Friday evening. A few things from today, connected by their relationship to one another:
Linda Holmes. Linda blogs for NPR, and she is the pinnacle of quiet truth in print. I’m not saying you have to believe everything she does … I’m just noting that when she posts an opinion, it often happens to be one that I share.
Case in point: Her piece this morning. Oh, Johnny.
Johnny Weir is so honestly beautiful he makes my heart hurt. It’s not a sense of otherness, either: it’s his definite humanity, his joy in being exactly who he is, that comes through when he skates. Compared to him, every other male skater looks like a closet case.
I’m sorry if saying that offends anyone, but I am speaking now about men who dance on ice in bejeweled unitards. Johnny Weir is the one honest person on his side of those locker rooms. That’s just how it seems to me.
Finally, since we are talking about ice, sports, gender, and behavior, there’s this:
The Canadian women won gold in hockey last night, and promptly celebrated on their home ice. As hockey players — possibly not women — would have. Seems they lit more than cigars, though. But this story doesn’t have nearly the same traction of Johnny Weir’s gender-bending beauty: it’s already on its way out.
As it turned out, Johnny really alarmed people: just by delicately marking out his own feminine ground, in a sport that women have long dominated. After some homophobic remarks by Australian and Canadian broadcasters, Johnny held a press conference this week. He discussed his work, his family, his childhood and his identity.
I’d rather watch him skate, but this was almost as good. It was stunning.
Since Johnny’s electrifying short program, I’ve had a few lines of a song in my head. They’re relevant. I don’t think it’s an accident that a gay man wrote them.
Johnny knows that he can never change the way they feel. I don’t think he tries. What he does instead is act with integrity, every day. That shows in his work and his life. And while he’s stolen my heart, I doubt anyone will be able to steal his.
You can never change the way they feel
Better let them do just what they will … for they will
If you let them steal your heart from you …”
– Kissing a Fool, George Michael