Johnny Weir on being honored in Sunday's pride parade
Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir will be the grand marshal of the Los Angeles Pride Parade on Sunday and caught up with OnTheRedCarpet.com in an exclusive interview.
"This is actually my first gay pride parade ever," Weir told Edd Adamko of OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I don't know what to expect, I would assume lots of glitter and lots of six packs - it is Los Angeles."
Weir is a three-time U.S. National Champion, the 2008 Worlds bronze medalist, a two-time Grand Prix Final bronze medalist and the 2001 World Junior Champion.
"I never dreamt of being the grand marshal of a gay pride parade, simply because it took me a long time to find my pride," he said. "I always was focused more on my sport and making something of myself other than being gay and being born that way. That was just something I was born with, the same with me being white, so I always wanted to do extra, do more."
The figure skater officially came out as gay in his memoir, "Welcome to My World," which was published in January 2011. Weir cited the recent string of gay suicides as his reason to come out.
"In the last couple years, with so many people having trouble and me being in the spotlight more than ever in my life, I realized that I am proud!" he said. "I am so happy to be me and I'm so happy for all the things that I was born with. And I need to show that to the world, that it's okay to be different, it's cool to be this amazing addition to society... And for our brothers and sisters who can't celebrate pride around the world, like one of my favorites, Russia. Their pride parade in Moscow got shut down and that egged me on even more to be here and be supportive of my community."
The skater said that his family life was one of the things he wanted to celebrate, having been raised Roman Catholic to two loving parents.
"My mother picked my outfit for tomorrow," Weir told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I had that really coddled growing up with my parents that were very supportive and very loving. So I had that normal family life, that I want to share, that's my contribution to being a gay man and to being in the public eye."
Weir gave OnTheRedCarpet.com the exclusive insider details on Sunday's ensemble and revealed that it might not be what people will expect from the fashion icon.
"I am wearing a little bit of a wedge boot and I'm pulling out a sparkly short-short and this very crazy, glittery Jil Sander tuxedo jacket, Weir said. "I think everyone would expect me to pull out a dress or something really crazy with feathers or fur or something, but I wanted to be a little bit understated and give them not quite what they were expecting."
Weir was the subject of the 2009 documentary, "Pop Star on Ice," which aired on the Sundance Channel. He also starred on his own reality show, "Be Good Johnny Weir," that aired on the Sundance Channel in 2010.
Weir told OnTheRedCarpet.com that he planned to take another year off from skating, but plans to compete in the next Winter Olympics in Sochi, "even though I'll be old." He is filming a second season of "Be Good Johnny Weir," which will be out on Logo at the end of the year. Weir also revealed that he's working on a "Johnny Weir in Concert" spectacular in Las Vegas.
In April, the figure skater debuted a line of dresses through the internet retailer, eDressMe.com. The company plans to have a 2011/2012 winter collection from Weir as well.
Weir also recorded a pop song titled "Dirty Love," which was released as a single on January 11, 2011.
Past celebrities who have served as Grand Marshals at the Los Angeles Gay Pride Parade include Paris Hilton and her mother Kathy, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne, Chelsea Handler, Kathy Griffin and Cyndi Lauper.
Reporting by Edd Adamko of KABC Television and special correspondent for its entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).