Friday, August 23, 2013

Propaganda

Johnny in one of his traditional warmup jackets 
emblazoned with the word “Russia.” 
As a well-known openly gay man whose marriage 
to Victor was front-page news in Russia, 
he is, in the eyes of Russian law, 
literally “homosexual propaganda.” 

Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.
Please click twice for beautiful full-size image.
Full series below.



Defending the propaganda law at a news conference in June, President Vladimir Putin parroted the standard Russian government line: “This is not about imposing any kind of sanctions against homosexuality. This is about protecting children.” One can only agree with this premise if one believes that being gay is contagious and that children will become gay (or somehow damaged) by hearing that gay people exist. In educated countries this is largely seen as the nonsensical, anti-science argle-bargle that it is. — Scott Wooledge, Huffington Post.


[Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri] Kozak also said that since the law applies equally to everyone, it “cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation.” The law is premised on the notion that it is not all right to be gay. It says that it is not all right to tell children that it’s all right to be gay. So how is that not discriminatory? ... Obeying the law also means not talking about who you are around minors, unless of course you tell them being gay is bad. How is that not degrading and discriminatory against all LGBT people, including athletes, coaches, and their fans? How is it not discriminatory if gay and straight people alike can only say bad things about homosexuality? — Rachel Denber, Human Rights Watch



The following series of black-and-white photos were taken exactly one week before Johnny and Victor were married. 

This is Johnny’s final warmup before his final performance of that year. After two grueling days of rehearsals that continued until late into the night, he’s bone-tired, and with a great deal on his mind—his upcoming wedding is still a secret known only to his family and close friends, and a few lucky Japanese fans.

As he takes to the ice to prepare for the evening’s show, young skaters are allowed to watch, and they do so with wide-eyed awe. He’s an Olympian and a hero to every one of them—and a kind, patient, and gentle man who makes them laugh. Also he’s gay. Which most of them know, in the way that they know the sky is blue. They’ve whispered to each other throughout the rehearsals when they’ve seen him with Victor, telling those not yet in the loop that the handsome man is “Johnny’s boyfriend.” The whispers are sweet, usually punctuated with giggles of delight. This is a different generation, one that is far more matter-of-fact in accepting a spectrum of sexual orientation without even giving it a lot of thought. They watch Glee and Modern Family; they know what the rainbow flag is; they understand the phrase “love is love.”

And they love Johnny Weir.

According to its recently enacted law, Russia could deem the following photos illegal gay propaganda, because they showcase an openly gay man as beautiful, admirable, extraordinary—and normal. Goodness, think of the children.

Yes, please do. 

Pay particular notice to them in the backgrounds of these photos. See how most are rapt with attention, some glued to their phones, photographing and videoing Johnny’s every move.

Think of the children.

Some of them may be LGBT. And what they need—really, what all children need—is to see such “propaganda.” To know that it’s OK to be who you are—gay, straight, bi, trans, whatever. And to be proud of who you are.

Like Johnny Weir.

So yes, think of the children.

And then stand with LGBTs in Russia to defy this outrageous law, to welcome the Games and the spotlight they bring, and to help create a better world where no children ever, anywhere, have to be afraid to be exactly who they are.

As always, please click any photo twice for full-size view. Most of these are huge. We left them uncropped rather than cropping in close up, so you can see him the way the kids did from where they stood, crowded together along the rink, transfixed.



Johnny warms up with intensity, 
his focus very much directed inward, 
while his impromptu audience 
is focused on watching and discussing him.









Exhaustion is evident on his face...



...but in about 90 minutes, when the show starts, 
there will be no trace of it in his performances.
























Soon he’s warmed up enough to strip down 
to his basic black rehearsal clothes.






As he slows to take off his jacket, 
he glances to the side, searching for 
one face in particular.









He’s not here yet.






So tired.



But, jacket tossed aside, 
it’s back to work.



A slow stretch....






...eyes closed for a moment...









...focus regained.















More kids have gathered on 
the other side of the rink....



...and they’re riveted.









More also have joined the first group.



You cannot hate, argue, reason, fight, 
complain or yell at a dark room 
enough to illuminate it—
only by shining a Light 
is darkness overcome. 



Be that Light.
—Anonymous



His warmup over, dark circles under his eyes 
betray a fatigue temporarily forgotten 
in the presence of someone very special...



Epilogue.

Re-dressed in his full warmup gear, Johnny visits with fans and the lighting crew for a moment before heading off to do hair and makeup for the show. Victor has since arrived with his friend, Misha Burshteyn.

I love this brief glimpse of the husbands-to-be...

















BREAKING TODAY: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order [note: link is in Russian; use Google Translate to get the gist] on August 19 and published on August 23 forbidding all meetings, pickets, and demonstrations in Sochi from January 2, 2013 to March 21, 2013. Summary here from Canada’s Global News.

Special thanks to Tatiana Edrenkina for the alert.



Exclusive photos © David Ingogly.




See Johnny perform in Sun Valley 
NEXT SATURDAY, August 31
Click here for tickets and more info. 
Always a spectacular show and not to be missed!



The final set in this series of Army of Me 
black-and-whites, plus more on the LGBT crisis in Russia. 
Exclusive photo © David Ingogly.



Please continue to contribute to the newly established 
Johnny & Victor Weir-Voronov 
Scholarship Fund for LGBTQ Youth
also administered by the Delaware Valley 
Legacy Fund. The DVLF is the nonprofit 
organization who recently honored Johnny 



Quiet photo essay of exclusive black-and-white pics 
paired with Johnny’s quotes from his 
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! 



updated calendars, in case you missed out on buying yours 
in January! The new 12-month version runs from 
July 2013 to June 2014, while the 18-month version takes you 
from July 2013 all the way to December 2014.



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!



Patti has posted a 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.



HE REALLY, REALLY IS!! 
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! 



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!”

IN THE SAME WAY THAT IT NEEDS AIR.
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


3 comments:

aaaack said...

Beautiful pictures. Thank you for capturing the melty glows exchanged between Johnny and Victor.

Now, please forgive me for channeling my inner dystopians, George Orwell, Jonathan Swift, George Carlin and Kurt Vonnegut...

Forgive me for listing a few things a country can do to protect impressionable young folks from exposure to gay propaganda (inspried by www.tasmaniangeographic.com/guide-to-rainbows/): 1) Ban waterfalls. 2) Force everyone to wear deeply tinted sunglasses outside--a la "The Wizard of Oz". 3) Ban mountain climbing on a mountain covered in mist. 4) Ban walking along a shore when there is low-lying fog.

5) Ban chandeliers. 6) Remove prisms from all Physics and science classes/laboratories in educational facilities. 7) Only allow three colors of glitter in classrooms in case students apply multiple stripes on the same page. 8) Only allow students access to a half set of crayons at any time.

9) Above all, ban movies, television, internet video featuring attractive members of the same sex. At age 5 Johnny Weir was turned on by Richard Gere and Julia Robert's necklace (but not Julia Roberts herself) in the movie "Pretty Woman".

Atomic Wife said...

For god's sake, the children!!!

Excellent post MM! Just excellent.

WheresMyKoppy said...

They say the pen is mightier than the sword, and a picture is worth a thousand words. Your beautiful words and pictures are proof of that, MM. Thank you so much!