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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    There are problems throughout our society and throughout professional sports, overedge. I don't think that figure skating has any less of a problem with being "tolerant and accepting of different sexualities" than other sports.
    Ahem. Look at how many athletes and officials have passed through all of professional baseball, professional football, professional basketball, and professional hockey in, say, the last 20 years. Then look at how many athletes and officials in those sports are out, or who came out after retiring. The numbers are very very small in proportion to the number of participants. There is no way that figure skating "has any less of a problem" with different sexualities than those sports do, if the anti-gay stigma is that strong in these sports.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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    gkelly, I don't think anyone ever said that they took the "tough" pr stance to mean that "gay athletes are not welcome in the sport." All athletes are welcome in the sport and generally will progress if they have talent, luck and financial resources. Historically tho', if athletes are gay, they have learned to hide it, and to mask it behind a more "masculine" approach to costumes and choreography. Very slowly that approach is beginning to change, but it still ain't politically correct for young athletes who are just beginning to discover who they are, to admit to being gay. Read Rudy Galindo's biography.

    Since the days of Sonja Henie, the sport has been more associated with being a female sport. Ironically, during the sport’s beginnings, in the days of long skirts, women were encouraged not to participate. The women who braved the challenges of participating, had their sexuality questioned. It has been more acceptable for "ladies" to be feminine and lyrical, rather than powerful and edgy. Maybe the ladies event would be more interesting and energized if the ladies were allowed to explore all aspects of who they are, just as some of the men have been trying to do. I don’t think “glitzy” costumes “distract from the sport underneath.” In figure skating, costumes, music and choreography are as important as athletic ability and presentation skills. Whether “glitzy,” sequined, simple, graphic, or all-black, costumes should be chosen to help reflect what the skater is attempting to express through the music and choreography.

    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    Ahem. Look at how many athletes and officials have passed through all of professional baseball, professional football, professional basketball, and professional hockey in, say, the last 20 years. Then look at how many athletes and officials in those sports are out, or who came out after retiring. ...
    You could say the same about figure skating, overedge. Maybe you don't feel that is the case in figure skating, or you think the problem is more prevalent in other sports. No surveys are available that I'm aware of. I think it is possible to count on the fingers of one hand athletes who have willingly come out as gay in figure skating, and the same goes for the other sports.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    I think it is possible to count on the fingers of one hand athletes who have willingly come out as gay in figure skating, and the same goes for the other sports.
    What's our definition/criteria for "coming out"? If we're only counting the current athletes who have enough prominence to garner national attention for being out, and have a desire to expose their personal lives to the national press, my count is zero. If we're counting the athletes who have introduced their same-sex s.o. to me, made a comment that clearly revealed their sexual preference, publicly macked on an individual of the same gender in a drunken post-competition public hook-up in the lobby of the hotel, posted pictures on their facebook of their same-sex s.o., or otherwise acknowledged their attraction to individuals of the same-sex, then I don't have enough fingers - but I would have no access to that level of information about football or basketball players or athletes in any other sport.

  4. #84
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    Yes, there are several former famous figure skaters who came out after retirement via writing a book, being outed unwillingly, or responding to a direct question from the press. And more recently, I would say there are two fs athletes with widespread name recognition who came out while still eligible and also have written books. There are obviously many more who are comfortable being open within the figure skating community regarding their sexuality, but are not widely known outside of fs, and apparently have no interest in speaking out (what good would it do them personally, and why should it matter). Maybe one day we will live in a world where none of this matters and who cares. Despite more relaxed attitudes within society in general toward same-sex partnerships, I think within fs it still is not politically correct to talk about it or be too open about it in a very public way. Maybe a sea change is coming slowly.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    You could say the same about figure skating, overedge. Maybe you don't feel that is the case in figure skating, or you think the problem is more prevalent in other sports. No surveys are available that I'm aware of. I think it is possible to count on the fingers of one hand athletes who have willingly come out as gay in figure skating, and the same goes for the other sports.
    You're missing the point - again. Sorry if this doesn't support your point of view, but there are many more athletes and officials that have been involved in professional football, professional basketball, professional baseball, and professional ice hockey in the past 25 years than have been involved in ice skating. And there are fewer "out" athletes in those sports than there are, or have been in skating. So the proportion of out athletes in those sports is much smaller than it is in skating, which to most reasonable people would suggest much stronger anti-gay biases or attitudes.

