Monday, January 10, 2011

Something To Discuss

Rudy Galindo competed in skating while openly gay.  He is one of the few skaters who can get away with criticizing Johnny Weir's public posturing over the years without being labeled a hypocrite or homophobic. This is certainly food for thought, as Rudy's autobiography certainly had layers and layers of depth and was quite authentic to his 'true self' in an Oprah sense of the term.  It is very refreshing when athletes retire and stop being fake and polite for PR purposes.


  1. It would be one thing if Rudy called Johnny out on some bullshit/"media-whorish" statement he had made. But he says things like "Johnny is an ugly man inside and out," claims only Japanese women will come to his book signings (tasteless and clearly not true, Johnny has plenty of fans), and pretends Johnny doesn't have medals (again - just plain false). You can admire Rudy all you want, but the fact that a grown man would post such things is pathetic. And "oh, his Facebook is for his friends" isn't really an argument, especialy since clearly some of his Facebook friends are people he does not know personally.

  2. Rudy Galindo - 2-time World Junior champ (once in each discipline). 3-time US Nationals champ (twice with Yamaguchi). 3-time World competitor (placed 3rd in his only singles appearance).

    Johnny Weir - World Junior champ. 3-time US Nationals champ. 5-time World competitor (placed 3rd-8th). 2-time Olympic competitor.

    Basically Rudy Galindo hung around the US nationals scene for years. Great credentials for winning medals there buddy.

  3. I know Johnny and Rudy were friends there for a while on the Champions on Ice tour. Even if they had a falling out, those are some nasty comments. I always liked Rudy, but this isn't fair at all. Really snarky and unnecessary. You can be "not fake" and still be classy. Also, not fair to compare two biographies just because they're both by skaters, esp if you haven't read one of them yet!

  4. These comments are SO ridiculous that I wouldn't even think they were real!

    What is Rudy's problem? Is it because Johnny took so long to announce he was gay? I completely support Johnny's thinking that gay people should not have to announce their sexuality to the world just as straight people don't have to! If gays want equal rights, then they would treat their sexuality the same as a straight person would-- it's a part of them, but it doesn't define them. Johnny's message on this one is a good one! Sorry to hear Galindo saying those things.

  5. I like Galindo a lot, and I definitely understand why it must be upsetting to see another gay skater be lauded and fawned over when he had to deal with nothing but shit, but honestly these screencaps don't reflect well on him, and that makes me really sad.

  6. I find the whole situation hilarious. In fact, I find almost all of these little cat fights hilarious, because the hypocrisy that exists with some of you fans is amazing.

    Johnny can be a total jackass and receive praise for it because he's a 'rebel'. But if any skater chooses to criticize him, you fans (only a few of which have any actual experience with the competitive side of the sport) froth at the mouth and rush to poor little Johnny's defense. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so fucking disgusting.

    Thankfully, this time, no one can claim that homophobia is involved, because we're talking about Rudy Galindo here. And despite Rudy's facebook followers telling him it was no big deal, he apparently created a follow-up post (that was also later deleted) in which he apologized and tried to explain to people how things behind the scenes are very different from what they see on the ice.

    And guess what, folks? That's reality. Enjoy the sport, but realize that the people you are seeing are people, not idols to be worshiped. "Aunt Joyce" or whoever the hell wrote the blog post seems to understand that. Time for some of the rest of you to grow up and realize that Santa was really your parents and not a man living at the North Pole.

  7. ^^
    Thanks for saying what a lot of longtime skating fans are feeling. Rudy has been genuine and never played the victim role that JW loves to still play. These new FS fans of JW worship him w/o knowing history and background of the sport and the people in it other than JW himself. What a joke.

  8. Rudy, you're over 40. Grow up!

  9. Why so bitter and jealous Rudy?

  10. *sigh* If you AREN'T gay, please don't comment, at least on this one... unless you've studied gay history.

