More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
Johnny Weir Deemed "Not Family Friendly" Enough to Perform in Stars on Ice Tour
GLAAD has learned from a source that wishes to remain anonymous that sponsors of the Stars on Ice Tour, which include Smuckers and IMG Entertainment, have refused to allow 3-time US National Champion and 2-time Olympian Johnny Weir to participate because they claim that he is "not family friendly."
Update: see our new blog post: Olympic Figure Skater Johnny Weir Confirms: ‘Stars on Ice’ Deemed Him “Not Family Friendly” Enough to Perform, March 12, 2010.
To say that Weir is "not family friendly" would be a clear jab at his perceived sexual orientation. Weir is extremely involved with his family. He is putting his younger brother through college, and supports the family financially because his father's disability prohibits him from working. Weir's dedication to his family can be clearly documented in the Sundance series, Be Good Johnny Weir, which follows him and his family and friends through his life and career as a championship skater.
Weir's performance and costume style is sometimes considered flashier than those of other skaters, leading to questions about his perceived sexual orientation. While Weir has not officially announced his sexual orientation, he has garnered a significant amount of LGBT fans. He remains one of the most outspoken skaters today, and won an online poll asking fans "Who would you like to see guest star on Stars on Ice?"
Weir recently announced that he is taking a break from skating in order to "rework his technique." This news does not release the Stars on Ice sponsors from asking him to participate. The door should be opened to him as one of the most influential skaters in the field today. GLAAD's President Jarrett Barrios spoke out against homophobia within the sports community in a recent Huffington Post piece.