gender test THIS: Olympic Gold Medalist Shows His True Colors

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gender test THIS

Olympic Gold Medalist Shows His True Colors

Posted on August 7, 2010 by gender test THIS 

One huge misconception about men’s figure skating is that the presence of out queer men in the sport means the sport isn’t homophobic. Quite the contrary – the competitors, the commentators, the officials, and the fans of the sport are often quite blatantly homophobic (not to mention transphobic and misogynist). Three-time US Champion and world bronze medalist Johnny Weir has frequently been the target of this homophobia, perhaps most memorably when two French-Canadian radio hosts called for him to take a gender test because his gender presentation blows their narrow, hateful minds.

Sadly, it’s not just commentators who are this ignorant and awful. One of Weir’s competitors, 2010 Olympic gold medalist Evan Lysacek, just jumped on the “gender test” bandwagon. A fan asked him on Twitter:

The question itself was offensive enough, but Lysacek didn’t have to reply. He did, however, and this was his reply:

Uh, the verdict is never out on anyone’s gender. One’s gender identity is what they say it is, period, full stop, end of story. Any argument to the contrary is pure bigoted bullshit. Weir has vocally and repeatedly identified himself as male. That Lysacek would publicly mock and question Weir’s gender identity is disgusting and unforgivable. And it’s not coincidental that this is about Weir, who receives a disturbing amount of gender-policing because he is queer, unashamed, and does not conform to “approved” heteronormatively masculine standards. This comment is a hurtful not just to Weir, but to every fan of his who is a member of the LBGTQI community or an ally. Hell, this comment is hurtful to everyone.

Let’s be clear – this wasn’t a mistake, a misstep, or a slip of the tongue. Lysacek went through his @replies on Twitter, deliberately selected this question, and then replied to it on his public Twitter, where it remained for close to 12 hours, despite the numerous fans tweeting him to tell him how offensive and horrible it was for him to say something like that. Here is a screencap that demonstrates that his reply remained on his Twitter while he continued to tweet about other subjects:

You can see the tweet in question, plus numerous other tweets. You can see that it is from his verified account. (You can also see that I had no idea how to screencap on my computer, which is slightly embarrassing.) There is no question that this tweet was legitimately from Lysacek.

If Lysacek had simply apologized, people might have been willing to forgive him. Instead, he tried to deflect the attention from himself in the most cynical, absurd way. He started to call attention a fake Evan Lysacek Twitter (the username of that fake Twitter was evanIysacek with a capital “I” instead of an “l,” which look identical on Twitter) and claimed he would never say any of the things on that fake Twitter.

Lysacek’s rep, Yuki Saegusa (@YukiSNYC on Twitter), retweeted the first message. EDITED TO ADD that Saegusa has now deleted her Tweet. It’s capped in someone’s Google reader here:

It’s seems like Lysacek and his PR team are trying to imply that it was actually the fake Evan Lyacek Twitter that said the “verdict was still out” on Weir’s gender ID. At the very least, it appears that Lysacek and Saegusa are trying to get the word out that there is a fake Evan Lysacek Twitter so the issue becomes more confusing and people question whether or not Lysacek even said such a thing. Instead of just owning up to Lysacek’s homophobic remark and apologizing, Lysacek and his PR team are trying to obfuscate, or at the very least ignore, the issue. This kind of PR move is disingenuous and ridiculous.

Not only that, but this PR move was a giant failure for several reasons. First, while Lysacek was complaining about someone Tweeting horrible things from a fake Evan Lysacek Twitter, he had yet to remove his offensive Tweet about Weir from his Twitter. See these screencaps:

This screencap highlights that the Tweet in question actually came from Evan’s official and real Twitter – you see that the Twitter in question is EvanLysacek with a capital L. There is also my cap again:

EDITED TO ADD that someone was kind enough to mark up my cap so the proof that it’s Lysacek’s official Twitter is more clear:

Again, this demonstrates that the Tweet about Weir did actually come from Lysacek’s real, verified account, not a fake one. Shortly after this cap was taken, Lysacek deleted the Tweet about Weir. However, if Lysacek wanted this pathetic PR ploy to work, he probably should have deleted the offensive Tweet BEFORE he started claiming it was a fake Twitter who was saying such offensive things.

