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Gay former figure skater Johnny Weir on Russia’s anti-gay laws: ‘You have to respect the culture’

Gay former figure skater Johnny Weir on Russia’s anti-gay laws: ‘You have to respect the culture’

26th October 2013, 12:35 PM, Aaron Day

Former figure skater Johnny Weir will be heading to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi as a sports commentator after he failed to register for the national championships, but said he will not be campaigning Russia’s anti-gay laws in any way as “you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting.”

Weir, who announced his retirement from figure skating earlier this week, said he still wants to remain focused on the skating as opposed to the politics.

In an interview with The New York Times he said: “I risk jail time just going there, but the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement. I’m not a politician and I don’t really talk about politics.

“You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting.”

The 29-year-old from Pennsylvania, who previously called himself a “hardcore Russophile,” has been a leading proponent against boycotting the Russian Games. Many in the LGBT community believe there is a case to do so following the Russian Parliament’s decision in June to pass censorship laws banning gay “propaganda”.

He added: “It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been gay my whole life. I don’t need to break any laws or wear a rainbow pin to show people that I support gay rights. I think I’ll do that just by being in Sochi and supporting our people there and know they are not alone.

“The gay community has not reacted well to me because some people think it’s my responsibility to be an activist. They’re expecting me to hate Russia because I haven’t been given equal rights in Russia.”

Weir also referred to Sir Elton John’s decision to perform concerts in Russia in December: “If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me. Every country’s going to have its issues.”

by Anonymousreply 1810/28/2013

Well he BOMBED BIG TIME in his one and only event in his Olympic comeback

Coming in last place, among skaters who were juniors when he was at the 2006 Olympics.

by Anonymousreply 110/26/2013

Well, he has a point.

And he certainly HAS been out, rather flamboyantly, for along time. So kudos there.

by Anonymousreply 210/26/2013

More of a publicity seeker.

by Anonymousreply 310/26/2013

He is a famewhore and not very smart. Who in their right mind would be a Russophile?

by Anonymousreply 410/26/2013

Other than appearing in front of every and any camera that will have him, he has done absolutely NOTHING for the gay community.

by Anonymousreply 510/26/2013

Gee, I dunno R4.

Maybe somebody who likes Dostoyevksy, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Pushkin, Kandinsky, or ballet...

by Anonymousreply 610/26/2013

You do not have to respect the culture of the country you are visiting. This boy is dumber than a french poodle I once owned.

by Anonymousreply 710/26/2013

Blinded by his Russian fetishism.

by Anonymousreply 810/26/2013

Isn't he dating some Russian?

by Anonymousreply 910/26/2013

I guess by his logic I should "respect" cultures who hold down little girls and cut their genitalia. He's an idiot.

by Anonymousreply 1010/26/2013

R10 if you're going to visit there, yes.

Russins are a proud people and they see homosexuality as something out of their social norms. Change has to come from the inside not the outside. Gays were in the closet in Russia before this newer law was passed, so nothing really has changed for them.

Just a lot more straight people in Russia know gays exist now and that is scary to them.

by Anonymousreply 1110/26/2013

Sorry r2, but he gets no congratulations for being so obviously gay that he simply couldn't hide it. That's not "being out".

He's a worthless attention whore, mercenary and dumb as a box of hammers.

Can you imagine if American gays "respected the culture" that marginalized and oppressed them?

by Anonymousreply 1210/26/2013

Wrong, Johnny. When your state didn't allow same sex marriage you didn't just sit there and "respect the culture". You went to another state and got married. When many people were in the closet, you didn't respect closeted culture, you came out and proud. You don't just respect something that is wrong and is hurting so many people. You stand up against it...or you don't but you certainly don't do it out of respect.

by Anonymousreply 1310/26/2013

R10 Exactly. Just because something is part of their "culture" doesn't make it right.

by Anonymousreply 1410/26/2013

Johnny is a nasty, vicious little fame-whore queen. THAT's all...

I wonder if those celebs ever bought those awful prom dresses he designed.

by Anonymousreply 1510/26/2013

What bullshit R11. Out gays in Russia were no rarer in Russia than anywhere else early in the twentieth century. Indeed, many gays came out early in the Communist era.

by Anonymousreply 1610/28/2013

[quote]‘You have to respect the culture’

Says who? Who the fuck is he telling us what we have to do? No, we dont have to respect their culture. There is nothing about their current culture I find respectable.

by Anonymousreply 1710/28/2013
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