Gay Athletes vs. the Trump Administration: Kenworthy Is Winning the Media War

Written by | Entertainment

Gus Kenworthy

What an Olympics it’s shaping up to be, as several gay olympic athletes have already won medals, and none of them is backing down from the anti-gay Trump regime.

Fireworks were popping long before the opening ceremony began, as a social media war erupted between the Vice President and U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon. Then U.S. freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy helped set the stage for an LGBT-friendly games by tweeting a photo of himself kissing Rippon‏, which was accompanied by a jubilant and yet defiant post: “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it.”

Another photo accompanied Kenworthy’s post, “I’m incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I’m so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Eat your heart out, Pence.”

Once the competition began, it was Canada’s Eric Radford who became the first out Olympian to strike gold (in team figure skating) at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Then on Monday, Rippon landed a bronze for his turn on the ice.

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Kenworthy takes to the mountains with his teammates and competitors in the Slopestyle skiing event Saturday. The U.S. is among those countries favored to medal after a strong performance landed them silver in Sochi in 2014.

But many, in and out of the LGBT community, see Kenworthy as both a vigilante and a target. He’s been seen in some photo shoots waving a rainbow flag, and in others wearing nothing but snow boots and a beard. Still, he says, one day he’d like to be spoken of solely as an athlete rather than a gay one.

“I think that the only way to change perception is through visibility, through representation,” he told a Washington Post reporter, adding that he’d like to be a role model for younger athletes.

Yesterday, Kenworthy posted a video reflecting on his journey so far. We thought it was worth sharing.

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Last modified: February 15, 2019