The skating community is very fickle. And with me, they're especially fickle for whatever reason. Maybe I bring it on myself, but if you don't prove yourself and you don't skate consistently, then they can very easily write you off and bring somebody from behind you and put them in your place.
Creating emotion was what my career was all about. I wanted people to laugh at me; I wanted people to cry with me. I wanted people to feel good or to think about something when they watched me. I think that's why, even not being an Olympic champion, I have such a huge following around the world.
When you have an audience standing and screaming the entire way through the short program and cheering every element you do, whether it's footwork, or spin, or a jump, to have that kind of emotion coming at you from every direction in the building, it's the most amazing sensation you can get as a sportsman.
I think it's funny that people care. I don't have a problem with people saying anything. People could be saying, 'Oh, let's poll about Bode Miller. Let's poll about Michelle Kwan being a lesbian,' something like that. It's not a big deal. Who I sleep with doesn't affect what I'm doing on the ice or what I'm doing in a press conference.
Of course I was bullied and of course I was called names - my last name is Weir. That's very, very close to 'weird,' or 'queer' and any of those words. But I've never been anyone to cry over spilled milk or be upset because kids don't like me, or people don't like me... It makes my skin stronger and thicker. And why cry? Your mascara runs.
For me, I skate as masculine as I can. I'm not a big strong guy. I'm not interested in fighting or throwing punches or balling my hands in fists all day. I'm not interested in guns, I'm not interested in football or stereotypically masculine things, so I'm going to skate in a fashion that is manly for Johnny Weir.
My whole career, I've had an issue with always kind of being an underdog and making a big mistake when it counts and falling and having to climb back up. One moment everything will be peachy and everyone will be saying the nicest things about me and loving me, and the next minute I'm the worst, I'm evil, all these things. It's like a fallen angel.
Michelle Kwan is an incredible artist, she wears her heart on her sleeve when she performs. She has grown so much from every influence in her career, and she has made herself the biggest star there ever will be in figure skating. She's down to Earth, friendly and always positive. Nobody will ever match her longevity or her ability to be such a strong competitor.
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No mother wants to hear her son say he's gay. Those two words rip the picture of a daughter-in-law and grandchildren into pieces. I felt sorry for my mom and wanted her to know everything was going to be all right. But then she said, 'I don't really care, Johnny, as long as I know that you are going to be happy.'
Love myself I do. Not everything, but I love the good as well as the bad. I love my crazy lifestyle, and I love my hard discipline. I love my freedom of speech and the way my eyes get dark when I'm tired. I love that I have learned to trust people with my heart, even if it will get broken. I am proud of everything that I am and will become.
I never ever wanted to change my sport... Figure skating was my outlet, it was my breath, it was how I could live and transmit everything I was feeling and everything I had worked for and given up and all these sacrifices I'd made throughout the years. It was how I could make them all worth it.