Nathan Chen Fan Thread #2

VGThuy

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I've been seeing stuff floating around on twitter about this, and for me I didn't read into it the same things other people did (although I did think that was he said was...not good), but I can also see why people were upset. I think he's sincere about his apology, but I'm not sure that will matter to some. 🤷‍♀️
Some just want to find anything they can to bash him with. They're just using their "politics" as a means to an end. That said, I'm sure there were some who were sincerely upset at him and were hurt by his out-dated messaging (shades of Scott Hamilton) and his ignoring of the fact that LGBTQ individuals still have a hard time in this sport, many haven't come out or are still afraid to do so, and right now the community is facing attacks from the mainstream from all sorts of angles.
 

Alli84

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I mean, saying skating is a "fairly homosexual dominated sport" and talking about "females" is... not a great look.

ETA: and that's barely even scratching the surface. This thread is a good summary.
 
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VGThuy

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35,263
I mean, saying skating is a "fairly homosexual dominated sport" and talking about "females" is... not a great look.

ETA: and that's barely even scratching the surface. This thread is a good summary.
That thread is full of editorializing and assuming the worst out of him. I’m not defending what he’s saying but his apology seemed sincere and he acknowledged the harm he caused. Not everyone is knowledgeable about the correct language they use nor do they fully understand how harmful their words can be until it’s pointed out. He was taken to task for it and he apologized for it and even expressed what he should have said, which is everything that thread said he should have done. So clearly, he's open to learning and improving himself. If he had refused to apologize or if the apology didn’t acknowledge where he truly failed then they would have a point but it’s another bad faith take to paint people in the worst way possible and people are comfortable staying in their outrage lane. "Teaching" and learning is a two-way street.
 
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alchemy void

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Of course skating twitter would make this out to be a scandal. :rolleyes:

Don't get me wrong, Nathan's answer wasn't great (and it was a bad question in the first place). He definitely could have articulated his thoughts more clearly; I took his response generally as "be yourself, and skate to the music and in the style you're most comfortable skating."

THIS is really what they're choosing to be outraged over today? He said "homosexual" (before correcting to LGBTQ) and "female"? I fail to see how he implied that the more feminine, classical style is a bad thing or that he is stifled by homosexuality in the sport, as claimed by some of the twitter stans.
 

shine

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Nathan put up an interesting piece of commentary labeling figure skating as being feminine as opposed to hockey labeled as masculine. He apologized for a prior statement he had made during an interview yesterday.


Here's the source interview:

Honestly what did he say that was wrong in the first half of this clip (where he talked about the stereotyping of male skaters to be all be gay and the general public, at least American, preferring guys to be seen in more masculine light)? That's not HIS opinion, that's a literal fact. There's a reason why male figure skaters are so marginalized compared to female figure skaters and we'd be lying to ourselves if we disagreed. To me he's clearly saying that there SHOULDN'T be such stereotype and male skaters, gay or straight, should be seen under neutral light.

What I had more problem with--which I doubt was what he really meant--was the way he quickly went on to talk about the usage of classical music while discussing skating and the gay stereotype as if one indicated the other. I'm pretty sure he wasn't trying to suggest classical music is feminine (someone would have to be VERY ignorant to say that), but he just didn't articulate his thought process very well and should've been more clear that he was already talking about a separate issue (figure skating being seen as non-mainstream and a bit dated) than the original question about sexual orientation of male skaters.
 
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sk9tingfan

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Honestly what did he say that was wrong in the first half of this clip (where he talked about the stereotyping of male skaters to be all be gay and the general public, at least American, preferring guys to be seen in more masculine light)? That's not HIS opinion, that's a literal fact. There's a reason why male figure skaters are so marginalized compared to female figure skaters and we'd be lying to ourselves if we disagreed. To me he's clearly saying that there SHOULDN'T be such stereotype and male skaters, gay or straight, should be seen under neutral light.

