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Olympic gymnast Louis Smith: ‘I’m a bit of a gay icon’

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  1. Sorry, who are you?

    1. He’s an Olympian

  2. Louis: icons are named by fans for valuable support to (our) community, icons are not self-declared as such. It takes a *bit* more than doing exercise and dancing tbh love. Fair enough if you want to say you enjoy the gay support, say you’re cool about guys looking at ya and say you like guys (if you do) but icon status is something completely different…Sorry about that

    1. Icon: a person regarded as a sex symbol.
      I think he qualifies on that level. Also think its a tad bitter to discribe his achievements as ‘doing a bit of exercise’ when:
      He won gold on Pommel Horse for England at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia beating Prashanth Sellathurai.
      In 2007 he came fourth in the Pommel Horse final at the European Championships. He attended his first World Championships competing for Great Britain at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. There he won a bronze medal in the Pommel Horse final. He also won a silver on the pommel horse at the World Cup in Ghent the same year.
      In 2008 he won a silver on Pommel Horse again at the World Cup in Moscow. BTW. When was Bette Davis (to name just one) ‘named by fans for valuable support to (our) community’

      1. I agree with much that you say, but it’s vain, and rather hopeful, declaring to the media “Apparently I’m a bit of a gay icon”.

        Pity too that he described his perception of his receiving attention from men as “a bit strange”.

        Don’t worry, Louis, if you think men looking at you “a bit strange”, we won’t look at you.

        1. “I get lots of attention from females as well as males,” Smith told the Mirror. “It’s a bit strange”

          I would read into that that all the attention is a bit strange. No where in the article does he say he only finds the attention of men strange.

          1. Given that the declaration of “strangeness” directly follows after the reference to the attention of men, linguistically it’s ambigous and open to interpretation, don’t you think?

      2. Where did you find that definition, Shaney? Surely a sex symbol is just, well, a sex symbol?

        The word ‘icon’ has been thoroughly devalued in the last 2 decades, to the point where it’s become virtually meaningless – as in this instance.

        I agree with your point about Bette Davis BTW, but I think people are confusing ‘camp’ and ‘gay’ there.

        1. Its just one of the definitions at; I’m not one to argue with people who compile dictionaries. I wasn’t confusing ‘camp’ with ‘Gay’ just pointing out that Bette Davis is just one of those people often referred to as a Gay Icon and yet has done nothing of valuable support to our community.

          1. Shaney, do not place all your trust in most online dictionaries. Place your trust in one that is long-established and created by and continually cared-for by linguistic professionals. I would suggest the OED, the Oxford English Dictionary. But there’s also Chambers, Websters, and some others.

          2. Oh. I prefer to use which I think is a little more authoritative.

            (And yes, I meant those who refer to Bette Davis as a Gay Icon are confusing ‘camp’ and ‘gay’, not you.)

          3. Rehan, thanks for that URL. Have had a look.

            I entered “renunciation” (first word that came to mind!) Definition, etymology, etc., not bad and certainly better than some of the questionable “dictionaries” available online.

            However, then typed same word into my OED, and there’s no comparison. Will paste in as much as PN will accept below!

            (Wasn’t me that gave you a negative, by the way!)



            Also 5 -nountiacioun, 6 -nunceatioun, 6–7 -nuntiation, 7 -nonciation.

            [ad. L. renunciātiōn-em, n. of action f. renunciāre to renounce. Cf. F. renonciation (13th c.).]

            1.1 The action of renouncing, giving up, or surrendering (a possession, right, title, etc.); an instance of this; a document expressing this.

               1399 Rolls of Parlt. III. 424/1 Uppe the fourme that is contened in the same Renunciation and Cession.    1462 Edw. IV. in Ellis Orig. Lett. Ser. ii. I. 128 A renountiacioun and relese of the ryght and title that the Corowne of England hathe.    1569 R

          4. But Eddy, that URL is to the (free) OED Online – do you have a subscription with access to the full OED then?


          5. wOw!! it would appear that all dictionaries are correct but that some are more so than others…lol! get over yourselves….lol! Look up the word ‘Pedantic’ (overly concerned with minute details or formalisms)

          6. Hi, Rehan. I really recommend the full OED on CD-Rom, which you can install onto your hard disc. Instant access to the full 32-volumes with lots more besides. Particularly helpful is the concordance, thrusting up all usages of word or phrase within the entire dictionary. Costs a lot but well worth the money.

          7. Shaney, it might be useful for you to look up ‘accurate’ or, for that matter, ‘correct’.

          8. Thanks Eddy: I have the full 2nd edition in facsimile, but only (of course) at home so not readily available when I’m at work. Will look into your suggestion but fear it may not be affordable.

          9. bea arthur is a gay icon and not at all a sex symbol

        2. Quite. “Legend!” is another similar word that has been horribly cheapened.

          LOL. Next we’ll be hearing young athletes telling us, “Apparently I’m a bit of a legend!”

          “No, sunshine! Legendary people have to be DEAD. And dead for centuries in order to become legendary!”

