Getty Images / David Ramos / Staff; Twitter / @guskenworthy

A shooter gunned down 49 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando in June 2016. A fifth of LGBT+ people have been the victim of hate crime in the last year. One in ten LGBT+ people in the UK have experienced abuse directed at them online in the last month.

But, for some, this overwhelming evidence that homophobia remains rampant still isn't enough. This quieter brand of bigotry claims LGBT+ people are making a big deal out of nothing – and often comes hand-in-hand with the complaint that gay people are ramming their sexuality down their throat.

But US freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy has an important message for anyone who has somehow convinced themselves that homophobia no longer exists.

The Olympian took to Twitter to share the abuse hurled his way online – and it's absolutely horrific.

People applauded Kenworthy's bravery and resilience.

Kenworthy has drawn global attention at this year's Winter Olympics – not just for his athleticism, but as of the first two openly gay men competing for Team USA along with figure skater Adam Rippon.

Kenworthy has not shied away from make his feelings on hate clear, using his platform to expose homophobic behaviour – however powerful the perpetrator.

The silver medal-winning athlete was widely lauded for the shade he threw at Ivanka Trump, an adviser to an administration that has repeatedly targeted LGBT+ people. Eric Trump took a different view and called the tweet "disgusting".

Vice President Mike Pence received a similar level of shade.

When not calling out the Vice President, who has been openly opposed to LGBT+ rights, Kenworthy has not let hoards of online trolls cow him either. Instead, he's been expertly shutting them down.

Earlier this month, Kenworthy sealed his impact on LGBT+ representation with a kiss that was aired on NBC.

For anyone who wants anyone who isn't cis and straight to be a little quieter about their sexuality, the vitriol stirred up from Kenworthy simply being who he is, and proudly, shows just how important LGBT+ representation is. And if it can happen to an out and proud Olympian like Kenworthy, it can happen to any LGBT+ person.

Keep reading...Show less
Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)