    This list goes back as far as 1976. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...r_sportspeople

    I didn't count the female ice hockey players, because they are not in professional leagues, but I see 5 basketball players/officials, 2 baseball players/officials, 2 hockey players, 5 football players/officials, and 7 ice skaters. So if skating is so anti-gay, why are there more "out" athletes than there are in other sports with many more participants?
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    So if skating is so anti-gay, why are there more "out" athletes than there are in other sports with many more participants?
    First, a wikipedia page is not exactly the world's most reliable resource, especially when we're attempting to make comparisons between a sport in which we know, like, everyone and their second cousin, and sports in which we know, like, no one. Personally, I don't know enough about the non-skaters on that list to evaluate the relative prominence of the athletes listed. For example, I'm not sure that David Wilson really counts as an "out skater." His prominence in the community comes from his work outside the competitive arena.

    Second, it's important that we consider confounding factors, especially when looking at that wikipedia list. What if there are a disproportionate number of figure skaters listed because:
    - figure skating fans are more likely to be interested in editing wikipedia pages than football fans
    - figure skating lost a disproportionate percentage of an entire generation to AIDS, at a time when infection strongly suggested transmission through same-sex sex
    - the demographics of figure skating fans overlaps with the demographics of people who like to read books, leading more former figure skaters to come out/be outed in books than former football players
    - there are a disproportionate percentage of figure skaters who are gay, either because the sport attracts youngsters who are gay, accepts youngster who are gay, and doesn't scare away youngsters who are gay/homophobic because skaters aren't naked in front of each other as often as football players are, or whatever reason
    - Scott Hamilton is a jerk who can't keep his mouth shut and outed a bunch of people who never wanted to be outed
    - there is a difference between the acceptance level within the community and from sponsors: community might be accepting, but sponsors aren't
    - and so on

    I'm not trying to argue that figure skating is "anti-gay" (I'm not sure what that means) or, um, "pro-gay" (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like the opposite of "anti-gay"). I'm just trying to point out that the argument about the general attitude of figure skating towards sexual orientation cannot be determined solely from a list of athletes who are "out" and that the number of athletes who have been outed is not a good measure of the attitude in the community.

    To make an actual argument: Yes, both U.S. Figure Skating and Skate Canada have a history of promoting images of heterosexuality among their male athletes. Yes, this history is problematic and involved considerable harm to athletes. But the cultures of both organizations has changed over time: as the generation of athletes who came of age during the first decade of the AIDS epidemic moved into supporting roles in the community, many of them came out immediately, refused to hide, and forced members of the community to readjust attitudes about homosexuality (I'm here, I'm me, how does the fact that I'm gay change how you feel about me?). Twenty years later, we have Senior Men who are quietly out and came out after they reached a high level, but we also have Novice and Junior Men who came of age in a generation where hiding their orientation is a foreign concept. Those skaters are going to come roaring into international competition in the next Olympic Quad without any idea how to hide their personal lives. Oh heck, that entire generation has no understanding of hiding their personal lives (hint: try adjusting the "privacy settings" on facebook; you'll thank me in twenty years, I promise).

    FWIW, which is not much, I think that Skate Canada intended the "Tough" campaign to emphasize the athleticism of figure skating in a country where hockey fights/games are the center of life, but the fact that the connection between "tough," "macho," and the association's history of homophobia did not occur to anyone at Skate Canada suggests straight privilege. It's possible to be heteronormative without being homophobic. And of course, Skate Canada is not a hive-borg-mind: the person who wrote the press release and arranged for the donation is certainly not the same PR firm that created the "Tough" campaign.

  7. #87
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    If the numbers that you can come up with are interesting to you, overedge, and you feel they support your point of view, wonderful. John Curry admitted to being gay in response to a direct question during a press conference after he won Olympic gold. Toller wrote about his private love affairs in his biographies. There are other gay athletes, coaches and officials in fs who are not on the wikipedia list, of course. The skating judge, Jon Jackson (I don't see him on the list), came out in the book he wrote about the world of figure skating. Not everyone has come out willingly (Brian Orser, e.g.), or with widespread publicity. I believe only Rudy Galindo (and recently Johnny Weir) publicly came out while still eligible skaters.

