Patricia Nell Warren

There's More Than One Sports Hero

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | August 27, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: Beijing, gay sports, lesbian medalists, Matthew Mitcham

Now that the Beijing Games are over, I'm on the warpath over the way some gay media have mis-reported our 11 out athletes' collective achievement. Search engines teem with headlines about the "gay sports hero," Matthew Mitcham, who won a gold medal in platform diving and who also happens to be phenomenally cute. Many of these stories don't even bother to mention the three lesbian heroes who also won gold medals.

I have the greatest respect for Mitcham and his athletic achievement. But this is good moment for the LGBT world to get real about how the "cute guy" factor skews so much of our media reporting, and our attitudes about everything. And what would the gay media have done with Mitcham if he had won the marathon instead, and was a skinny homely little marathoner with no god-like sculptured muscles to look at?

Outsports.com just posted an editorial in which I fire both barrels on this subject.


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