers and Sisters need the support of us showing that gay is good; be out, not intimidated by fear.
    Haven't we had enough of this BS ?
    Fight back, for phuck's sake !

    There are young kids in Russian schools right now with hearts broken with pain because they are afraid they might be gay and thereby outcasts and despised.
    And we as adults are going to cower ?
    What kind of example is this clown advocating ?

    Now, all of you, get out your Pink Triangles and get them on !

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 7, 2013 12:28:44 PM

  21. @ Jack: Agreed. A massive protest is called for in this case, not hiding in the closet.

    Posted by: Rich F. | Feb 7, 2013 12:34:16 PM

  22. "I have been in talks with different LBGT organizations in Russia with how I can help."

    Have they suggested you just STFU?

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 7, 2013 12:40:16 PM

  23. This is practical advise for a country in which individual freedoms of a variety of kinds are easily and often thrown out in favor of security and stability. The Russian sense of "Freedom" as always been backwards and slow paced.

    Posted by: Opinionated | Feb 7, 2013 1:18:10 PM

  24. Oops *advice

    Posted by: Opinionated | Feb 7, 2013 1:18:41 PM

  25. You all missed JW's point:

    I'm a big flaming queer and they all know it in Russia and they give me a pass...however other gays may not be so fortunate.

    Posted by: Qj201 | Feb 7, 2013 1:22:42 PM

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