With an event as large as the Olympics, people start wondering which athletes are openly gay, and gay people express some interest in following their performance. But why should we care who is gay and who is not?
Well I think that it is very important. Coming out as an openly gay athlete just gives the world another reminder that being gay is normal. It shows the world that there are gay athletes. Athletes that succeed. Athletes that compete in the official Summer Olympics, not only in the Gay Olympics. Athletes that the world respects.
It also gives people who are still closeted a sense of hope. It reminds them that successful people can come out as gay and still be loved by the world afterwards. Maybe they start thinking that if an Olympic athlete is gay and accepted, I can be gay and accepted.
So, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to thank all of the openly gay Olympic athletes for having the courage to stand up and tell the world who they are. I would also like to encourage closeted gay Olympic athletes to come out to the world. This way, we can fight homophobia.
2012 LGBT athletes:
Karen Hultzer (South Africa, archery)
Marilyn Agliotti (Netherlands, field hockey)
Judith Arndt (Germany, cycling)
Seimone Augustus (U.S., basketball)
Natalie Cook (Australia, beach volleyball)
Lisa Dahlkvist (Sweden, soccer)
Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel (Netherlands, field hockey)
Imke Duplitzer (Germany, fencing)
Edward Gal (Netherlands, equestrian)
Jessica Harrison (France, triathlon)
Carl Hester (Britain, equestrian)
Alexandra Lacrabère (France, handball)
Kim Lammers (Netherlands, field hockey)
Jessica Landström (Sweden, soccer)
Hedvig Lindahl (Sweden, soccer)
Matthew Mitcham (Australia, diving)
Maartje Paumen (Netherlands, field hockey)
Carole Péon (France, triathlon)
Mayssa Pessoa (Brazil, handball)
Megan Rapinoe (U.S., soccer)
Lisa Raymond (U.S., doubles tennis)
Rikke Skov (Denmark, handball)
Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Germany, cycling)
Originally published on gaylife.co.za