Thursday, February 18, 2010
The new gay blades
Sports always lag behind society politically (whatever the hell Ken Burns may say about baseball). So it's some measure of how far gay rights have come that American figure skating has all but leapt out of the closet at this year's Olympics. Of course the gay blades now come in several levels, or flavas. Johnny Weir (above) does a full-on Adam Lambert, with make-up, corsets, and photo shoots where he teases his butt. Meanwhile Evan Lysacek sticks closer to the Brian Boitano profile, only Brian's wearing feathers and Vera Wang this time around. And of course up in the network booth, good old Scott Hamilton is all but speechless, only emitting the occasional yelp about how "dramatic" Weir's latest outfit is.
To a gay man of a certain age, it's rather like watching three different periods of gay liberation all transpiring at the same time, in a kind of "Gay Liberation On Ice!!" extravaganza.
Meanwhile a stranger question lingers - why are the foreign dudes still so often straight? The same odd arrangement holds for other American gay professions, like organists and harpists and (formerly) ballet dancers - overseas, these are straight professions! So why are they gay in the USA? Of course these days it seems more and more American straight guys are doing ballet - and more power to 'em! But what exactly has brought about that change? Enquiring minds want to know!