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Johnny Weir Not Competing in Sochi

johnny-weir coverAccording to ESPN News, gay athlete Johnny Weir will be attending the Sochi Olympics 2014 as a skater as he did not qualify for the national championships where the Sochi team is selected. The deadline to register for the nationals was Sept. 1 and he can’t get a free pass either as he hasn’t scored in the top 5 of last year’s nationals are eligible. This is really disappointing for the LGBT community as Weir would have represented a gay voice at the Sochi Olympics. Had he qualified, he has said in the past according to LGBT Nation, he would be an outspoken critic of the Russian anti-gay laws in the country as that is where Sochi is located.
According to Wikipedia, Weir was born in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, but raised in Quarryville, Pennsylvania. He has a younger brother, Brian, who is four years younger than him. He began skating at the age of 12 and his family moved to Newark, Delaware. Ironically, he loves Russian culture and collects Russian Cheburashka memorabilia. He also is an amateur fashion designer by designing his own costumes as well as dancing costumes for Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov. He also had a free fashion design show in the 2011-12 season.
Prior to 2011, Weir was in the closet, but came out in his memoir Welcome to My World. He is now married to partner Victor Voronov, a 28 year old man of Russian-Jewish descent. They married in a December New Year’s Eve ceremony in 2011. Weir is himself is Roman Catholic, but open to other faiths and may practice Kabbalah, which is a form of Jewish oly_a_weir01_576mysticism.
Since Weir is no longer in the running, it is unknown at this point that will represent the United States LGBTQ community (if anyone). However, it should be considered some athletes may be in the closet, which is not unlike Weir himself until 2 years ago, and so perhaps the rigid and unjust anti-LGBTQ laws in Russia will prompt protest and an athlete may be feeling urged to come out. Although, the LGBTQ community may be represented elsewhere by out athletes from other countries, and remember two years ago in London, there were many open gay and lesbian athletes. It would not be surprising to find LGBTQ athletes at Sochi too. We should support these athletes who risk being out at the Sochi Olympics in such a homophobic environment. Naturally, we should support our country too.

About Joshua Spencer

I am a writer for the Gay Voice since April 2013. I have contributed book reviews for The UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns and wrote for Child of God Online from 2007-10 as the primary writer. I published my first article in the Christian Union Witness titled "Coat of Many Colors" in 1998. I am a gay Christian, which probably sounds strange to some of you, but it is possible to be both, and I come from a liberal theological tradition. I've worked as a librarian for 4 years and a substitute teacher for 8 years. I have a BA in History and Anthropology and two Master of Education degrees. I'm currently working on a Mastery of Theology: Ethics degree and may pursue a PhD at some point in a social sciences field. I'm also working on publishing 2 books.

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