Kaitlyn Weaver hopes her coming out story finally breaks figure skating's female archetype

gkelly

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Pairs would have to be significantly redesigned to accommodate the elements for two people who are closer in size - even if you had same-sex pairs with individuals who had a substantial size differential.

I've had some thoughts about this from a technical/elements point of view and would be interested to discuss. In a separate thread.

Some previous threads on the subject:
 

Lemonade20

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I've had some thoughts about this from a technical/elements point of view and would be interested to discuss. In a separate thread.

Some previous threads on the subject:
Thanks for sharing!
 

sap5

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I definitely think that same sex teams/competitions should be a thing at younger levels to give all the girls who statistically simply cannot find a male partner (because their aren't any) a chance to enjoy and compete dance. Although the boys division would be pretty deplete as sadly there's not enough boys to go around as it is, let alone if they team up together.
I'd like to know what needs to change to get more boys into the sport.
 

PeterG

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I'm glad skaters are feeling more comfortable coming out and being themselves and being open about being themselves.

I'm a boring AF straight woman - what does queer precisely mean? I always understood it to be an umbrella term or in use as opposed to saying you are gay or lesbian? I don't mean to be disrespectful, I've always been confused by it as a usage of sexuality.

I agree with previous posters who have said that using the word queer is reclaming a word which was once (and still is) used as a slur.

I also agree that queer is used to mean "anything other than heterosexual".

What I will add is that some people use queer as an umbrella term that works effectively to avoid being labelled, or squished into a little box straight society has oh-so-graciously allowed non-heteros. Like the world moved to accept (1) straights and (2) gays. But there are lot of people who either don't fit into a box which society accepts...or don't want to play by straight society's over-powering rules as to what at this moment is and is not acceptable to them. So "queer" can be whatever the f!!! the user wants it to be. And referring to one's self as queer is for some a somewhat pissed off "F!!! YOU" to those who insist on living in a world of labels and judgements, people (heteros) who are happy to be confined to their (socially acceptable) little boxes...and by doing so push others (whether purposefully or inadvertently) into a life of confinement.
 

AJ Skatefan

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I agree with previous posters who have said that using the word queer is reclaming a word which was once (and still is) used as a slur.

I also agree that queer is used to mean "anything other than heterosexual".

What I will add is that some people use queer as an umbrella term that works effectively to avoid being labelled, or squished into a little box straight society has oh-so-graciously allowed non-heteros. Like the world moved to accept (1) straights and (2) gays. But there are lot of people who either don't fit into a box which society accepts...or don't want to play by straight society's over-powering rules as to what at this moment is and is not acceptable to them. So "queer" can be whatever the f!!! the user wants it to be. And referring to one's self as queer is for some a somewhat pissed off "F!!! YOU" to those who insist on living in a world of labels and judgements, people (heteros) who are happy to be confined to their (socially acceptable) little boxes...and by doing so push others (whether purposefully or inadvertently) into a life of confinement.
What Peter said!
 

Orm Irian

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I'd like to know what needs to change to get more boys into the sport.
Getting rid of homophobia throughout society in general would probably be a good start.
And referring to one's self as queer is for some a somewhat pissed off "F!!! YOU" to those who insist on living in a world of labels and judgements, people (heteros) who are happy to be confined to their (socially acceptable) little boxes...and by doing so push others (whether purposefully or inadvertently) into a life of confinement.
Indeed, as the old saying goes: Not gay as in happy, but queer as in f*** you!
 

mikeko

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What amuses me is that gay men like the two guys of TLS and Johnny Weir, who has fought against the macho male skater's stereotype throughout his career, classify female skaters who are very athletic and don't fit the elegant ice princess stereotype like Meagan and Kaori as "second-class".
 

skatingguy

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What amuses me is that gay men like the two guys of TLS and Johnny Weir, who has fought against the macho male skater's stereotype throughout his career, classify female skaters who are very athletic and don't fit the elegant ice princess stereotype like Meagan and Kaori as "second-class".
But they're consistent in their preference, whether men or women, for more elegant, polished skaters over athletic skaters.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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Pairs would have to be significantly redesigned to accommodate the elements for two people who are closer in size - even if you had same-sex pairs with individuals who had a substantial size differential.
I'm reminded of the time Kurt Browning posed with Yao Ming, China's tallest basketball player. The two foot height difference got me wondering that if Ming skated pairs, they could have been the first pair to complete a split quintuple twist lift.
 

quartz

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I'm reminded of the time Kurt Browning posed with Yao Ming, China's tallest basketball player. The two foot height difference got me wondering that if Ming skated pairs, they could have been the first pair to complete a split quintuple twist lift.
There’s a picture out there somewhere of Kirsten Moore-Towers with hockey player Zdeno Chara, ummm…..2014 Olympics? I think? There’s about a two foot difference as well.
 

maatTheViking

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I'm reminded of the time Kurt Browning posed with Yao Ming, China's tallest basketball player. The two foot height difference got me wondering that if Ming skated pairs, they could have been the first pair to complete a split quintuple twist lift.