          1. Wicked. :-)

          2. “I’m a wicked legend, me!” ;-)

  3. bearshaped 3 Dec 2012, 11:15am

    How sizeist suggesting that fat people look offensive…

    1. I’m one of YOUR “sizeists”, then! And proud of it.

      I work hard to make sure I don’t become obese.

      Medical professionals have made it clear that obesity is a major health problem in the UK today.

      1. No surprise there then that’s the fat and the old in one week. Have you read about the second world war and it’s leaders?

        Just the mentally ill and the deformed left to get rid of. Oh and back then the all the gay guys too. You need to read a few more books.

    2. Spanner1960 3 Dec 2012, 1:27pm

      Eye of the beholder and all that, but I like ’em with ribs like toast racks.

      1. Skeletal, in fact? :-)

    3. I for one think he’s made some careless throwaway comments here. As an Olympian, he has young people looking up to him including the fat, young people who may be trying to lose weight! Knocks like hearing your Olympic Icon saying you look disgusting because of their weight can knock their confidence & make them give up before they actually get anywhere. I AM a medical professional, two doctorates & a masters. Yes, obesity IS a major health problem but no more than alcoholism, social drug taking and unsafe, promiscuous sex, three issues RIFE among the gay population! I would know, I see loads in my line of work.
      Saying it’s strange to receive attention from male OR female fans and yet making a spectacle of yourself on reality TV is contradictory and superficial. He says he’s straight but sounds pretty gay to me!

  4. Fat naked people are offensive… I think someone has gotten object of lust and icon mixed up.

  5. Sounds a bit like he’s putting the idea of his being a “gay icon” out there . . . because he’s knows there’s money to be made from it. As he says: “I won’t come cheap”.

    1. As long as he comes……………………….. Sorry that was cheap of me ;-)

  6. “Smith… says he’s now receiving greater attention from woman and men”

    That sounds more like a bi icon somehow, nothing wrong with that.

    This is the first time I’ve ever encountered anything about him and like SeanR I’d say he has a bit more work to do before achieving icon status.

    1. Good Morning, Pavlos! With 24/7 coverage here of the British contestants during the Olympics, we in the UK saw quite a lot of this young man and he was very very good. At that stage though he hadn’t acquired all the unusual grooming he now has. He just looked like an ordinary Asian lad. Seems he’s had a “style-makeover”. Perhaps to do with his appearance on that flash TV dancing show that’s so popular with the UK masses at the moment! Of course I don’t watch TV dancing shows! Although I will confess to having watching that flashy mezzo Katherine Jenkins strutting her stuff last night in an Xmas special – 24 days before Xmas! Felt distinctly uncomfortable watching her singing a traditional Christian Christmas carol while standing there with half her tits on display and a dress cut to the hips. Not exactly the Virgin Mary! ;-)

      1. “Asian”? How does a half-Jamaican British man qualify as Asian?

        1. Ooops. Is he? Thanks for the correction. But I’m not embarrassed by my error. A half-Jamaican can often appear to be an Asian. Maybe I should simply have said “an ordinary brown-skinned lad” ;-) ?

          1. Yes, well, it pays to be cautious, specially when there are possible ethnic prejudices to take into account – I wouldn’t have mistaken Smith for being of South Asian origin myself, but then I suppose I have an advantage when it comes to identifying these things.

          2. Rehan, you have “an advantage”? Well, you may be amused to hear that for the several years I have seen your name in these threads I’ve thought you Welsh! LOL. I lived in a very Welsh part of Wales for many years and your name seemed to me like many of theirs! Goes to show what happens when you can only see people’s handles, not their faces.

          3. Goodness! I’ve been mistaken for many things, but never Welsh before. No, the bulk of my origins lie in South Asia, though not in the part that my name suggests.

      2. Well happily I was on holiday in Crete at the time and had better things to do.

  7. Jock S. Trap 3 Dec 2012, 11:59am

    I applaud and all Olympicians!! All did us proud but to brand yourself a Gay icon?

    Seriously? Me thinks Over inflated egos sometimes need bursting! lol but hey so long He thinks so!

    1. If you read the article again he says “Apparently I’m a bit of a gay icon”. That would suggest to me that someone has told him that he is a gay icon and not self proclaimed.

      1. Ah, well, now you’re delving off into the realms of the imagination, Mr. McCabe!

        1. I think not!

  8. There’s a real double standard here. The social media sites are littered with gay people fawning over Louis, so a few disparaging voices here wouldn’t seem to be the majority. However, like Gaga, you gon’t claim the title of being a gay icon, it is something bestowed to you, so I can see why Louis proclaimimg such would ruffle some feathers..

  9. By the looks of it, if he’s a ‘gay icon’, I think it’ll probably be the ridiculous hair, facial hair, and clothes~

  10. Am I the ONLY one who is sick to death of emphatically straight “celebrities” – latching on to the gay theme in order to further their “careers”?

    This so-called “story” would only be of interest if it was a so-called “straight” guy who said- “actually-I am flattered by the ttention I get from female fans-ans I wouldn’t mind appearing in Playgirl-BUT I am actually gay-in fact not JUST gay-I am 100%”

    1. No, you’re not.

      And I agree, a gay athlete who’s a “straight icon” would be wonderful.