What I had more problem with--which I doubt was what he really meant--was the way he quickly went on to talk about the usage of classical music while discussing skating and the gay stereotype as if one indicated the other. I'm pretty sure he wasn't trying to suggest classical music is feminine (someone would have to be VERY ignorant to say that), but he just didn't articulate his thought process very well and should've been more clear that he was already talking about a separate issue (figure skating being seen as non-mainstream and a bit dated) than the original question about sexual orientation of male skaters.
If you notice, I made no value judgment. I just put it out there
 

Alli84

Member
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Not everyone is knowledgeable about the correct language they use
It's just odd to see a 22 year-old use such outdated/offensive terminology. Especially one that's been marketed as a genius relentlessly over the past 4 years.

(...) he was already talking about a separate issue (figure skating being seen as non-mainstream and a bit dated) than the original question about sexual orientation of male skaters.

Except... listen back to the interview: that wasn't even what the question was about. Chen was the one making that jump immediately.

And how is the sport "fairly homosexual dominated" (sic), exactly? As far as we know, there is only a handful of LGBTQIA+ elite skaters.

If you truly didn't hear anything offensive in what Chen said, maybe you should remember Jason Brown, who did something incredibly brave just a month ago, and watch the video again while imagining yourself in his shoes.
 

VGThuy

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35,263
It's just odd to see a 22 year-old use such outdated/offensive terminology. Especially one that's been marketed as a genius relentlessly over the past 4 years.

You’d be surprised what people aren’t aware of honestly. I know 20 somethings in Ivy Leagues who aren’t aware that “oriental” and “homosexual” are outdated and offensive terms. Being intelligent doesn’t mean you are exposed to everything. Some people who may find it difficult to imagine people having different lived experiences than themselves need to learn not everyone learns these things at the same pace and rate and may have used their time doing other things. Just like how others know things and know how to do things they themselves may not know.
You’d be surprised what people aren’t aware of honestly. I know 20 somethings in Ivy Leagues who aren’t aware that “oriental” and “homosexual” are outdated and offensive terms. Being intelligent or even a genius doesn’t mean you are exposed to everything and know everything. Actually the more intelligent one is, the more understanding you are that people are exposed to different things at different times and the more you realize how much you don’t know. It’s people who think they know everything that are the ones who are mistaken about their own intelligence and expertise.

Some people who may find it difficult to imagine people having different lived experiences than themselves need to learn not everyone learns these things at the same pace and rate and may have used their time doing other things. Just like how others know things and know how to do things they themselves may not know.

Actually, I myself had to learn at an progressive-leaning academic conference back in like 2014 that “homosexual” itself was considered offensive by some circles and I knew an older gay guy who was also surprised to learn it was now an offensive term while “queer” was now accepted when back in his day his generation fought against the usage of the term “queer” and had no issues with “homosexual”. Maybe in fifteen-twenty years, terms that are accepted by 18-21 year olds now will be deemed offensive by the 5 year olds of today.

I also bet you Jason Brown himself, who knows Nathan, isn’t jumping on the hate bandwagon and assuming the worst about him or is questioning his intelligence.
 
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CaliSteve

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It's just odd to see a 22 year-old use such outdated/offensive terminology. Especially one that's been marketed as a genius relentlessly over the past 4 years.



Except... listen back to the interview: that wasn't even what the question was about. Chen was the one making that jump immediately.

And how is the sport "fairly homosexual dominated" (sic), exactly? As far as we know, there is only a handful of LGBTQIA+ elite skaters.

If you truly didn't hear anything offensive in what Chen said, maybe you should remember Jason Brown, who did something incredibly brave just a month ago, and watch the video again while imagining yourself in his shoes.

So what are trying to get at?
 

CaliSteve

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1,031
It's just odd to see a 22 year-old use such outdated/offensive terminology. Especially one that's been marketed as a genius relentlessly over the past 4 years.



Except... listen back to the interview: that wasn't even what the question was about. Chen was the one making that jump immediately.

And how is the sport "fairly homosexual dominated" (sic), exactly? As far as we know, there is only a handful of LGBTQIA+ elite skaters.

