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oakl0008
10-23-2011, 03:06 AM
Skate Canada's statement in regard to Jamie's death was most certainly appropriate. What is less fortunate is the stance taken publicly by SC officials about presenting fs as "tough" read "macho," read "Our sport is not associated with being gay," read "homophobia and insensitivity."

Why can't the ISU and all federations focus on educating everyone about the inclusiveness of figure skating, about the fact that it is a great sport that attracts all types of people? Why can't feds and ISU celebrate everyone of our skaters, gay, straight, lesbian, transgender, all ethnic backgrounds? Please let's get out of the dark ages. Why not take a stance of inclusiveness and embrace all young skaters who take up the sport? Most importantly, ISU and feds, stop being quiet and start speaking up about all the different people who make up this sport, past and present, and highlight all the things that make this sport great ... Maybe by taking such a stance, SC (and other feds) could help young skaters like Jamie to see that they are not alone, that they have something special to give, and many people who love them for who they are, and that their lives are worth living, worth living ... Saying goodbye is not the answer. May your life not have been lived in vain, Jamie. Your father's tribute speaks volumes ... an angel on earth, and now, in heaven.

Wake up, figure skating. Wake up, world.

This. So very well said aftershocks.

overedge
10-23-2011, 03:27 AM
Skate Canada's statement in regard to Jamie's death was most certainly appropriate. What is less fortunate is the stance taken publicly by SC officials about presenting fs as "tough" read "macho," read "Our sport is not associated with being gay," read "homophobia and insensitivity."


I am no fan of Skate Canada for many reasons, but they did make it very clear that their "figure skating is tough" selling point was to emphasize the skill and danger in participating the sport, not "don't be gay". And AFAIK no one from Skate Canada has ever said words to the effect of "Our sport is not associated with being gay", because they know as well as anyone else that is not the case.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123870938255484175.html

Quote:


To do that, Skate Canada is encouraging skating officials and athletes to use words such as "strength," "power," "speed" and "risk" when describing the sport. Team members are being asked to play up the fact that they skate faster than most hockey players, jump higher than most basketball players and fall harder than most football players -- all without padding...[William] Thompson [Skate Canada chief executive] says his organization's words have been skewed, and calls the criticism from the gay community "ironic" because ice skating is one sport "where you can be openly gay and successful." He says he isn't suggesting skaters need to adopt a tough-guy image, only that they spread the word about how physically demanding the sport is.

aftershocks
10-23-2011, 04:14 AM
Fine, overedge, and thanks for pointing out SC "clearing up" how their "tough" pr approach was "skewed," read "misinterpreted."

No problem with emphasizing the "strength, power, speed, and risk" involved in fs. It is important for the sport to educate viewers about all aspects of the sport, which the ISU and feds have failed to do for decades because of the ingrained elitist attitudes of many running/ ruining the sport. Okay, fine, fs is not an easy sport and that needs to be widely discussed and promoted. But just as everyone who makes up the sport should be embraced, all aspects of what makes the sport great, should be embraced and celebrated. So in addition to the qualities SC said they intended to promote, they should also include, grace, lyricism, artistry, choreography, performance, music, costume, as well as athleticism and technical skill.

It's one thing to know there are a lot of gay skaters and to accept them on the down-low. Quite another to fully embrace them openly and normally without fanfare, and in equal proportion to those who are straight male skaters. To pretend that Skate Canada and other federations do not publicly have hang-ups about the sport being identified as "gay" is simply head-in-the-sand excuse-making. I think that the more the sport tries to present itself as macho, in fact, the more trouble they have pr-wise. Celebrate everything and everyone equally and promote the fact that there are all kinds of human beings drawn to this powerful, tough, tender, beautiful sport! It's simply not true to claim that fs is a sport where you can be "openly gay and successful." Ask Rudy Galindo, ask Johnny Weir. They were successful, in spite of ... All the other gay, still in-the-closet champions also disprove the claim by SC (as indeed does Patrick Chan's declaration during an interview that he is not gay. Why did he feel it necessary to make that clear? And if he was asked by a journalist, why was he asked?) Why not truly embrace and accept as a matter of course, everyone, and not try to tell young skaters that they need to wear more masculine costumes? Thanks to Johnny Weir and others, some of that "masculine costume" nonsense is changing.

