Here’s basically what I said for my five-minute comments at the #221bcon2017 Yuri on Ice panel.
Notes on genre and political context for Yuri on Ice
Yuri and Victor, the main couple, are examples of what Mark Gatiss describes as “incidentally gay,” meaning their sexual orientation isn’t the main focus of the story.
In my opinion, YOI is primarily a skating story that has male/male romance in it because it’s structured around the rhythms of the skating season. We get to see the full programs of even the minor characters. It’s so accurate about technique and everyday social details that actual figure skaters are obsessed. It’s an insider’s portrayal of figure skating as a subculture. That explains why homophobia and gaybashing aren’t intrusive plot elements.
Figure skating is at once the gayest sport and a homophobic sport.
TBT to Grosso getting inverted at last year’s Red Bull Skate Generation at Pedro Barros’ house. Next weekend’s contest will go down at the all new Rio Tavares Skatepark. Look for all the live webcast details next week.