I once did a little online learning on human evolution, and a phrase that struck me was 'differences between individuals is far greater than sexual dimorphism within the human species'.

I think pairs/dance for same sex or beyond the gender binary could work quite well.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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There’s a picture out there somewhere of Kirsten Moore-Towers with hockey player Zdeno Chara, ummm…..2014 Olympics? I think? There’s about a two foot difference as well.
I'm pretty sure anyone standing beside KMT would be a two foot difference. That girl is a Barbie doll.
 

PeterG

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I wanted to add one other thing about being "queer". Which I'm a little uncomfortable with as I was hoping someone who identified with that term would speak on this topic better than myself. But as that hasn't happened, I will try (perhaps stumblingly) through my last thought, which is about fluidity.

I believe that some people who identify as queer also use this term as it is open to differences and (personal) change. That one loves who they fall in love with...and gender and/or sex are not reasons as to why they fell in love (or be in a relationship with... whoever). ("LOVE" might not necessarily be a requirement for everyone). That's one example of fluidity.

Another is that some feel that a loving relationship that works for them might not always be between them and just one other person (thrupples and maybe other examples which I've yet to learn about).

A third example of fluidity is that what is true for one at present might not be true for them at different times of their lives. To claim a specific term to label one's self might not be truthful if one knows that at a previous time of their lives, their situation was not as it is now. And that they want space in the future to be whatever works for them at that time. So "queer" can eliminate various restrictions about who, when and how one can express love/affection for a person or people in their lives.

ETA: I think queer can also be used by allies to express support and oppose oppressive beliefs and systems. It is possible that some cisgender heterosexuals refer to themselves as queer, even though they have a spouse of the opposite gender, 2.4 kids, a house in the suburbs and a white picket fence. And they knew that to always be their truth...and they feel it always will be. So not exactly "queer" in any way, but perhaps for some, queer is a state of mind, a loving, open spirit. :)
 
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Theatregirl1122

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I agree with most of your post but would not agree agree with your ETA. A cisgender heterosexual identifying as queer would be appropriating the term. It is not a word for them and they should not be using it. That’s why we have the word “ally.” That would be akin to a white person saying they “have their black card.”

That being said, the term queer is definitely meant to signify a belief that the “traditional” heteronormative lifestyle but in a same gender relationship is not what LGBTQ+ people need to aspire to. That in having to find a space for ourselves outside of the mainstream, we developed a life that was more open, more accepting, more loving, and more genuine than heteronormative society, which forced everyone into the same box, and that trying to now forget our lives into that same box but with same gender partners (and no other, broader sense of community) is a loss, not a win.

This is not to say that there’s something wrong with marriage and children, but we don’t need to make ourselves acceptable to straight society by insisting that marriage and children is now the only way to be LGBTQ+ or by requiring that marriage and children for us look the same as it has looked for straight people.

Queer means we don’t abandon members of the community to conform to straight society as soon as straight society opens a side door as long as we follow all of their rules.
 

sadya

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Thank you for explaining that. I keep discovering that what I deemed normal, was wrong and I didn't even realise it. I have learnt a lot from LGBTplus friends and acquaintances, but the most I learnt from my son. Still learning every day, one of our friends told us they are non-binary and it reminded me how little our understanding is about these topics. When I was in my 20s, I read a funny quote of Oscar Wilde in a book about fashion. I had never heard about him before, but because of that funny quote I looked for his books in our libary and became a fan. Reading his biographies and reading about other gay celebrities, I thought now I knew everything about gay people. I imagined I was an open person and had no prejudices at all. It turned out I was still quite misinformed about LGBTplus people!

For example, I wanted to have a gay male friend so he could join me on shopping trips, advise me on decorating my home and we would make fun of nasty people together. I imagined that is what gay men did. Yes, I know, that was at least cringy and quite awful. I didn't even realise it! When my son was 17 he came out, I explained my fantasy gay male friend and then I learnt how ridicilous I was, how wrong and that that was actually a prejudice I had without realising . . . "Mum, what is wrong with you? How can you possibly think all gay men are like that?" etc. He took me to a place called The Hang-Out 010. I met many different LGBTplus people there. I realised then that I barely knew anything about them, that I had believed the cliché characteristics they were given in the media and stories, and that they are just as different and diverse as hetero people. And that biographies aren't always accurate either btw.

Perhaps it's because they know what it's like to be different and not easily accepted, but I have been treated better by most LGBTplus people than by hetero people. Ethnically I have a different background and I never had a day in my life without being called names and told I didn't belong here, when growing up. Even now as an adult there are people who say these kinds of things. Most LGBTplus people however accept me as I am (clothes and all). With all the haters saying that LGBTplus people are a danger and negative influence to children, to society, etc I often found more humanity when I spent time with LGBTplus people than with hetero people. Or perhaps it seems like that because of the people in my life, I'm not sure.

