Here's the clip:
I don't see anything effeminate in men dancing. Warriors were also dancers.
I also resent the family-friendly crap where the ideal family = white mom dad son daughter. There's allllll kinds of families hellllllllooooooooo! Sheesh.
PLUSHENKO YOU ARE ALWAYS THE BEST
Mainly, I am annoyed and disgusted that she painted Keegan as some kind of homophobe because "he wants to tell me about his busted car and half-busted truck, his solo winter camping and downhill mountain biking." Here's Keegan being interviewed and he probably thought that Braverman was interested in learning about him. "So, tell me about your hat..." "Tell me about being from Alaska..." or whatever. Instead, she lured him into an expose'. I don't think he said anything wrong.
That article was as offensive in its' slanted assumption that all skaters MUST be gay; as others have been in the assumption that gay skaters did not exist.
I think folks need to accept skating as an effeminate sport, no matter how some would like to deny it. No matter how Elvis Stojko or Michael Weiss want to butch it up, it ain't happening. Until we get past it, we will continue to have this dark cloud over our sport.
I just wish the article and the Newsweek one stress more of this, instead both continuously make huge assumptions on how bad our sport is. It’s a disservice to portray how sad and gloomy our sport is without suggesting solutions or providing the positives; it may discourage any young skater to take up skating, IMO.
Last edited by Fan123; 02-03-2014 at 12:19 AM.
This is a very interesting article. How I'm understanding this is:
- a large majority of people outside the world of skating simply assume that all male skaters are gay
- a large majority of people outside the world of skating have difficulty accepting skating as a sport - costumes with feathers and sequins for men and women, more like a predetermined beauty contest, etc.
- a large majority of people inside the world of skating know that there are some male skaters that are gay - maybe 25% to 50% (I'm thinking probably more in the men's discipline vs dance and pairs)
- a large majority of male skaters, perhaps as many as 75%, are straight
- society as a whole continues to struggle with acceptance of LGBT; there are certainly a few blatantly, openly, vocally anti-LGBT groups of people, but there are many who will say nothing unless asked and then voice their displeasure, and then even more who will support some LGBT issues like equal pay and benefits and marriage and adoption, but will still not be terribly comfortable with the LGBT lifestyle or have friends in LGBT community. We haven't yet reached a point where LGBT are just people, not "a community". I think it will take a few generations before we get there.
- the skating federations in North America, in an attempt to correct public negative misperception and make it easier for more boys/men to participate in the sport and broaden the overall appeal of the sport, have tried to correct the public perception by emphasizing straight messages ("see? we're not that gay afterall"), and downplaying evidence of "gayness" in the sport.
The strategy of the federations is not working. When your sport continues to be the butt of jokes that reinforce the stereotypes, boys/men are actively discouraged by their families and peers not to participate, and people just don't take the sport seriously as a sport, your strategy is not working. When people are still talking about a sport in terms of sexual preference instead of the sport itself, your strategy is not working.
