Showing posts with label Pro Gay Athletes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pro Gay Athletes. Show all posts

February 12, 2018

Kenworthy Embraces Adam Rippon and His "We r Queer We r Here"

 Gus Kenworthy

 At the Sochi Games, he was the medal-winning athlete who overshadowed that achievement by rescuing five stray dogs. In Pyeongchang, he's vacuuming up attention with his "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it" posts and photos of him kissing skater Adam Rippon, and taking swipes at U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Eventually, Gus Kenworthy hopes, he'll be talked about more for his skiing, the insane tricks and risks he and other slopestylers take negotiating the big jumps and zany rails of the Olympic course.
By vigorously embracing an unofficial role as Olympic flag-bearer for the LGBT community, Kenworthy is edging sport closer to the point where being a gay athlete is no longer even an issue.
That, at least, is his plan. But sports' aren't there yet. Proof? Well, for starters: The people who have confided to him at these games that they are gay but haven't yet taken the step he took in 2015 to say so publicly.

 "That's been insane to me, and I think it also just shows that there's a lot more of us," Kenworthy said in an interview Sunday. "But it's still kind of a condemning time and hopefully one day it won't be."
Kenworthy's silver medal in an historic U.S. sweep in slopestyle skiing's Olympic debut in 2014 in some ways took a backseat to his adoption of five Sochi strays , with pop star Miley Cyrus among those who tweeted about his puppies and their mother.
What Kenworthy didn't say was that the dogs' new parents included his boyfriend at the time (who still has two of them; another is with his mother). But the experience of competing at the Sochi Games, which shone a spotlight on homophobia in Russia, proved to be a watershed in his decision the following year to come out. 
"Just being there, I realized how important it is to have representation," he said. "That was like the beginning of the end for me in the closet."
Among his concerns were that he'd lose sponsors. The opposite has proved true.
"Brands actually want diversity and there's not a lot of diversity at the Winter Olympics," he said.
Kenworthy and Rippon say their tweets from the opening ceremony weren't pre-planned. But their large social media followings ensured buzz .
"We kind of looked at each other and said, 'We really should march in together,'" Rippon says. "I admire Gus so much for coming out in an X-Games sport and really showing the world who he is. We're kind of bonded for life."
Kenworthy said the posts elicited "the most negatives responses that I've ever gotten," which is partly why he's no longer checking his inbox so regularly in Pyeongchang, and that he gets messages from "people wishing me to fall during my runs, wishing me to get hurt, whatever it is."
"It's hard. It's hard to read those. But I think you just have to take it with a grain of salt," he said.
But he inspires, too, with a steady stream of messages from people telling him that he's giving them courage. Some are kids, "feeling suicidal," he said. He said he takes time to respond to them.
Although he's keen to medal again in Pyeongchang, Kenworthy says the mark he most wants to leave is for the LGBT cause.
"Myself being out, Adam being out, all these athletes that are finally out for the first time, I think it just shows a shift and a change and hopefully it means that in the future it won't be a big thing. It won't be a headline. It won't be 'the gay Olympian,' 'the gay skier, the gay anything. It will just be 'a skier.'"
AP Sports Writer Dave Skretta in Pyeongchang contributed. Follow AP Sports Columnist John Leicester on Twitter at @johnleicester.
More AP Olympic coverage:

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June 7, 2013

A Serenade of Athletes Coming Forward to Promote Acceptance of Gay Athletes Also Chris Kluwe Says: Just Because We Want The same Rights as over 90% of you We wont come to your homes and steal your Children

NFL player, gay rights activist Kluwe speaks at Everett CC
Credit: KING 5
NFL player and gay rights activist Chris Kluwe spoke at the Everett Community College's graduation ceremony, 
What has made the Oakland Raiders punter more famous than his 8 years in the league was a somewhat profane letter he penned to a Baltimore lawmaker, who criticized another NFL player for supporting gay marriage.
"I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life," Kluwe wrote. "They won't come into your house and steal your children."
"They won't even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population," he said.
In the wake of the letter, Kluwe appeared on numerous talk shows and even received an invitation to the White House, which he turned down because of a team mini-camp.
Chemistry professor Mark Kontulis said Kluwe could teach students by example.
"Stand up for what you believe in, go with your heart, go with your gut and buck the stereotype," said Kontulis. "Cause that's what he's doing. He's not what we think in a football player kind of way."
When asked why he chose to speak at EVCC, Kluwe simply said, "Because they asked me.”
Brendon Ayanbadejo  (Amy Argetsinger / The Washington Post)
Brendon Ayanbadejo (Amy Argetsinger / The Washington Post)
Occasion: Announcing his upcoming role as guest editor of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest LGBT newspaper.
Setting: Conference room at Donovan House hotel.
Bona fides: Three-time Pro Bowl honoree, most recently with the Baltimore Ravens whom he helped win the 2013 Super Bowl; one of the first straight athletes in professional sports to advocate for same-sex marriage.
Backup: Washington Blade Editor Kevin Naff.
What he wants: To promote acceptance of gay athletes and educate against bullying. “Sports is the best way to reach a lot of people in a demographic that wouldn’t otherwise talk about equality.”
How he looked: Casual Friday, NFL-style — lightweight blazer over black V-neck, patterned slip-on shoes, bright blue pants (“my LGBT pants”).
What he’s got planned: Too soon to say — their work on the special Aug. 30 issue is just getting started. While Naff said he’d love to have some athlete coming-out announcements, a la Jason Collins, Ayanbadejo said he won’t be lobbying any friends to take the leap. “It’s up to them to come out on their own terms.”
Soundbite: Ayanbadejo decried the notion of “the government telling us who we could love,” explained that supports gay marriage out of solidarity — as the product of an interracial marriage that would have been banned in many states just a decade before his birth. “My dad’s the blackest black you’ll ever see, my mom’s the whitest white you’ll ever see, and I came out this beautiful caramel complexion.”

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