The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) honored Johnny Weir with its Visibility Award at the 11th Annual Pacific Northwest “AsOne” Gala Dinner on Sept. 25 at The Westin Seattle.
The dinner is the HRC Seattle’s premiere fundraising event, as it works to help raise awareness about LGBT issues, attract new members and volunteers, and raise funds for HRC’s national advocacy and education programs.
Attired in a tuxedo and four-fingered black leather gloves, Weir acknowledged during his acceptance speech that he questioned at first why this award was being given to him. Weir said he does not fancy himself an activist.
“I live my life the way that I want it to be lived,” he told the audience. “I live the way that I think is appropriate and in a way that makes me happy. As a figure skater, I live in a very small, secular bubble world. And living in that world you don’t really realize the impact that you have on people.”
Weir spoke about a press conference he held after his gender was called into question by two Québec commentators during the 2010 Olympics, and how he received numerous communications afterward from parents who thanked him for giving their sons and daughters a “very public face” to identify with.
The HRC holds gala dinners in multiple cities throughout the year. Past Visibility Award recipients include filmmaker Lee Daniels, pro basketball player Sheryl Swoopes, actress Portia DeGeneres (formerly de Rossi), reality star Tabatha Coffey and Bravo TV executive Andy Cohen.
Originally published in December 2010