Again, a wonderful tribute by Jamie's father. Please may Jamie's life not have been lived in vain. This is not a time to be quiet, head-in-the-sand, status quo. SC statement after Jamie's death was definitely apropos, but maybe, just maybe not nearly enough.

Moka-Ananas
10-23-2011, 04:29 AM
Fine, overedge, and thanks for pointing out SC "clearing up" how their "tough" pr approach was "skewed," read "misinterpreted."

No problem with emphasizing the "strength, power, speed, and risk" involved in fs. It is important for the sport to educate viewers about all aspects of the sport, which the ISU and feds have failed to do for decades because of the ingrained elitist attitudes of many running/ ruining the sport. Okay, fine, fs is not an easy sport and that needs to be widely discussed and promoted. But just as everyone who makes up the sport should be embraced, all aspects of what makes the sport great, should be embraced and celebrated. So in addition to the qualities SC said they intended to promote, they should also include, grace, lyricism, artistry, choreography, performance, music, costume, as well as athleticism and technical skill.

It's one thing to know there are a lot of gay skaters and to accept them on the down-low. Quite another to fully embrace them openly and normally without fanfare, and in equal proportion to those who are straight male skaters. To pretend that Skate Canada and other federations do not publicly have hang-ups about the sport being identified as "gay" is simply head-in-the-sand excuse-making. I think that the more the sport tries to present itself as macho, in fact, the more trouble they have pr-wise. Celebrate everything and everyone equally and promote the fact that there are all kinds of human beings drawn to this powerful, tough, tender, beautiful sport! It's simply not true to claim that fs is a sport where you can be "openly gay and successful." Ask Rudy Galindo, ask Johnny Weir. They were successful, in spite of ... All the other gay, still in-the-closet champions also disprove the claim by SC. Why not truly embrace and accept as a matter of course, everyone, and not try to tell young skaters that they need to wear more masculine costumes? Thanks to Johnny Weir and others, some of that "masculine costume" nonsense is changing.

Again, a wonderful tribute by Jamie's father. Please may Jamie's life not have been lived in vain. This is not a time to be quiet, head-in-the-sand, status quo. SC statement after Jamie's death was definitely apropos, but maybe, just maybe not nearly enough.

THIS! :respec:

oakl0008
10-23-2011, 04:39 AM
Aftershocks is awesome.

overedge
10-23-2011, 04:50 AM
It's one thing to know there are a lot of gay skaters and to accept them on the down-low. Quite another to fully embrace them openly and normally without fanfare, and in equal proportion to those who are straight male skaters. To pretend that Skate Canada and other federations do not publicly have hang-ups about the sport being identified as "gay" is simply head-in-the-sand excuse-making.

Don't twist my words. I did not say that SC is not hung up about the sport being perceived as gay. But it seems they and other federations can't win. If they try to present the sport as an athletic sport, they get slammed for not acknowledging the more artistic aspects of the sport. If they talk about the sport being artistic, they get slammed for not treating it as a serious sport.


I think that the more the sport tries to present itself as macho, in fact, the more trouble they have pr-wise.

And I think the trouble is more with how the world at large perceives the sport. There is only so much the federations or the athletes can do to counteract the attitudes out there. Some people are going to believe that all figure skaters are gay and that the sport is for gays and not macho men, no matter what evidence is presented to them or how the sport markets itself.


as indeed does Patrick Chan's declaration during an interview that he is not gay. Why did he feel it necessary to make that clear?