Anyway, all these coming out stories are important because they help create understanding. Isn't it ridicilous that many of us know so little about LGBTplus people even though they have always been part of our world too?
 

starrynight

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I think that some stereotypes just come from getting exposure through film and television. Which, honestly is hardly documentary style!

No lie, when I was a child, I honestly thought that ALL people in the USA were really rich and lived in huge mansions like Home Alone or Father of the Bride because those were the films I watched.

And maybe others can comment more, but recently I went back and watched a bunch of 90s/early 2000s rom coms. I did notice a lot of stereotyping of the gay characters - you know girls best friend, into fashion, shopping etc. But my impression in the context of the films was that they were (albeit clumsily) actually trying to do something positive for the times. Society (at least in sections of the modern world) has evolved a lot though.

Of course, the portrayal of everything else in these films was ridiculous too :lol: so the gay characters weren't just being selected out for special one dimensional treatment.

I think one example was in Sweet Home Alabama where somehow local man Bobby Ray who lived in a small Alabama town as a tour guide wearing jeans and a flannel shirt somehow immediately recognised the scent of Chanel No 5. I mean maybe he was secretly visiting the perfume counter at the shops in the big cities. But I think now people would understand that you could still be a gay male and interested in country life and local history without a secret high fashion passion. But there was a lot of positive messaging in that film about how his friends still accepted him and how it was unkind for Reece Witherspoon's character to out him against his will. (In fact it was probably the only sensible plot line in that film :lol: )
 

Sylvia

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I started a separate GSD thread for the Olympic Channel's podcast that features Nick McCarvel's recent conversation with Kaitlyn, Paul & Jason:

SkateProud's IG Live tomorrow, Thursday, July 1 at 12 noon Eastern time, will feature Kaitlyn: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQquWmsL082/

Links to listen to Kaitlyn on today's episode of the IceLab podcast, recently launched by Michael Marinaro and Trennt Michaud:
 

Sylvia

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SkateProud's IG Live chat between Javier Raya & Kaitlyn earlier today (24 mins.): https://www.instagram.com/tv/CQypftUq6Gs/

Kaitlyn was on The Sheldon Kennedy Show – Episode 4 (Recorded on June 21st, 2021):
 

ErikWilliam

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I think one example was in Sweet Home Alabama where somehow local man Bobby Ray who lived in a small Alabama town as a tour guide wearing jeans and a flannel shirt somehow immediately recognised the scent of Chanel No 5. I mean maybe he was secretly visiting the perfume counter at the shops in the big cities. But I think now people would understand that you could still be a gay male and interested in country life and local history without a secret high fashion passion. But there was a lot of positive messaging in that film about how his friends still accepted him and how it was unkind for Reece Witherspoon's character to out him against his will. (In fact it was probably the only sensible plot line in that film :lol: )
I know it's irrational, but I stopped liking Reese Witherspoon because I saw SHA and how she treated Bobby Ray. It wasn't that I can't distinguish a movie from real life, but it seemed so out of character for Reese's character to out him in such a way. I always thought she was bright and had a head on her shoulders, and if the script called for her outing her best friend, she could have thought up a better way. She was just hateful in that movie. It was no wonder the town sided with the gay guy. Uggh. I dunno, I didn't hate Reese in that Tracy Flick movie, since many of us could identify with Tracy Flick. But in SHA, it was too much for my senses, at least.
 

Japanfan

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Re getting more boys into the sport - homophobia is a barrier. Many people see figure skating as a 'gay' sport for men. I know two guys who will automatically say something about homosexuality should I mention figure skating. One friend will watch the ladies, but never the men - as if he might catch the gay 'disease' just from watching. It's really sad.
 

ErikWilliam

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Re getting more boys into the sport - homophobia is a barrier. Many people see figure skating as a 'gay' sport for men. I know two guys who will automatically say something about homosexuality should I mention figure skating. One friend will watch the ladies, but never the men - as if he might catch the gay 'disease' just from watching. It's really sad.
I'm just asking, but to me it seems kids are just more open these days? Would a boy really listen to any homophobic insults? I was the first and only person in my high school to be 'out' over 30 years ago. Of course, I never cared what idiots thought. I'd imagine there would be more 'out there' people like me these days...
 

jenny12

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Re getting more boys into the sport - homophobia is a barrier. Many people see figure skating as a 'gay' sport for men. I know two guys who will automatically say something about homosexuality should I mention figure skating. One friend will watch the ladies, but never the men - as if he might catch the gay 'disease' just from watching. It's really sad.

Agreed. It is incredibly unfortunate. I know people whenever I mention figure skating, they talk about how all the male skaters are gay. I sometimes have automatically responded with "that's not true" when I probably should say "so what if they were?" The combination of homophobia and misogyny (since things that are associated with femininity are still seen as less substantial and weak) sadly keeps many boys from getting involved as Japanfan points out. I do think kids are probably more open these days but there's still a lot of toxic masculinity that prevails over many things.

Also, I agree with ErikWilliam that money is a big issue. It is still a comparatively expensive sport and so all of that coupled with sexist attitudes might dissuade some from getting involved.
 

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