    Rudy came out and was out during a time when it wasn't cool or even ok to be gay. Even now, he is in the group of HIV+ gay men who are treated like lepers in the gay community (maybe an exaggeration, but still). I'm not trying to defend what he says, as he IS an adult and what he says is very immature, but if you look at it from Rudy's perspective:

    Rudy grew up extremely poor. Kristi left him when they were nearly at the brink of being one of the top pairs teams (5th twice, isn't bad for your first two world championships). He really had to work for maybe everything he got.

    Johnny is from a completely different generation: being gay really served him well for the most part (until an even more closeted queen usurped his position.) While he didn't grow up amazingly rich, his family had enough to survive ok and still put him through lessons. Johnny really had a meteoric rise. Rudy had to fight tooth and nail after 1990 to even be able to win ONE nationals... Johnny won three nationals while deflecting questions about his sexuality. (Which I totally understood and supported, being from his age group, but which I hate that now is being used as a means to make money.)

    Rudy went to one worlds as a single skater and won a medal. Johnny went to 5 and has the same number of medals.

    The fact is, gay twenty-somethings and gay men 35-50 grew up in VERY different environments. One grew up where you had to be scared of being harassed, even assaulted because of your sexuality, and in the constant fear of HIV/AIDS. The other grew up in a country more accepting of homosexuality, and HIV medication has reduced the disease from a death sentence, to something akin to diabetes: take your pills, stay healthy, and monitor vigilantly. Rudy grew up when you were defined by your sexuality, and thus is a HUGE part of your lifestyle. Johnny probably has had 1/10th of the anxiety, depression, etc., becuase of his sexuality than Rudy did.

    Rudy no doubt had many, many emotions when it comes to Johnny. Coming out now is so contrived, only done as a means to put oneself back in the spotlight and make money (Ricky, Johnny, Clay, etc.). Rudy was a pioneer, like Louganis was before him.

    Anyway, that's my 2 cents (or rather, my very long post on it.)

  11. There are tons of stuff to criticize Johnny Weir about because his P.R. team has done a horrible Job protecting his disaster off ice (what he divulged publicly in a typically calculated D-lister celebrity sorta way). a trio come to mind that really irks me about his flaky persona: 1. his obsessive wannabe Russo-fetish. 2. john's bitter jealousy of greek god, evan lysacek. 3. his gad-awful gaudy costumes, og!

    gossip shouldn't be taken so seriously, as if we're supposed to choose sides, like paula abdul did on american idol, quite fabulously i might a.d.d.

    and isn't rudi DYING OF H.I.V. technically? HELLO. Rudy skated with Kristi YAMAGUCHI, who is of Japanese extraction, having competed in the Far East, so i think he knows a thing or two about Asian etiquette or lack thereof. i think westerners' short-term memory and lack of compassion are what's most tragic: not some catfight between former friends. obviously rudy was hurt by johnny weir's deplorable antics, opportunistic tendencies, besides his closeted homophobia, reminiscent of orthodox crusader priests. yeah, that's what johnny's skating career was: one, big mess of a self-hating queer. a majority of skinhead-nazis are expert at self-effacing stunts.

    what goes around, comes around, like a throw triple-axel rod.

  12. Rudy complained to the media a few years back that Johnny Weir copied his skating style. Wouldn't you be bitter about it too, 12:19?

  13. So people keep saying the blind Johnny fans don't know the "truth" - what is the truth? Enlighten us please so we can learn.

  14. *sigh* If you AREN'T gay, please don't comment, at least on this one... unless you've studied gay history.



    If you're straight, you need to learn to shut the hell up about what we need to do to secure our rights. Whenever Johnny Weir comes up, (straight) people think they are entitled to theorize or predict what is best for our community because he does it a certain way. No. Not acceptable. Ground rules when you're talking about a different position of power than yours should always be to listen instead of centralizing YOUR perception of a certain experience. N'est pas?

    Johnny avoided talking about his sexuality when it was advantageous for him to be silent and has, conveniently, decided to come out now that he is no longer competing and can make a lot of money for it. Yeah, that's empowerment. Listen, everyone, Johnny is allowed to be coy and quiet about his sexuality if he wants, but we should not kid ourselves about reality. I don't think Johnny was ever in the closet, but by refusing to be out he just reinforced a culture where being out is a problem, where it hurts queer people to be out, where it really IS (one of) the central defining factor(s) for a person. He challenged nothing.

