We’ve been watching the Olympics for the past week or so. The only sports I’m personally interested in are 1)Women’s Rugby, 2)Men’s Rugby, 3)Mountain Biking: Men’s and Women’s Cross-country. Pretty much covers what we’re interested in seeing. Lots of people have been writing about the Olympics, the athletes, and Brazil in general. Which leads me to…
Ok. I’m not going to link to the article, the piece of rotting garbage who wrote it, or the publication that unleashed this. But I can suss the general outline of the incident. Somebody – a self-confessed straight person – went onto Grindr in Rio and either unintentionally or intentionally outed several male athletes. You all know how to use Google, and I don’t feel like giving any of them free publicity beyond what has already been given.
Outing others without their consent is a sore spot with me. Simply put, forcibly outing someone has consequences that seem impossible in 2016. In 28 US states it is possible for someone to lose their job or their home for being in a same-sex relationship. I happen to live in one of the 22 states that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and/or gender presentation. Not everybody is that lucky, obviously. There is also the little matter of the acceptance of family and friends. Not everybody is willing to risk losing those they love.
Not all the outed athletes are from the United States, either. In some countries, being LGBT can be a death sentence. Not hyperbole, just a fact. I have no idea if the “author” of this article was aware of this fact, or if he even cared to research this at all. It really doesn’t matter, as the result is the same: putting someone’s life at risk for entertainment purposes.
My point? That coming out is a personal decision that no piece of trash should force on another. Whether it was supposed to be ironic or amusing or clever, it was disgusting.
A few people have come out to me over the years, with the understanding that it was a private discussion between the two of us. It will remain that way. Their sexuality is their business, not the entertainment of drooling closet cases that flock to that material like flies on a corpse.
If it sounds like I’m taking this a little personally, it’s only because I am.