Johnny Weir on the difference between gender and sexuality


photo via New York magazine

It’s no secret that we at Feministing love Johnny Weir. He’s profiled in New York magazine this week, and has some interesting things to say about sexuality, gender, and marriage:

You don’t need to have labels. I would marry a woman. I very well could. People laugh at me, but why is that so funny? I love women. My whole stance is that I just want people to react to who I am, I don’t want people to react to what I am.

and

My sexuality is not something I’m ashamed of. It’s not something I’m not sure of, it’s just that I have a very specific opinion of what sexuality is. For me, sexuality is sex. You can be heterosexual or homosexual with sex but be completely opposite with the relationship aspect of it. The two can go hand in hand, but they don’t have to. So, while someone can enjoy having sex with women, they could be totally happy marrying one of their bros. … I’m not saying I’m gay, bisexual, multisexual, transsexual. I’m just me. And tomorrow if I want to marry a man, I’ll marry a man. If I want to marry a woman, I’ll marry a woman. It’s not categorizing. It’s not a box.

I also love this description of his sartorial choices:

[He] wears stiletto heels and women’s clothes, not in a drag way, but in a completely matter-of-fact, what’s-in-my-closet kind of way.

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5 Comments

  1. Posted August 19, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    How I wish I could get to this point myself!

  2. vexing
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    So, while someone can enjoy having sex with women, they could be totally happy marrying one of their bros. … I’m not saying I’m gay, bisexual, multisexual, transsexual

    No. Just no. Stop conflating transsexuality with sexual identity. It is not a sexual identity. It is a gender identity. It doesn’t describe who you have sex with and it doesn’t describe who you want to have a relationship with.
    Being transsexual is NOT about who you sleep with.

    Considering the title of this article was “the difference between gender and sexuality”, this is a big pile of fail. Another cis male throwing around the word ‘transsexual’ without actually understanding what the term means.

    Goddamit, I expected better of this place than to quote garbage like this.

    • Posted August 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      We don’t know how he meant the quote. He isn’t the one who titled the article, and who knows where that sentence might have occurred during the interview? Perhaps he was responding to any thoughts that he might be transsexual because of how he dresses, along with assumptions about his sexuality.

      I think it’s wrong to make assumptions just from that one quote. All in all, I’d say it’s a pretty positive article, certainly not “garbage” like how many people treat trans issues.

      • vexing
        Posted August 20, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        It’s pretty clear what he meant by the quote, the entire paragraph starts with “My sexuality is not something I’m ashamed of.”
        He then lumps transsexuals in with sexual identities in a discussion on relationships and sex. Go and re-read it.
        How is that at all unclear?

        As a trans person, I do not think that the fact that it is ‘pretty positive’ from YOUR perspective makes the article good. I’m also angry that you think it is ‘pretty positive’ simply because he’s not being horrible and transphobic like a lot of other people are when dealing with trans people.
        That’s tantamount to saying “well, women have it pretty good now, so if someone makes a misogynistic comment in an otherwise ‘good’ article, we should ignore it.
        Fuck that.
        Although, you clearly have the privilege of being able to ignore such statements and claiming that the article is ‘pretty positive’ since it’s not treading on the minority group you belong to.

  3. Posted August 21, 2010 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    “You can be heterosexual or homosexual with sex but be completely opposite with the relationship aspect of it.”

    In other words, the type of privilege that cis men have been accessing thanks to patriarchy.

    Weir seems to be talking about an updated form of liberal individualism (“I’m just me.”), where “queer” is about individual (bohemian) identity at the expense of collective politics and social organization. He seems “queer”—but for what purpose? Maybe it’s a starting point.

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