    None of this means that skating is either "anti-gay" or "pro-gay." Nor do the numbers (even regardless of how limited and incomplete they are) prove that figure skating has any less of a problem than other sports with confronting the issue publicly and fully accepting all their athletes, regardless of sexual preference. Of course there has tended to be more gossip and general acceptance of gay athletes privately behind-the-scenes in fs (but traditionally male skaters have always been encouraged to present themselves in as masculine a way as possible, especially on the ice). I don't see where anyone said that figure skating is "anti-gay" in any case. It is simply that the sport tends to run away from confronting the issue head-on in a positive and progressive way, and in a way that would win fs new fans and greater understanding of all the sport has to offer. To me, the main difference with the other major sports is that they are generally portrayed as macho sports to begin with, and a gay baseball player would likely not feel comfortable with revealing his sexuality behind-the-scenes, while fs athletes in some cases may be more comfortable in that respect behind-the-scenes. Most athletes in all major sports, including figure skating would probably prefer to play/ compete/ perform, and just be who they are as a matter of course, rather than talk about their sexuality, or be singled out for their differences.

    One day, let's hope we live in a world where being gay/ lesbian/ transgender/ or different in any number of ways and within all fields of endeavor, will be a non-issue, and young people like Jamie Hubley can be who they are, share their special gifts, and live their lives with joy and freedom from the fear of being bullied.

    Thanks for your enlightening posts, 5Ali3.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5Ali3
    ... the general attitude of figure skating towards sexual orientation cannot be determined solely from a list of athletes who are "out" ...
    Last edited by aftershocks; 10-24-2011 at 03:45 AM.

  8. #88
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    What a heartbreaking story. My deepest sympathies to all of Jamie's family and friends.

    I also would like to point out that the phrase "committed suicide" is rather insensitive and is best avoided. It's much better to say "died of suicide" or "died by suicide." The following link discusses this matter well:

    http://www.suicide.org/stop-saying-c...d-suicide.html

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by aftershocks View Post
    If the numbers that you can come up with are interesting to you, overedge, and you feel they support your point of view, wonderful. .
    The numbers support my point of view, yes. And I have yet to see you provide any numbers or facts that support yours. If you choose not to understand the difference between the numbers of athletes and officials in 20 years in the professional sports that I mentioned, and the number of elite athletes and officials that participated in figure skating over the same time period, and the proportional difference in the number of out athletes in both groups - I would say that's sticking your head in the sand way more than the federations you are attacking.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Accordion View Post
    Why did Patrick Chan say that he was not gay? Maybe because he is not but is so often assumed to be.
    So true. Why not correct an untruth?

    What I want to know why some posters want to make all male skaters gay?
    This is just as bad as making all male skaters heterosexual.

    Accordion, your entire post was

  11. #91

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    fyi - Battle of the Blades last night was dedicated to Jamie's memory.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    The numbers support my point of view, yes.
    Statistical theory does not support your argument, based on the evidence that you've presented.

    I am not making a statement about whether your general point may be true. I am, however, stating that the evidence that you've presented violates every possible principle of theoretical statistics, starting with your sampling method and going downhill from there.

    (I think that I'll step out of this discussion, since I have little useful to contribute to the actual topic at this point. Sorry, some people can't stand when someone insults their favorite skater; I can't stand when someone misuses statistical theory... )

  13. #93

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    Battle of the Blades has videos up from cast members, choreographers, judges etc. dedicated to Jamie.
    http://www.cbc.ca/battle/2011/10/in-...ie-hubley.html

    There is also information on how to donate to the charity identified by his family and a link to leave a condolence message.
    Last edited by WildRose; 10-26-2011 at 08:39 PM. Reason: Added charity/condolence info

  14. #94

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    All of the messages were important.
    I was especially moved by Jeff Buttle.

  15. #95
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    Rick Mercer did a rant on his TV show that has just been uploaded to youtube:

    RMR: Rick's Rant - Teen Suicide

    Jamie gets mentioned at the end.
    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildRose View Post
    Battle of the Blades has videos up from cast members, choreographers, judges etc. dedicated to Jamie.
    http://www.cbc.ca/battle/2011/10/in-...ie-hubley.html

    There is also information on how to donate to the charity identified by his family and a link to leave a condolence message.
    It is almost palpable the pain that Shae Z and Jeff Buttle had even just watching the videos. I can't believe that bullying has such a deep rooted long lasting existence here in this country. Something has to be done!

    Love Jeremy Roenick, the tweeter girl, Anabelle and Brad and Kelly Chase's video. The delivered strong heartfelt message.

    I'd guess a lot of hockey players might have had their share of bullying others, and I would really like to hear that they admitted it and expressing being shamed for what they did on retrospect, and tell the bullies that it is not cool, and you'll pay for that. But I guess in reality that's far from true. Bully extends to adulthood, getting better but still exists. Shame.

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