    I like Johnny a lot and think that Rudy's attack, though totally warranted, is a tad immature. But, you know, he is not a great gay revolutionary, so stop talking about him like he is more enlightened than the rest of us. He's not. He's used his sexuality in different ways depending on how it serves him best. Let's not forget that.

  15. Funny! Rudy never went after gay skaters playing the straight card with (or without) beards. Johnny is such an easy target.

  16. To Che @ 1:02 AM
    You make no sense.

  17. I don't see anyone in the comments above talking about Johnny like he's a "revolutionary" or more "enlightened." They're just saying Rudy's comments about Johnny are rude and nasty. Honestly, any time someone defends Johnny Weir, they instantly become "a delusional fan." Johnny may well be a jackass behind the scenes (I have no idea), but he, like anyone else, does not deserve to be talked about in such a nasty way. As for people who admire Johnny, there's plenty to admire, just from what we've seen. The Olympic press conference is one instance that's admirable. A person can be admired for certain actions without being labeled a saint. Certainly, the people in the public eye I've admired aren't perfect. Also, it's not fair to compare Johnny Weir to Rudy Galindo just because they are both gay. Rudy has suffered for sure. But don't castigate Johnny because he hasn't suffered as much. Isn't the whole point of a movement to make things better for the next generation?

  18. Pretty sad that he's coming across as such an old jealous queen.

  19. I can see Rudi's side of it but at the same time I have to agree with Johnny, why do people have to be labeled as gay, straight, white, black, Jewish, Christian? Why can't they just be people?

  20. Wow. Rudy's comments are crass and pathetic. But while I am gay and support every gay person's right to decide when it's best for him to come out, it's clear Johnny timed this just for publicity. If he really wanted to be a role model for kids, to let them know that being "different" is OK, he would have come out a long time ago and not been so reluctant to say the actual word "gay."

    Truth is that he couldn't have been the loud, flamboyant personality that he is in the skating world had Rudy Galindo not sort of paved the way for him.

    Again, Rudy's remarks are sad and off-base, but Johnny's own statements and his timing opened him up for criticism. I have no sympathy for either of them.

  21. Is there anyone who didn't know Johnny was gay before he announced it? Duh! And Johnny was punished by official figure skating for his sexuality, too. He was underscored at Vancouver, no doubt because he doesn't fit the model of the "masculine" (cough, cough) male figure skater.

  22. I've used that defense too, that Johnny was underscored because he wasn't "masculine" enough. It's not true (or entirely true). Look at Lambiel, some of his programs are NOT masculine... he's a World Champ, he's an Olympic Medalist.

    Johnny was underscored because he had no good blood with judges and the USFSA. He played by his own rules, and since he wasn't a Olympic or World Champ like Plushenko, he couldn't get awway with a "transition-lite" program. Also, Johnny wasn't "masculine" in 2004-2006... he HAD A EFFING RED GLOVE NAMED CAMILLE ON (which was genius), and was scored in second place at Torino.

    Sport is a microcosm of life... if you don't progress and evolve, you eventually get left behind. I love Johnny, but I'm not blind. His technical merit regressed after 2006. His short program in 2010 was a perfect vehicle, but his long program was not. He wasn't an one note like Evan, but he wasn't as artistically diverse as Lambiel. Johnny pigeonholed himself.

  23. Two bottoms don't make a top ...

  24. All I can say is Johnny is using his sexual identity in the most boring and stale manner since... well Ricky Martin. I cannot fault Johnny for his moral and political insignificance (at the end of the day he is not responsible for anyone but himself and his own well being), but his style and manner of addressing sexual identity are certainly worth critiquing within the context of the sport. In the world of this sport, and the media that covers it every four years or so, Johnny used his transgressive personality in a fairly immature way. This book could not seem less sincere when he claims in interviews that it is about helping even that one person to feel better about being gay. This book is about Johnny Weir's publicity, and it seems like he wants to be a carefree tabloid star yet can't quite admit it.

