The 2014 Winter Olympics could have gone a lot differently for Johnny Weir. The openly gay retired ice skater — who commentated on ice skating and ice dancing with best friend Tara Lipinski this year — was vulnerable to Russia's antigay laws. Thankfully, he didn't feel under threat during his stay in Sochi. But Johnny did explain to POPSUGAR at the Paralympics viewing party in NYC on Friday that his most common experience was someone doing a double-take in the bathroom.
"The worst thing that would happen was I would stand to pee at a urinal in the bathroom, and I'd have my hair and my pink blazers and everything. Gentlemen would come in, and they would look at me standing to pee, walk out to make sure they were in the right door, and then have to come back in and kind of give that strange look, like, 'You're a lady. Why are you standing to pee?'"
Prior to the Olympics, Johnny said he didn't support a Sochi boycott. But that doesn't mean he didn't stand up for the community during his trip. "Russia is a very important country to me, and I feel terrible that there is a law enacted against the LGBT community there, so I did take time to meet with several people from the community to see how I can help and what I can do," he revealed, explaining that part of that was just being himself — in spite of the laws:
"Me dressing up, being myself on television, was simply that. I am constantly myself, and I had an amazing experience. I've never been to Russia and had a bad experience in my 15 years of traveling there. I absolutely love the country. They put on a beautiful Olympic Games."
Ultimately, he's not ready to try to make a big change in Russia, because he wants to impact the United States first:
"I am not a politician, nor am I an activist. I like to live my life, I like to be happy, and I want my friends and family to be happy and successful. And for me, as far as activism and trying to fix something in the world? If I was to donate that time for myself to fixing anything, it would be my own situation in America. There's still a huge portion of the country I'm still not seen as an equal human to my best friend or my mother, and I think that needs to change before America can go around bossing the rest of the world around."
For now, Johnny will be focused on pairing up with Tara — both officially and unofficially. The best friends hope to continue their professional pairing by cohosting, but until they get an offer, they're happy to just be fashionable friends who dance and sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" together.