EDITED TO ADD that there are more screencaps and proof. Here is another screencap of Evan’s Twitter, taken by someone else at a slightly later time than I capped mine:

And here is a cap of a Google Reader page that also shows that Lysacek’s offical account made the Tweet about Weir’s gender ID:

Second, though there was a fake Evan Lysacek Twitter with that username, which has since been renamed to @notevanidiots, the fake Twitter never said anything about Weir’s gender. In fact, whoever runs the fake Evan Lysacek Twitter has been repeatedly distancing themselves from Lysacek’s hurtful comment, at one point Tweeting:

I am extremely disappointed in my actual person. No one should ever make a comment like that. I, fake Evan, promise to be better than that.

Damn. I like fake Evan Lysacek better than the real one.

To recap, Lysacek made an offensive, bigoted comment that mocked and questioned Weir’s gender ID. He left it up for hours and hours, while Tweeting about other things like who he was going to eat with. Instead of apologizing, he tried to deflect blame to a fake Twitter, then deleted the Tweet and now seems to be pretending it never happened. Everyone who watched this go down in real time knows that it happened and has screencaps to prove it, and if Lysacek continues to deflect blame or tries to pretend he was hacked, it will demonstrate that not only is he a bigot, but he also must think that his fans are total idiots who don’t know how Twitter works.

EDITED TO ADD that Evan has, in fact, started claiming he was hacked. He has deleted a number of his Tweets, including ones that had nothing to do with this entire controversy, and Saegusa deleted her Tweet about the fake Evan Lysacek account. If you’ve been following this, you will probably find it quite hard to believe that he was hacked. I think the screencaps speak for themselves. Here’s Lysacek crying hack:

EDITED TO ADD Lysacek has now deleted every Tweet of his since April that is not a retweet. I’m not sure if he’s gearing up to claim that everything he has tweeted since April was actually the work of a hacker or what.

This kind of behavior is unacceptable from anyone, but for a public figure to do it in a public forum is especially awful. It breaks my heart to think about the young queer, genderqueer, gender variant, transgender, and questioning figure skaters and fans of figure skating who had to see Lysacek mock someone’s gender ID and know that this how an Olympic gold medalist of their sport behaves.

As a figure skating fan, I’m disturbed and horrified that the current men’s Olympic gold medalist and ambassador of the sport is such an unapologetic bigot. I’m also disturbed and horrified that unless people start talking about this, telling their friends, and contacting his sponsors, Lysacek will most likely escape from this unscathed. The best thing to do is to refuse to be silent or forget about this – blog about it, link your friends to it, link it to other blogs, and contact his sponsors and let them know that they’re supporting a homophobe and you’re not okay with it. You can contact his sponsors here:

AT&T

http://fanzone.att.net/feedback


Coca-Cola

https://secure.thecoca-colacompany.com/ssldocs/mail/eQuery_other.shtml

The Coca-Cola Company

P.O. Box 1734

Atlanta, GA 30301, USA

1.800.GET COKE (800.438.2653)

Flexjet

erin.portman@teamone-usa.com (Media Inquiries)

os@flexjet.com (Customer Inquiries)

TotalGym

http://www.totalgymdirect.com/contactus.php

1-800-501-4621

To reach Evan or his agent directly and let them know what you think about this, you have a variety of options:

@EvanLysacek – Evan’s Twitter

@YukiSNYC – His agent Yuki Saegusa’s Twitter

Saegusa can also be contacted here:

Yuki Saegusa

IMG

767 Fifth Avenue

45th Floor

New York, NY 10153

Phone: 212.774.4413

Email: yuki.saegusa@imgworld.com

Notes: These screencaps have been culled from a variety of sources in different timezones. None of them have had the information, the timestamps, or the words changed. The full-desktop screencap is from my computer, which is on CST. If I used one of your screencaps and you would like credit for it, just comment and let me know. If you know of more companies that sponsor or support Lysacek and have contact info for them, let me know and I’ll edit that info into the post.

I will be deleting any comment that implies that Weir somehow deserves this kind of gender-policing. No one deserves this kind of gender-policing, regardless of who they are or what your feelings on them are.

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