So how do we overcome this, while meeting the needs of all skaters? I think the federations need to spend more time highlighting how their skaters are extreme athletes. In Canada, I think Battle of the Blades has done wonders to dispel public misperceptions and myths. When you measure a skater's fitness next to a hockey player, or track athlete, or pick your sport, you will find that skaters are extreme athletes. We need to do more to educate through creative and interesting approaches how athletic one needs to be to perform lifts (hint: the secret of a lift is not so much the man, but the core strength of the lady), the cardio required, the all over conditioning required to make things look so easy and artistic, the difficulty in skating close together at high speeds while managing details like pointed toes and fingers, etc.. In other words, let's educate about the sport of skating. And when skating is actually shown on TV, make sure there are commentators that will speak about how COP works, and why marks are being awarded in a certain way. Expand the use of online streaming of events, especially when coverage is lacking on TV, but make sure there are good commentators to speak to what is happening and why. COP is not hard to understand at all, certainly not at a conceptual level. And I do think perhaps we need to scale back the importance of costumes, as much fun as it is for some of us to see what people come up with. I actually like the suggestion of keeping everything simple, clean and black (or navy), free of feathers and sequins. One would certainly see the lines better that way, and the emphasis will be on the skating and interpretation, not the clothing. And the sport needs more clean up on the judging side so that results can be trusted as being real and verifiable, as opposed to predetermined. If I read some of the other threads on this and other boards, one would think there is no reason to actually run the ice dance event. It's been already determined. I certainly hope that isn't the case, but given some of the nonsense scores this season in ice dance, I can't be entirely sure. If the sport of skating wants to be taken seriously, it must behave like a serious sport, and have integrity. And the federations could do a better job of actively promoting its athletes. Right now, in Canada, we have 2 ice dance teams in the top 5 in the world (1 already an Olympic champion), 2 pairs teams in the top 5 in the world, a man consistently on the podium at worlds, and a couple of up and coming interesting, marketable young ladies. All of these people are great champions of the sport, and outstanding role models that so many people could relate to. The CanFund calendar features MTM, and highlighting their incredible physique, along with other Canadian athletes from other sports. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8797571...57636394379944 We need to promote our athletes as great athletes, and make sure the public knows about them as great athletes and role models. And this doesn't need to just happen with the top athletes, but with lots of them in their local communities down the levels as well. With a combined approach at the top level and the grassroots, in concert with other sports, I think the federations will find they will have much more success in changing public perception and being respected as a sport over time.
I remember an interview Johnny did for ESPN magazine, whose main demographic is presumably straight men. The writer (a very butch guy) asked Johnny to meet him at a nail salon, where they got manicures and pedicures. Apparently the only reason for this is that Johnny is very effeminate. At one point in the article, as if trying to educate his straight male readers (and justify interviewing a skater for a sports magazine), the writer points out that he can see the veins in Johnny's arm, and "this is a very fit athlete." Later, on the video, Johnny casually asks the writer if he likes to get pedicures. The writer says he's never had one before. Johnny asks why not. The writer says "it never seemed very manly." Johnny asks the writer, "then why did you want to meet here?" Johnny says something like, "Would you meet a baseball player at a salon?" The writer says he'd probably meet him at his home or the stadium. Obviously Johnny was trying to make a point. Reading this story online, I saw that many of the comments demanded to know why ESPN had decided to cover a figure skater.
Some nutbag group is already warning parents that they shouldn't let their kids watch NBC's coverage with Johnny commentating unsupervised. Apparently he's going to pop out a glittery laser wand and hypnotize them all into being gay via brain waves or something when their parents aren't watching. IDK, the whole thing makes me sad. And frustrated.
I would love to see Johnny pointing out jump errors with a glittery laser wand! How whee! Whee! Go Johnny go! :-)
PLUSHENKO YOU ARE ALWAYS THE BEST
Because of the shoes and the skating costumes kept in a skaters closet, you could literally spend hours in one trying stuff on. Who would want to come out? If it had a refrigerator and internet connection, I may bolt the door shut!
How did figure skating get labeled the gayest sport? According to the stereotype most elite female athletes are presumed to be dykes, except for figure skaters and a few other "artistic" sports. Men are a decided minority in figure skating, partly because of the effeminate stigma, but mainly because most of them are not physically suited to the sport.
I agree figure skating might be the most effeminate sport due to the costumes, but is homophobia in sports primarily a figure skating problem?
I'm not even sure why the men's costumes are a problem anymore. Some of those NBA and NFL players get pretty decorative with their hairdos, jewelry, tattoos, and bandanas. They were all sporting shiny silver thermal jackets at the Superbowl.
Most female athletes that are going to be on camera have hair and make-up to rival any figure skater. Elite sports are also show bizz.
Last edited by aliceanne; 02-04-2014 at 02:55 PM.
How about Joe namaths giant fur coat?? Weir fur gay. Namath fur - straigt!!
