Weir is making the tough transition from ‘TV personality’ to ‘spokesperson’ and he’s struggling with it (and who can blame him). As a longtime fan of his, I saw this same sort of apparently erratic behavior and disorganized viewpoints when he made the transition from athlete to TV personality. Just watch his first few episodes of ‘skating with the stars’ for a hella awkward-in-the-public-eye Johnny Weir; basically unrecognizable from his current charismatic persona. He was all over the place then just as he seems to be all over the place now. But he quickly caught on to the TV personality gig, called in the best of the best to advise him, and eventually made a huge success of it. Maybe I am giving the guy too much credit, but I personally am not counting him out of an important role in this Russia/LGBT debate just yet.
Let’s be honest – we’re all angry NOT because we think the guy is an idiot and an asshole, but because we know he’s intelligent and we’ve seen him be compassionate and articulate in the past and WE DESPERATELY WANT THAT AND NEED THAT NOW from someone exactly like him, with his dual identity as a gay man and a Russophile. Just like the Sochi/Stoli boycotts aren’t really about athletics and economics but rather about drawing attention to a problem, this current Weir-bashing episode is not about hating on Weir but in a strange way it’s trying to encourage him to take a stand and be the leader we want him to be and believe he might be capable of being. If he hones his standpoint a bit re: the culturally respectful empowerment of Russian citizens (v. boycotts and disparaging the nation as a whole) it could become quite a sophisticated, powerful and very helpful view in this debate. It may seem crazy now but here’s what I think — don’t count Weir out just yet.