  25. Agree w/ Zach! Beside Lambiel, look at Jeffrey Buttle, Jeremy Abbott, Brian Boitano, etc. Buttle & Boitano got medals in World & Olympics & gay, so what? Johnny's just full of himself. He's a famewhore. Smh

  26. Regardless of Johnny's ~sincerity~, he has inspired plenty of people with how he lives his life and his words. Anyone would be delusional to think otherwise. Good for him.

  27. To Anon 1:12 PM

    All the skaters you mention played by the rules and still aren't "out".

  28. "but his style and manner of addressing sexual identity are certainly worth critiquing within the context of the sport"

    Because you're a sportsman yourself and you know what's best for the sport?

  29. To hypothesize that Johnny has inspired people with his life choices is fine, but it misses the point. Furthermore, I am not sure he has inspired so many.

  30. (I didn't want to comment before I finished Johnny's book, and I agree that people who aren't involved with the LGBTQ community should think twice before posting.)

    I am profoundly disappointed with how Johnny is trying to leverage the poignant and tragic circumstances surrounding gay teen suicides and the public conversations that ensued for his personal financial advantage via his book. I find his current comments that he wrote this book to help youngsters struggling with their identity and the difficulties they face because of it to be disingenuous. His book, to me, comes across as basically his vehicle to bash the USFSA and anyone else he felt wronged by (at times valid, at times Johnny made his own problems).

    If Johnny really wanted to help youths and didn't prefer to gain financially from it, he could have made and posted a video to YouTube as many celebrities within and outside the LGBT community did. And/or, he could have held a press conference and read a statement announcing his orientation and his thoughts on the subject. He also could have included a lot more information about his youth and adult LGBT experiences and how he dealt with them in his book - the good and the bad ones. I found little introspection or information in his book that would help a a non-world champion ice skating LGBTQ teen (or adult) looking for advice, encouragement, or inspiration for their own struggles. (I'm not going into specific book details because I don't want to spoil the read for anyone.)

    I enjoy Johnny's skating and admired how he spoke at his Olympic press conference. I am not, however, one of his die-hard fans who can't see or admit that Johnny is not perfect.

  31. To Anon 3:12PM

    The book is about his life and not about LGBT.

    FYI Johnny did help raise money for the Trevor project among other things.

  32. @Anon 3:33PM

    I agree about that and I think his book is good. I enjoyed reading it. I was talking only about his recent remarks about one of his book goals to inspire struggling LGBTQ youths. I think he has a position from where he could help people (if he chooses) and I've read about the charity work he's done this year. I could have written my comment better.

  33. Geez, I read a bunch of comments here and I am laughing my straight ass off, I didn't know there was a gay history (must be a new school subject or something). That Rudy is bitter because he had it so tough and Johnny just got lucky? I don't think it's Johnny's fault that he was more talented at age 12 than Rudy was, sorry that happens sometimes, it's life (it's like comparing Michelle Kwan 's skating style to say Irina Slutskaya's: both good yet very different). To me the difference between Rudy and Johnny is that one decided to use his sexuality as a label, while the other didn't... that said, it seems that these days is very convenient to say you bed preferences in a book.

  34. I find it incredibly offensive that 'only gay/LGBTQ' people are qualified to comment on certain things. If, as a straight female (who has been following skating since Fleming/Hamill) declared that 'only straight people/those who understand straight history' should comment on a topic- I'd be pilloried. Fair is fair.

    News flash- some of us straights have been around BEFORE AIDS hit the news radar, & when it hit the radar as an unknown disease, & have a FAR better sense of 'gay history' (which is also part of ALL OF OUR HISTORY- thump on head to you) than a cavalier poster who compares AIDS to diabetes (ye g-d as if!).

    My cousin died of AIDS just one month before AZT became available. He had precious little access to the drugs which now make life possible for many gays (and inspire such cavalier attitudes), and bore the full brunt of the horror of this disease manifested, and the rest of the family suffered too.