The headline on the actual article makes it clear that the article is about men's skating so the thread title that Figure Skating is the Gayest sport doesn't reflect the actual article which says, "Why Is The World’s Gayest Sport Stuck In The Closet? Men’s figure skating has always been caught between its public image and its conservative culture. But with anti-LGBT policies haunting the Sochi Olympics, the sport’s biggest stars are under more pressure than ever to set the record straight. "
I finally got around to reading the whole article. I feel that it is too one-dimensional in focusing on homophobia when a lot of the problems are in relation to gender roles, patriarchy, and sexism. Of course homophobia is part of that mix but it leaves out a lot by not touching on those other factors to any significant degree.
“I am happy that it’s over. Happy that I did well.” Yu Na Kim
Could you provide concrete examples of how North American skating federations have really downplayed the evidence of “gayness” in the sport?Originally Posted by NorthernDancers
But why the yearning to change though? We’re blatantly saying there’s something wrong with being gay or effeminate, sounds we're homophobic ourselves.Originally Posted by NorthernDancers
So you don’t think effeminate Yuzuru Hanyu to be athletic?Originally Posted by NorthernDancers
Concrete examples? That's the point of the article, isn't it? How USFS (and I'll say Skate Canada) are deliberately creating a climate where "coming out" is not seen as a good career move, not talking against Russian laws, toning down costume choices, etc.? I'm not as familiar with USFS, but the article seems to paint a picture of exactly this. While the general public thinks all men are gay in figure skating, the sport (ie. federations) seem to be in denial that anyone is gay in figure skating (ie. "gayest sport is stuck in the closet"). There was a specific campaign by Skate Canada a couple of years ago, later denied after a backlash, where straight athletes were highlighted to show the general public that the sport isn't very gay at all in order to try to change attitudes and encourage more boys to join.
Why change? Are you kidding? Because the current perception that all men are gay in figure skating is hurting both gay and straight athletes. It is discouraging talented young men from participating in a sport because of the public perception. Because both gay and straight boys get teased and beaten up - the gay boys because they are gay and figure skate, and the straight boys because they are assumed to be gay and figure skate. Because many parents (especially fathers) won't allow their boys to figure skate because of their own perceptions and/or fear of what others might think. Because, ultimately, framing a sport in terms of one's sexual orientation cheapens and undermines the sport and the real accomplishments of these young athletes. Because being the butt of jokes on late-night TV, and just about everywhere, is the opposite of respect for the sport. We need to take the focus off sexual orientation and put it onto the sport itself. Athletes will be gay or straight. But they are all athletes. And this is the SPORT of skating. Just like there are gay and straight football players - but they are all athletes. Just like there are gay and straight basketball players - but no one questions the sport of basketball, or the fact they are all athletes. It's not about their sexual orientation, but what they do.
And being a great athlete is just that. It doesn't matter if an athlete is gay or straight. If you are going to do a quad and land on one foot on a slim blade, you need to be in great physical shape: core muscles, leg muscles, coordination, power etc. The average elite figure skater of any discipline will spend a number of hours a day on ice, burning thousands of calories, and then spend a couple more hours in the gym, in yoga, in dance, etc. Put any successful figure skater on the international stage next to any other elite athlete, you will find respect between athletes. Every single hockey player on Battle of the Blades comes away from the experience with a whole new respect for the toughness and athleticism of figure skaters. It's what I love about the CanFund calendar shoot. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8797571...57636394379944 You can't look at MTM and not see how incredibly built they both are, and how they are every bit athletes like the other athletes/sports highlighted in the calendar. When the conversation is constantly tuned to what it takes to be a figure skater, on the sport of skating, on what's involved in the sport, on education about the sport, on the benefits of being involved in the sport, then I think respect for the sport will rise. I'm sure there are all kinds of ways to promote cross-sport understanding at the highest levels and the grassroots levels. It's not about masculine or effeminate. If Yuzuru Hanyu can jump a quad, he has to have some athletic ability. He has to train to be able to do that. Let's focus on his athletic ability rather than whether or not some people think he is masculine or effeminate, which has nothing to do with the SPORT of skating. Yuzuru, and all of these wonderful skaters, gay or straight, are first and foremost athletes. And they deserve to be respected as athletes.