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Figure Skater Johnny Weir Defends His NBC Olympics Gig In Russia Despite The Country’s Gay Discrimination

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Johnny Weir Russian Olympics

“I risk jail time just going there, but the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement. I’m not a politician and I don’t really talk about politics. You don’t have to agree with the politics, but you have to respect the culture of a country you are visiting. … It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been gay my whole life. … I don’t need to break any laws or wear a rainbow pin to show people that I support gay rights. I think I’ll do that just by being in Sochi and supporting our people there and know they are not alone. … The gay community has not reacted well to me because some people think it’s my responsibility to be an activist. They’re expecting me to hate Russia because I haven’t been given equal rights in Russia. … If it’s good enough for Elton John, it’s good enough for me. Every country’s going to have its issues.”

My gay BF Johnny Weir isn’t one to keep his opinions to himself. That includes defending himself from criticism that he should boycott the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, instead of covering figure skating for NBC as an openly gay man married to another man (who is Russian!). Russia is a notoriously anti-gay country, brutally abusing gays and lesbians and recently criminalizing homosexuality. But Weir, who has had Russian coaches and traveled to the country many times, said it is possible to support gay rights without choosing to exclude yourself from something you love. What do y’all think? [New York Times] [Image via Splash News]

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