Thursday, August 18, 2016

Q Toon: Rio Grindr

Although none of them represent the United States, there have been a record number of out LGBT athletes at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janiero — 49 by Cyd Ziegler's count on Outsports. I've seen some complaints that these athletes aren't getting American media attention, even when they've celebrated finishing an event by proposing to their significant others; the American media's concentration on American athletes accounts for some of this.

Enter, on the other hand, Daily Beast London editor Nico Hines, a straight reporter who posted a profile on the gay hook-up app Grindr to see what athletes were looking for gay sex in Rio. Hines then posted an exposé on the site, headlined  "I Got Three Grindr Dates in an Hour in the Olympic Village."

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
✒Aug 18, 2016
What the straight guy didn't realize was what a terrible idea it was to publicly share key identifiers that would help people identify who these athletes were and possibly lead to a mass outing. It would be bad enough if they were all divers from Western Europe. But Hines didn't stop there, admitting in the piece that at least one was from a homophobic country. And he didn't stop there, he even identified the sport the athlete was in!
The consequences for that athlete could easily exceed embarrassment. Several countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and Islam actively persecute LGBT citizens and visitors. Worse, in some of these countries, there is no legal consequence for murdering a gay or lesbian family member.

Hines himself acknowledged in the article that some athletes remain closeted in their "notoriously homophobic" home countries. To its credit, The Daily Beast made an effort after receiving complaints to scrub identifying details from the article, then removed it entirely and sent Hines home to his wife and children.

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