I am still not over that pair skate from episode 12 of Yuri on Ice, not just because it was freaking beautiful but also because it was a powerful political statement.
I mean, you could say that about the entire anime, and that’s great, but the same-sex ice dancing was literally a political statement, I’m not even exaggerating.
Because in the anime it took place during the exhibition at the Grand Prix Final. The GPF is organized by the ISU (International Skating Union) and they actually define pair skating as a performance of “one lady and one man”. Doesn’t that sound awfully similar to something? Like, you know, the definition of marriage in most constitutions? (including the Russian and Japanese one)
Not all viewers may be aware of this, but the pair skate is a brave defiance not only of the conservative nature of the figure skating world, but also of traditional definitions of marriage. It is an overt, straightforward and positive statement on love and how it has nothing to do with sex or gender of the two partners. Victor and Yuuri’s pair skate is presented beautifully, genuinely and is taken seriously at all times, showing the viewer the irrelevance of the sex of the partners in the presence of true love. And in a world where same-sex marriage is still impossible in most countries and same-sex competitive pair skating is still unthinkable, this is huge.
And it is more than that because, as other users have pointed out, the performance also rejects traditional gender roles, through elements like Victor being represented by the soprano in the duet and wearing a pink/purple outfit, which are colors traditionally associated with women, but despite that showing him as leading the dance on multiple occasions.
But at the same time, he often shares the lead with Yuuri, making them truly equal both in the performance and in their relationship.
(beautiful cleaning job done by @postpigeon)
Overall, the performance is not only a beautiful presentation of Victor and Yuuri’s love but is also a poignant statement on same-sex relationships and indeed, marriage as whole.
And this must be talked about and appreciated.