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Gay athlete Simon Dunn shuts down ‘homophobic’ meme using his image

Emma Powys Maurice July 29, 2019
Simon Dunn

Gay Australian athlete Simon Dunn, whose image was used in a 'homophobic' meme on Twitter (Out Traveler)

Simon Dunn, the world’s first openly gay bobsledder, has hit back at the creators of a ‘homophobic’ meme shared by another gay man on Twitter.

The meme uses Dunn’s image alongside a list of positive and negative traits in gay men, entitled “Gay people I respect” and “Gay people I do not respect.”

Dunn is listed among the former as he “acts like a normal human being” and “doesn’t force upon you the fact that they’re gay.”

He is compared to the camp comedian Julian Clary, who is supposedly the type of gay person who “dresses like a clown to show the world how gay they are.”

On seeing the offensive meme, the Australian athlete wrote: “Don’t use my image for your internalised homophobia, don’t make assumptions on the kind of gay man I am or the kind of gay men I associate myself with.

“I’ll always support those those who are true to themselves and be who they truly are. I will always be your biggest advocate!”

The user who brought the meme to Dunn’s attention said: “I had qualms about reposting it because it doesn’t deserve sharing frankly, but I think it’s important to call this ignorance out, especially when it comes from inside our own community.”

Openly gay athlete

32-year-old Dunn has competed in rugby as well as bobsledding, and is one of the world’s few openly gay sportsmen.

Unfortunately it’s not the first time his images have been shared without his permission. In 2017, he was forced to apologise after a naked photo of him was leaked online.

But Dunn is undaunted by the attention his sexuality attracts. Last year he sent a defiant message to the anti-LGBT+ rugby player Israel Folau: a picture of him and his boyfriend sharing a “victory kiss.”

In January Dunn set up a fundraiser to support LGBT+ youth in response to Folau’s public comments.

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