I don't know. Why don't you ask him?

aftershocks
10-23-2011, 05:33 AM
Yes, there is only so much we can do, if we are afraid to take a stand and make a concerted and genuine effort to do more. With heads in the sand, it might be a bit hard to think of anything to do other than to make excuses. To me, the "trouble" is more with how the sport perceives and tends to conform to cultural/ societal attitudes, biases.

Maybe SC could start by setting up a scholarship in Jamie's name ... maybe make an effort to truly reach out to his parents and learn more about this young man and his short life. Maybe we can individually look at our own lives, attitudes, and think about what we can each do in our every day lives to accept and celebrate the unique differences of each other, especially young people, and thereby maybe begin to help young people become more accepting of each other's differences as well as the things we all have in common.

Maybe Jamie's life will not have been lived in vain, if his life and death help save the lives of other young people, and maybe by not just reading and forgetting about Jamie's story, the fs community and society as a whole can begin to change our fearful, antiquated attitudes that still permeate and isolate, and lead vulnerable young people to a choice that doesn't allow a second chance.

skatesindreams
10-23-2011, 04:20 PM
aftershocks, thanks for expressing your feelings so eloquently in this thread.
I hope for; and await the day, when sexual preference will be a "non-issue" in skating/society; and when the varied ways in which ideas can be expressed within this "artistic sport" will be equally respected/valued by judges and public, alike.

We have a long way to go.

manhn
10-23-2011, 05:25 PM
Aftershocks is awesome.

No, they aren't. Quit using this thread as yet another attack on a skating federation.

aftershocks
10-23-2011, 06:21 PM
Stop for a moment and contemplate what happened to Jamie.

I stand by everything I've said here ... no attacks intended. If taken that way, please stop and think for a moment about the distress of a young man who chose to end his life.

Judge me if you must and throw sand on what I've said. Forgive me those of you who might feel this is not the place to voice what I've said. If here is not the right place to express these thoughts in light of what this young man experienced, then where, and when? Think beyond, "Aftershocks is awesome" or, "I don't like Aftershocks." Ignore me and my user name, and think about Jamie for a moment.

I agree, skatesindreams, a long way to go for us all...

My deepest condolences to Jamie's family.

The Accordion
10-23-2011, 07:06 PM
Why did Patrick Chan say that he was not gay? Maybe because he is not but is so often assumed to be.

I started my teaching career at the junior high level and not long after I made it clear that no one in my class was allowed to say things like "that's gay" or other gay slurs or in my drama class portray gay characters in a non-respectful manner - it was a well known "fact" that I was a lesbian.

But I'm not. And I didn't want people thinking something about me that wasn't true. In fact when Mr Accordion and I first started seeing each other he was told that I wouldn't be interested.

It doesn't make me homophobic that I wanted to set the record straight (no pun intended). And I don't see any problem with straight figure skaters wanting to do the same.

Do I think they and the media sometimes go overboard - focusing on the girlfriends and wives of male figure skaters? Sure. But as someone who was mis-identified for several years - I can see where it is coming from.

viennese
10-23-2011, 07:16 PM
This breaks my heart. He sounded like a wonderful kid, someone I'd be proud to count among my friends.

tapper88
10-23-2011, 07:17 PM
Battle of the Blades is dedicating this show to Jamie Hubley- how wonderful.

Such a sad story.. :(

skatesindreams
10-23-2011, 07:17 PM
The Accordion,

Entire post:
:respec:

nlloyd
10-23-2011, 07:30 PM
The Accordion, I think the question to ask is why Patrick feels the need to clarify this. What would does it matter whether he's perceived to be gay or not. Surely it's a concern only to potential dates/partners.

Mahn, I'm quite surprised by your defense of the figure skating federations. They are responsible for creating the image of the sport. If they are beyond reproach, why have gay skaters felt so leery about coming out? I realize that the federations can't eradicate homophobia, which is a far-reaching social problem, but surely it's their responsibility to attempt to do that in the figure skating world so as to include all their skaters? I don't see them doing that right now. They seem cautiously to follow public opinion and even then to be a step or two behind it.