Now, this post isn’t to argue for or against homosexuality. It’s to explain a culture that many may not understand.
I watched Yuri on Ice not for the pretty boys, but because it reminded me of my days as a competitive acrobat. My sport was called acrobatic gymnastics. Acro for short. Watching Yuri during competitions reminded me so much of myself before I competed. Like Yuri, I was nervous and doubted myself. I cried a lot. But I learned a lot, and like over the season of a television show, I grew as a person over each competitive season.
I made a lot of amazing relationships. Acrobat to acrobat relationships, and coach to athlete relationships. I had a couple coaches over the years, but none of them affected me so much as my coach Christina. Yes, she yelled a lot, but she loved gymnastics with her whole heart. She coached and competed at the same time which is pretty amazing. I even choose my pen name after her. Teresa was my Sensei, Christina was my acro coach. My relationship with Christina is a lot like Yuri’s relationship with Victor. Think of the exchanging of rings between Yuri and Victor like me taking on Christina’s name for my pen name.
I started competing in the fifth grade. I was a young girl. My coach was a college student, so of course I idolized her! She was talented, beautiful, and well, older! I wanted to be just like her. Yuri idolized Victor and longed to be like him. Don’t mistake this longing for desire. This coach athlete relationship was manipulated by the show to make it seam like the kind of love an athlete has for his/her coach is desire, not admiration.
The culture of competition in sports that are more elegant then other sports is… a lot more, how do I say this… sexual. I’m a girl, but being a middle scholar in a gym with other sweaty middle school students taught me a lot about, the kinds of things that we save for marriage. In the gymnastics culture, being a little more loose with your body is more acceptable then let’s say, in the Christian culture. In acro, you are basically throwing your body on top of other bodies and trusting they’ll hold you. I’m not surprised at all that Yuri and Victor did “couples” skating at the end of the season. They got to dance together!
What I loved about acro was that I got to dance with my closest friends. I got to be close emotionally and physically to those most important to me. In the performance culture, everything is a performance, Everyone is always watching, judging you. So everything you do is to show off. So of course you get a bit flamboyant.
Yuri on ice manipulated a culture that is a bit more feminine and made it seam like everyone in the show is a homosexual. I’m sure there are a lot of homosexuals in that world, but not everyone is gay just because they like to shake their bodies a bit.
Can you tell I’m frustrated?
Sex is not something to be afraid of, but it’s not ok to make fun of sex by making characters that put a foot in that direction but never take a step. It is especially not ok to use a culture to prove a point that does not exist. Victor and Yuri were never into each other like that. They wanted you to think that, but if you look at it objectively, you can see that everything Victor and Yuri did with each other was totally normal for the culture they live in.
Yuri on ice took the performance culture out of context. They lied about the types of relationships that exist in that world. I did enjoy the show because it brought back good memories, but I was frustrated with how they tampered with the beauty of the coach athlete relationship.
What do you think? Are they gay or not? How did you like the show?