By coming out as gay shortly after being appointed to the U.S. delegation to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, male figure skating champion Brian Boitano is not only standing up to the oppressive homophobic policies enforced today by host country Russia. He is also putting Trey Parker and Matt Stone to shame.
Think about it: If you're like me, South Park: Bigger, Louder, & Uncut was the "Movie To See" when you were in high school. Even after it left theaters, it was the smartest, most hilariously subversive and iconoclastic gross-out comedy we'd seen in a long time. One of its key selling points, however, were the show-stopping musical numbers, such as the rousing pre-battle ballad, "What Would Brian Boitano Do?"
What would Brian Boitano do
Unfortunately, the combined villainy of Satan, Saddam Hussein, and the Canadian armed forces shown to us in the South Park movie have nothing on the real suffering caused by Russia's anti-homosexual laws. As my fellow PolicyMic pundit Katie Halper outlined in her brilliant article on the subject earlier this year, Vladimir Putin has banned literature that promotes tolerant ideas toward "nontraditional sexual attitudes and relations," beaten and arrested LGBT activists and protesters, sided with neo-Nazis in their attacks on LGBT advocates, caused the firing of employees and celebrities who announce their homosexuality (including TV personality Anton Krasovsky), banned the adoption of Russian children by same-sex couples or single individuals in nations that permit same-sex marriage, and announced that their anti-homosexuality laws will be applied to foreign athletes and visitors during the Olympics.
That last one deserves special attention here. Foreign athletes and visitors - including not only Brian Boitano but American delegatio headliner Billie Jean King, who is also gay — will be expected to follow Putin's anti-homosexual laws.
In short, Boitano just went from being a fictional hero to a real one.