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Johnny Weir’s new book: ‘Welcome to My World’

By Greg Hernandez

HollywoodNews.com: Okay, so no one is surprised that Johnny Weir is gay. Even the ‘People’ magazine article that sort of “officially” breaks the news starts this way: It’s not exactly a shocker.

Still, I think it’s always interesting, once someone has gone on the record about being gay, to see what they have to say about it.

Johnny is asked by ‘People’ why he decided to come out now. Instead of saying the obvious – that he has a memoir (‘Welcome to My World’) to promote, Johnny says: “I’ve never felt the need before. Why come out of the closet when you’ve never really lived in one? But I didn’t want a reporter to do it for me.”

The magazine features excerpts from the book and I’m plucked out some of the parts I found to be the most interesting.

He writes: By puberty, I knew I was gay. But I didn’t worry about it much. As a serious skater, I was way too busy. Then, when I was 16, I had my first kiss with a boy.

He came out to his mother at 18.

I waited until one night after my dad had gone to sleep (my dad is a cool guy but homosexuality is completely foreign to him and not something I was ready to throw in his face).

“Mom, adult to adult, I need to tell you something. I’m gay.” Suddenly it felt like I was sitting in the room with a stranger, and this was my mom, my best friend. She started to cry. I wasn’t angry. No mother wants to hear her son say he’s gay. Those two words rip the picture of a daughter-in-law and grandchildren into pieces. I felt sorry for my mom and wanted her to know everything was going to be all right.

“I really don’t care Johnny, as long as I know that you are happy,” she said.

Suddenly I felt this great freedom. It’s not an issue for the rest of my family and they don’t ask any questions which I consider a blessing.

Johnny had a serious relationship with another skater which they kept quiet. He writes:

Although everyone thinks of figure skating as the gayest sport in the universe, those who wield power within it rail against that image. Skaters are supposed to represent a sanitized ideal, like a figurine atop a child’s birthday cake. The result is that homosexual skaters are terrified of showing any signs of their sexual orientation since the judges will hold it against them. One had to act like a man. On skates and in sparkles.

On being pressured to come out publicly Johnny writes:

All the gay websites couldn’t figure out why I was such a jerk that I wouldn’t talk about it. A lot of gays got downright angry about my silence. But pressure is the last thing that would make me want to “join” a community.

To read more from this article go to Greg In Hollywood.

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About Greg Hernandez

Greg Hernandez has written about the entertainment world for more than a decade. He is a veteran of covering many Academy Awards shows (plus Emmys, Grammys and Golden Globes) as well as film festivals, movie premieres and philanthropic events. Hernandez founded the popular Out In Hollywood blog while a writer and columnist for the "Los Angeles Daily News." He’s also a former staff writer at the "Los Angeles Times" and "The Hollywood Reporter" and has been a contributing writer to "The Advocate." Greg is the founder and editor of Greginhollywood.com

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One Comment

  • January 7, 2011 | Permalink |

    Wait, your headline is misleading. How is this article about the book? It’s about the article in People magazine where the book is excerpted. Please make it clear that the book is not solely about Johnny’s sexuality. It’s my understanding that he discusses many subjects in the book, his sexuality being one of them. I hope you’ll read the book and then write your impression of Johnny Weir as a whole person, and not just as someone who has revealed that he’s gay.

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