  11. Spanner1960 3 Dec 2012, 1:25pm

    That’s funny you should say that,
    A lot of people say I’m a bit of a cult myself.

    1. A very very wicked legend, definitely, Spanner. But you have got much much better. (Cue: sudden worsening of behaviour!)

    2. ...Paddyswurds 3 Dec 2012, 2:22pm

      … … ..”A lot of people say I’m a bit of a cult myself.” …….and I can well imagine amongst who…..

      1. Spanner1960 5 Dec 2012, 11:24am

        Yeah, well I learned it all from you sunshine.

  12. He’s young, most of the muscle is on his body not in his head (which is where it should be considering his job). I’m not sure he really understood the intricacies of the word so it seems a bit harsh the way some are responding.

    Also, as someone else pointed out he said “apparently I’m a bit of a gay icon”. He was only repeating what he’d been told and seemed quite chuffed about it.

    Good on him, better than saying he hates having gay fans. There’s the makings of a gay icon in him yet!

  13. Christopher in Canada 3 Dec 2012, 2:58pm

    See also under “Marky Mark”, has-been physique icon of the 90’s.

    Both are legends in their own minds.

    1. Marky mark was hot but he also liked to beat up on gays for looking at him.

  14. You are a wannabe gay icon darling.

    1. However you’re still an attractive guy, though a little bit full of yourself.

  15. Exactly. It is time as a community we shake the image – far too often rightfully deserved – that we are a bunch of shallow-fashion-obsessed- celebrity craving individuals. Louis WHO??? First time I hear about the guy, and I do not give a toss about anyone seeking more media-exposure through sickening reality-TV. It takes more to be an icon that sporting the latest trend and appearing on TV. Grow up!!!
    UK culture is fast becoming an under-culture.

    1. “UK culture is fast becoming an under-culture”. Very true. But sadly though, there are some wizards creating that under-culture and making it very attractive to the rest of the world. It’s being aped all over the planet.

    2. UK culture is fast becoming an under-culture.

      That depends entirely on how you define ‘culture’. My experience of struggling hopelessly to get tickets to various events in what could be called High Culture in London suggests there’s really no reason to despair just yet.

  16. pull your head from out of your love – there may be some that fancy you sadly im not one.

    I thought you came across as being a little not gay friendly in various comment you have made Louis –

  17. apparently, he compared his “package” to Tom Daley’s, saying he is better endowed… Make what you will of that!

    1. Well there’s one way he can prove it. Pass the opera glasses…

  18. Jeezus, give him a break. He said “apparently I’m now considered a gay icon”. He didn’t label himself one. Seems like a lot of people read the headline and not his actual quote.

    That aside, not a fan. So don’t care much.

  19. I hear he has been getting a lot of fan mail from gay men. Perhaps that’s what prompted him to make the ‘icon’ comment.
    Finding him to be a bit of a hottie I have seen and read some interviews with him and found him to come across as quite modest and polite. I always take newspaper reports as part fiction, so we can’t be sure exactly what he said or in what context, although if those are his words about being ‘fat’, then he’s probably going to learn that being in the public eye requires a little more tact!

  20. I find him rather revolting!

  21. Every time Isee him all I wan to do is take some shears to his hair.

    Your sooooo no icon of mine. Self important little so and so.

  22. He’s confusing being fancied by some gay men with being an icon. Seems a bit cheesy to put it out there himself, more than likely to try and extend his 15 minutes.
    I really don’t have anything against him except that he does come across as someone who is desperate to be a professional ‘Celebrity’ rather than just being famous because of his profession.
    Daniel Radcliffe is more who comes to mind when I think of straight male gay icons; someone who exploits his fame to try and help lgbt people rather than someone who wants to exploit gay people to help his fame.

  23. barriejohn 5 Dec 2012, 11:44am

    He looks like Michael Portillo. Food for though there, methinks!

  24. He’s a gynmast? He is preened within an each of his life? He’d pose naked and/or topless for Attitude? He is currently participating in Strictly Come Dancing? He wants his own range of underwear? He’s self obsessed? And let’s not forget, he’s quite effeminate.

    And he’s claiming to be straight?


    Let us not forget that all sterotypes are based on some form of truth and and our dear Louis is FLAMING.

    1. And he talks about not having time for a girlfriend, and in any case being more interested in “spooning” with a young lady than anything else. Maybe he’s just painfully shy with the opposite sex?

    2. Wow, you really have a low opinion of what it takes to be a gay man, don’t you? With attitudes like that, who needs non-gay homophobes?

      1. If you read above, all sterotypes are based on some form of truth. All I am saying is that he has one to many sterotype traits for my liking. And who said being a gynmast, preened, posing nude or topless, having your own underwear OR being effeminate is a bad thing? You say that I have a low opinion? How?

  25. Just come out already! Sissy closeted queens like him and Tom Daley make me sick!

  26. erm,.. no your not… who are you..?

  27. He’s a *pin up* for gay men, NOT a gay icon. There’s a quite a difference.

  28. Probably what he meant to say was he’s bit of a Gay.

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