If you truly didn't hear anything offensive in what Chen said, maybe you should remember Jason Brown, who did something incredibly brave just a month ago, and watch the video again while imagining yourself in his shoes.

Maybe you should remember Rudy Galindo. He did something incredibly brave and against all odds he became the US Champ in 1996 and World's Bronze Medalist a few months later.
 

DreamSkates

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I am afraid one look at that crudely animated snowglobe illustration of yours only confirms my initial assumption was quite accurate.

No need to take offense,dear. Some of us have taste. Some of us simply do not.

-BB
And you are the be all, end all
Judge of “taste”?
 

Gris

Swiss Biologist Wilson Edwards
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I'd say what Nathan said is not good, especially the "LGBTQ dominated sport" part as it's far from the reality.

On the other hand though, people on Twitter blew it out of proportion by claiming he's homophobic or whatnot and I feel some people had been waiting for this "chance" to justify their hate on him for long.

Anyway, it's nice to see him apologize.
 

shine

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4,862
Maybe “dominated” is not the most accurate word but his particularly choice of words notwithstanding, are we seriously trying to argue against the fact that men’s figure skating/ice dance has a fairly high gay presence with some of the sports biggest names being openly gay, especially compared to other sports?? I can’t imagine why anyone would be offended by this statement unless it’s this fact itself that they have a problem with.
 

shine

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My problem with that part is that it overlooks the reality that homophobia is still rampant in figure skating.

"Fairly high gay presence" or not, figure skating is far from a safe place for LGBTQ people.
….which he never came close to suggesting. I took “dominated” to simply mean “there is a high number of” and “excelled at”. Of course, you are entitled to read into it however you want.
 
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Tahuu

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279
Here's a transcript:

Q: Is that a thing that happens to you all the time, where people just go, well, why don't you play hockey, simply because of the connotation [that] ice skating is feminine and the patriarchy said that hockey, because you're hitting each other, is masculine? Is that something that comes up?

N: Yes, certainly. Especially as a male athlete... as a straight male athlete in a... fairly... homosexual-dominated sport, or LGBTQ-dominated sport... I think that there is that connotation and there is that "Well we don't really wanna watch guys skate around," and [unintelligible] we'd rather watch hockey or... we'd rather watch females do that, which I think is... pretty messed up in itself... we're all doing this... for us, it's a genuine sport... we spend our whole lives trying to hone this craft... and to just sort of be belittled like that is not... something that is... generally taken lightly. But I think that... a lot of my friends who are trying to in a sense change the way that that's approached, because... traditionally speaking we always skate to a lot of classic pieces, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that, I think that's absolutely fine, I think [if] that's something you're passionate about, that you connect with, that's totally cool, but I think there can be pieces out there, some of my friends and skaters like... more pop or hip hop style songs and that generates a lot more interest, like, "Oh, dude," you know, one of my friends skated to "Turn Down For What,"... and people lost their minds for that... and obviously that's not... the most absurd song... but... within the skating world, that's pretty kind of like out there... and I think just having a little bit more... hip hop or more like a dance feel that doesn't necessarily gear towards... posh sort of ballet-style movement can... shift that approach to skating.
 

Tahuu

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279
Nathan put up an interesting piece of commentary labeling figure skating as being feminine as opposed to hockey labeled as masculine. He apologized for a prior statement he had made during an interview yesterday.
I don't mean you purposely mislead the readers here as fanyus do on twitters. But Nathan didn't label figure skating as being feminine as opposed to hockey labeled as masculine. He explained to the interviewer this the views of the public. And he pointed out such view "is messed up."
 

Tahuu

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279
I mean, saying skating is a "fairly homosexual dominated sport" and talking about "females" is... not a great look.

ETA: and that's barely even scratching the surface. This thread is a good summary.
Do you accuse Nathan of misogynistic as those toxic fanyus? Either you didn't listen to the interview or you must intentionally twist Nathan's mentioning of "females" as his own opinion and thus "not a great look."