    We have seen Karposis, have seen the oral thrush, have learned how to give shots and run IVs, have seen our family members lying in hospital beds where their appearance was literally gasp-inducing on first sight- just like the emaciated Jesus crucifix figures that used to hang in the Catholic Churches (now regarded as non-PC and replaced by mere crosses).
    And we have known how we had to keep silent to society- because we didn't know, they didn't know, but knew that suspicion and discrimination reigned over the era.
    We had to protect ourselves against contagions unknown and misunderstood; throughout all, we experienced the glacial bewilderment and sorrow of seeing our loved ones literally consumed as they died- and no one really knew why.

    While the new drugs provide miracles, they also inspire contempt and ignorance as to the true horror that is possible with AIDS.
    The often-cavalier nature of those who regard AIDS as just another chronic disease shows appalling ignorance of gay history.
    You're the one that doesn't understand gay history- and how you use your sexuality and genitalia provides you NO sacred/ordained insight.

  35. @Anon 9:00AM - Very well said. I agree with you and shared similar experiences to yours. That's why I wrote "LGBTQ community". I specifically wanted to to include people who may not be LGBTQ themselves, but who are involved with the community, people within it, and/or the issues within the community.

  36. I apologize, I should have said "only people who are knowledgeable on this topic should comment"

    You think my attitude is cavalier? I have a family member with HIV, I KNOW what it can do if left unchecked. I was comparing HIV to diabetes in the way that you have to monitor your health very carefully. You think diabetes can't devastate a person? Say that after you've seen someone have to get limbs amputated and are blind and have renal failure from the disease. The fact is, HIV/AIDS is not an unknown anymore... there are drugs for it. More still needs to be known, and it doesn't mean the fight is over, but we've come a LONG way from pre-AZT days.

    Your response is EXACTLY what the difference is between then and now, between Johnny and Rudy and between what being gay meant in the 70s-90s and what it means now.

    Yes it is apart of the general history, but you, being straight, are only aware because you had a relative who died of AIDS. You're an exception, not the rule. (So I will apologize to you, as you've certainly seen the horrors). I say gay history because very FEW people understand the fear and despair hit the community with the onset of AIDS. A whole generation of gay men died. Did that happen in the straight community? Maybe a percentage of men, but no, it didn't to the degree it did in the gay community.

    When AZT and subsequent drugs came out, the majority of people (STRAIGHT) stopped paying attention. Gay men certainly didn't. The generation after that generation that was decimate was and still are highly biased against HIV+ people.

    Straight people don't really ask the person their sleeping with if he/she HIV, do they?

  37. @Zach

    "Straight people don't really ask the person their sleeping with if he/she [have] HIV, do they?"

    I do! I make sure protection is used until I'm 100% satisfied that a partner is HIV negative. All my straight friends, male and female, do the same. I'm of the generation that clearly remembers and lost friends to the AIDS epidemic. I know people younger and older than my circle who do the same. I'm sure there are straight people who aren't as cautious, just as there are gay men who aren't.

  38. @Anon 9:00AM very good post!!
    I find funny how whatever comunity a gay person want to affiliate, how they close themselve pretty much making straight people look like Satan's offspring or something bad (like saying we should comment on a topic, just because we are straight... HA!). They want acceptance and "rights", yet they too are excluding people who are different from them. I'm straight, and I don't think I'm part of any community. And Zach, nowadays, everyone asks the person they are sleeping with if they have HIV or VD's, not doing it is just playing russian rulete, and it's not just a thing asked inside your so-called gay community. People should stop thinking about communities of any type... it's like in the 60's when black people were disregarded yet they behaved the same way to white people. Once you stop thinking on these "labels" you'll find more things in common with people you regard as different, just because of their sexual orientation.

  39. Well, I don't think straight people are Satan's offspring, and I do think I have lots in common with them as I was born to some straight people...

    But just to bring up some differences... Are straight people usually ridiculed about who they happen to like growing up? Can you go get married any place you want (in America)? Does religion call the way you were born an abomination? Can you get killed for who you like if you go abroad?

    Yeah, I thought so. Sure, we're very similar. I don't doubt that, but we still have a ways to go before we're equal.

  40. Anon @ January 10, 11:45 PM / Zach @ 1:01 AM / Anon @ 2:20 AM

    Insightful posts.
    Thank you.
    (I am a straight female.)