We're recruiting new authors! To find out how to apply, click here!
Site under maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Freedom Requires Wings FRW The #1 QUILTBAG opinion blog on the web. We aim to open minds and help the queer community. News, blogs, video, worldwide suicide prevention and more. Worldwide

"I feel sorry for Tyson Gay"

Freedom Requires Wings | by on




"I feel sorry for Tyson Gay". A lot of us have heard this over the last few days, and you don't have to be on the internet to hear it... Oh, and they're not talking about the fact he came 4th in the 100m men's finals of the Olympics yesterday, oh no.

People say they feel sorry for Tyson Gay because of his name; my mother included. I mean, after all, what could be more embarrassing than having to run in front of 80,000 people in the Olympic stadium, plus the millions watching at home with the word "GAY" slapped across your chest in big capital letters? Running with the word "BLACK"?

Do people say they feel sorry for Jack Black every time his name appears on an album cover or in movie credits?

Think about it, people might have said that 50 or 60 years ago. But not today. Nobody thinks twice about Jack Black's name.

Why? Because (a lot of us) are mature and aren't prejudiced towards people of other races. There isn't the same sigma attached to race today as there was back in the 1960s. People have become more educated, more open minded, less ignorant. But although racism is far from over (as we clearly saw in Ukraine for Euro 2012 this year, and as we can see from hate crime statistics) things have improved a lot in the last 50 years.

Equal rights for people of all races have been granted, and schools and anti-racism campaigns are doing their part to stamp out the prejudice once and for all. Now a lot of people are saying that "gay is the new black". I don't fully agree.

When it comes to discrimination, hate crimes and homophobia, I agree that we face the same prejudice and it's far from being sorted out, and although things have improved for us tremendously since the Stonewall riots of June '69, a substantial amount of work remains to be done. However, gay isn't the new black because we haven't been treated in quite the same way. The nearest anti-gay equivalents of the K.K.K. I can think of in history are the Nazis and, to take a modern-day example, the groups of religious fanatics in Iraq who are hunting down and killing people who 'look gay'. But is that in the US? Is that in the western world? And is that today? No. Gay is not really the new black, not quite to the same extent. But then there are cure clinics all over the planet.

Good changes you made there but you could have at least
corrected the spelling... (S)
Social stigma exists for gay people and it is strong. It's what dissuades scores of young gays from coming out. It's the same stigma that leads people to think Tyson Gay must be embarrassed about his surname. Just to let these people know, they're now being thrown somewhere near the same basket as the American Family Association whose crazy system filtered out Gay's name back in 2008 and replaced it with "Tyson Homosexual".

To prove my point, I'm going to come back to where I started this post and throw the internet into the equation. Did you know that even one hour after Gay came 4th in the Olympics, around 70% of the top tweets containing the hashtag #gay were homophobic? The tweets weren't directed at Tyson Gay at all, in fact, they had nothing to do with the Olympics either. It seems that the online homophobia and intolerance towards gay people was so much greater than the online support for Tyson Gay that his Olympic achievements were obscured by anti-gay comments.

Let's move away from Twitter, because one website isn't enough when making a point using the internet as an example and let's just do a Google search, shall we? Multiple forums contain threads along the lines of "Tyson... Gay", "I feel sorry for Tyson Gay" such as IGN's messageboard (#confused), and "Why doesn't Tyson Gay change his name?" was a question asked on Yahoo! answers.  Why should he change his name? He's heard it all before. I'm sure highschool took care of that for him, but the fact there are people who have left highschool and are posting that on the internet really says more about them than it does about Tyson Gay "being gay". 

Of course, "Tyson Gay must be gay because his name says he is". Jack Black must be black because his name says he is. Same must go for John Wayne, a name that never legally existed; his real name was Marion so he must have been a woman. And as for Ellen Fapper of 'Christians Against Masturbation'... I doubt that. But since when was judging a book by it's cover a good idea?

This is not a book about ties...
< > F
Join us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter