Papadakis/Cizeron #9 - People Will See Them And Cry

Peepsquick

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382
If someone has the skill to translate the letter guillaume wrote in l'équipe that we can read in this twitter link, please do it. This is inspiring and so much well written and may be abble to help other people to feel better . you can feel the simplicity and the raw frankness of it without any complacency.
Here it is:

Open letter from Guillaume

“I had the feeling that I was different.”

“Are you a boy or a girl?”, my classmates used to ask me when I was a child. Followed usually by laughs and jibes from other students. Was I a girl or a boy? That question didn’t really strike me as outlandish. Very young, I remember wondering about my identity, my gender identity. I remember very clearly confronting my mother: “Mom, am I a girl or a boy?”

Of course, I was not yet able to understand my questioning or to put it into words, but I had the feeling that I was different. Different from the other boys. I was terrified by the idea of having been born with the wrong body, I didn’t learn until much later that I could be gay, I only thought that something was wrong with me. I don’t want to encourage stereotypes, but I was always more inclined to play with dolls, to play dress up and play with make-up. I quickly discovered that boys “should” not play with Barbie dolls. So, I stopped doing it. I would sit on the bed and watch my sisters dress their dolls.

In Elementary school, I was very often alone, I didn’t want to play soccer with the boys and some days, my friends who were girls wanted to stay among themselves. So, I sat in a corner, neither girl nor boy, somewhere in between, desperately wishing for the bell to announce the end of recess. In Middle School I spent many a recess in the restrooms, hiding from bullies or to avoid the humiliation of being alone. I was an extremely shy boy and terribly sensitive, I almost never reacted to slurs. Faggot, poofter, fairy and many more. These slurs would punctuate my everyday life and soon became this little toxic litany in the back of my mind. The dark secret bred by intimidation is that you get used to it. You get used to violence. It becomes your new normal. And very often you end up thinking that you deserve it. Those like me who came to believe that they didn’t deserve it are forever in a battle with this version of themselves shaped by others.

At times, to this day, I catch myself suppressing some of my behaviors, mimics or words, out of embarrassment or fear to displease. I have now been working for several years on myself, trying to rediscover and accept the parts of me that I had to hide, bury, suppress. Every human being has a part of masculinity and femininity, like it or not. Personally, I cultivate and celebrate both, in life and on the ice. These two energies are very complementary, and I enjoy drawing from one or the other, depending on each specific role on the ice.

Why talk about it today, you will ask? I have been pondering that question for some months now, and after discussing it with some of the people closest to me, I came to realize that if talking about it were to make a difference, even for a single person, and help them love and accept who they are, then it would be worth it.

Today, in spite of huge advances on the road towards tolerance, the fight is far from over.

I consider that my silence would not help the cause and would be construed as indifference more than

taking a stance. Even if my conviction is than real tolerance would mean not having to come out, just as heterosexuals never have to talk about their sexual orientation.

In an ideal world, nobody would have to justify their sexual or romantic proclivities. As somebody I am very fond of once told me: “You deserve to be loved. Just because you exist.”

Everyone deserves love and dignity, independent of who they identify with, man, woman or neither, independent of who they are attracted to, a man, a woman or both. We just want to be able to live peacefully with the respect, love and rights that we deserve. But in the meantime, I would like that all those who recognize themselves in what I wrote, know that they are not alone. The way we are treated doesn’t have to define who we are going to be or the success we are going to encounter. Preserving one’s dignity and cultivating one’s inner richness are essential.
 

starrynight

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I would say that ice dance is easily the most 'gendered' of the figure skating disciplines -- because the focus is usually on the story telling of the dance (which involves a man and woman) and not on the big technical elements of pairs or singles.

But I do think that in any kind of performance, each audience can choose to see what they want. A bit like how a song can mean something different to everyone. (Like how people still insist on considering 'One' by U2 to be romantic or KD Lang's 'Hallelujah' as being religious).

Take Moonlight Sonata from the Olympics. If a viewer wanted to see that dance as a romantic expression between the two skaters - there's nothing stopping that personal interpretation. Others might see it as an atmospheric movement to music etc etc.

It wasn't as overtly sexual as say Virtue/Moir's free dance - but it's all just acting and inhabiting a character. If Papadakis/Cizeron truly did want to skate a program like that, there's nothing stopping them. It's not like an impossibility (like a judge telling a skater to lose 10kg to get higher PCS). It all depends on whether they want to skate like themselves or skate acting as characters - or whatever artistic choices they want to make.