This is when he said the word "females:" "I think that there is that connotation and there is that "Well we don't really wanna watch guys skate around," and we'd rather watch hockey or... we'd rather watch females do that, which I think is... pretty messed up in itself."

Is criticizing misogynists "not a great look?" or yourself strongly hate women bc you can't tolerate Nathan's disdain of misogyny?
 

Tahuu

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Figure skating definitely is a "fairly gay dominated sport," especially comparing to other sports. Gays, outed or not, gravitate towards it as fans or skaters in much higher proportion than they do towards other sports. I can't find the source now but it was estimated a decade ago about 50% of male skaters were gays. That percentage can only be higher now. There's nothing wrong about it. It's just a fact.
 

jenny12

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I don’t think what Nathan said was that bad but he probably could have just chosen his words a bit more carefully. The only thing I thought was perhaps a bit iffy was the “homosexual-dominated” sport part. I guess the implication that figure skating is gay dominated threw me off a bit since there is still homophobia in skating but overall I know Nathan’s heart is in the right place and I don’t really think an apology was necessary.
 

Lemonade20

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.
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Figure skating is a rare sport where you can be athletic and also express yourself. I wish people would stop judging the skaters based on their sexual preferences.
 
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You’d be surprised what people aren’t aware of honestly. I know 20 somethings in Ivy Leagues who aren’t aware that “oriental” and “homosexual” are outdated and offensive terms. Being intelligent or even a genius doesn’t mean you are exposed to everything and know everything. Actually the more intelligent one is, the more understanding you are that people are exposed to different things at different times and the more you realize how much you don’t know. It’s people who think they know everything that are the ones who are mistaken about their own intelligence and expertise.

Some people who may find it difficult to imagine people having different lived experiences than themselves need to learn not everyone learns these things at the same pace and rate and may have used their time doing other things. Just like how others know things and know how to do things they themselves may not know.

Actually, I myself had to learn at an progressive-leaning academic conference back in like 2014 that “homosexual” itself was considered offensive by some circles and I knew an older gay guy who was also surprised to learn it was now an offensive term while “queer” was now accepted when back in his day his generation fought against the usage of the term “queer” and had no issues with “homosexual”. Maybe in fifteen-twenty years, terms that are accepted by 18-21 year olds now will be deemed offensive by the 5 year olds of today.

I also bet you Jason Brown himself, who knows Nathan, isn’t jumping on the hate bandwagon and assuming the worst about him or is questioning his intelligence.
Nathan is a talented athlete, and a very good student. I think he has led a very sheltered life.
His mother rented an apartment in New Haven while Nathan studied at Yale. He lived in the dormitory. She also drove him to the rink, and watched from the stands. She has controlled his every move for the majority of his life. While I really bristle at what he said, I don’t think he’s ever been given an opportunity to experience life, learn through experience (other than on the ice), and truly think for himself.
His mother belongs on the dreaded “Skating Mothers” list.
 

VGThuy

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Nathan is a talented athlete, and a very good student. I think he has led a very sheltered life.
His mother rented an apartment in New Haven while Nathan studied at Yale. He lived in the dormitory. She also drove him to the rink, and watched from the stands. She has controlled his every move for the majority of his life. While I really bristle at what he said, I don’t think he’s ever been given an opportunity to experience life, learn through experience (other than on the ice), and truly think for himself.
His mother belongs on the dreaded “Skating Mothers” list.
I'm not surprised though. A lot of academically high-achieving/outstanding students currently in classes have that issue, but then add in someone who also has sport he's a world-class competitor in and trains full-time for, then how possible is it for him live a life that isn't really structured that may need someone to help run it for him? A lot of things need to be sacrificed to achieve certain things. If he just had school, then he could have had more outside experience and freedom but I wouldn't expect him to be a total social butterfly either since he's on a rigid academic program. If he just had skating, same story. He'd have more time to gain more individual adult experience, but I still wouldn't expect him to have the same sort of social life/experiences those who aren't doing high-level, competitive sports do.
 

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