But I do like it when the lady is the star of a team. I think mainly because the system is so stacked against the girls. You know 50 girls to 3 boys and the girls have to compete and be perfect in every way to even get the partner etc and the boy has far more choice. So it is nice at the end when the girl gets her dues.
 
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Peepsquick

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382
I would say that ice dance is easily the most 'gendered' of the figure skating disciplines -- because the focus is usually on the story telling of the dance (which involves a man and woman) and not on the big technical elements of pairs or singles.

But I do think that in any kind of performance, each audience can choose to see what they want. A bit like how a song can mean something different to everyone. (Like how people still insist on considering 'One' by U2 to be romantic or KD Lang's 'Hallelujah' as being religious).

Take Moonlight Sonata from the Olympics. If a viewer wanted to see that dance as a romantic expression between the two skaters - there's nothing stopping that personal interpretation. Others might see it as an atmospheric movement to music etc etc.

It wasn't as overtly sexual as say Virtue/Moir's free dance - but it's all just acting and inhabiting a character. If Papadakis/Cizeron truly did want to skate a program like that, there's nothing stopping them. It's not like an impossibility (like a judge telling a skater to lose 10kg to get higher PCS). It all depends on whether they want to skate like themselves or skate acting as characters - or whatever artistic choices they want to make.
I do think that they Gui/Gab are intent of breaking the mold ... when you read what Guillaume says ... they are intent on expressing themselves, beyond roles. It is a liberating act.
Some people will always find them lacking because they won't conform to the expected: going through all the required registers. I want to break a myth here: V/M were excellent, versatile skaters. They played the game but they were much better at certain styles and they actually won their last gold medals at Olympics with what they were best at: passion between a man and a woman.
This is not what Gui/Gab want to showcase and I am totally happy with that. Ice Dance need some fresh air and there are quite a few ice dance teams ready to do just that!
 

starrynight

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2,328
This is not what Gui/Gab want to showcase and I am totally happy with that. Ice Dance need some fresh air and there are quite a few ice dance teams ready to do just that!
Yes it's all about what they choose to showcase and creating interesting and engaging programs.

And a skater's personal life is no reason to limit or constrain artistic expression (or interfere with a connection to your partner)- no less than a ballet dancer's or an actor's etc.

(Gosh after watching Andrew Scott as the 'hot priest' in Fleabag, being gay certainly doesn't constrain an actor's ability to act). (lol that was off topic but there you go).
 

mjb52

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soooo hoooot omg (re Andrew Scott in Fleabag)...

I really appreciate this letter. For someone of my generation (mid-40's), having seen so much progress, or what at least seemed to be progress, it's good to be reminded not to be complacent - it's not that it exactly surprises me, but at the same time, it is important to be reminded that even someone Guillaume's age has still had to deal with so much when it comes to his sexuality. I guess at times I do think we've come farther than we have.
 

barbarafan

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4,679
I do think that they Gui/Gab are intent of breaking the mold ... when you read what Guillaume says ... they are intent on expressing themselves, beyond roles. It is a liberating act.
Some people will always find them lacking because they won't conform to the expected: going through all the required registers. I want to break a myth here: V/M were excellent, versatile skaters. They played the game but they were much better at certain styles and they actually won their last gold medals at Olympics with what they were best at: passion between a man and a woman.
This is not what Gui/Gab want to showcase and I am totally happy with that. Ice Dance need some fresh air and there are quite a few ice dance teams ready to do just that!
Gabby is very different and that is her strength. She is able to completely captivate an audience and bring them into the relationship so it is not only Guillaume under her spell but everyone. In their exhibitions Guillaume shows more of his skating and artistic talents and I love to watch them. Their strong caring for each other comes out in all their performances.
 

Sylvia

Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
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Bigbird

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Dizzying Speed. And I like this version the best. Infectious and straightforward musicality.
I still hope they find another piece of music for the first part or simply change the RD. It's good but they are capable of something better. My favourite dances dances using this rhythm remain V/M and I/K from 2014. Honorable mention this year to S/D and FB/S they get the vibe, they do not look fake/corny or mechanical.
 

bcash

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Messages
302
I still hope they find another piece of music for the first part or simply change the RD. It's good but they are capable of something better. My favourite dances dances using this rhythm remain V/M and I/K from 2014. Honorable mention this year to S/D and FB/S they get the vibe, they do not look fake/corny or mechanical.
In that French interview Gabby did say they much prefer working on new programs rather than going back to old ones.
 
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nuge

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I prefer this version with the spin at the end it was more effective than what they changed it to.I thought that the straight line SS was still empty.
 

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