A radio station called one of its own hosts a f*g after he penned an emotional letter about being gay
WWL Radio tweeted a homophobic slur toward one of its own hosts after he wrote about the shame he has been made to feel as a gay man.
The New Orleans radio station host Seth Dunlap recalled his experiences in an open letter to NFL quarterback Drew Brees, who has been widely criticised for appearing in a promotional video for the anti-LGBT+ hate group Focus on the Family.
He wrote the essay after Brees said it was a “shame” he had been singled out by the media and the LGBT+ community, explaining that he was unaware of the group’s anti-LGBT+ stance.
“This is tough, but staying true to myself means empathising and educating with the platform I have,” Dunlap tweeted on September 6.
“[Brees’] reaction was hurtful to many people, including me – an openly gay man.”
Three days later, Dunlap tweeted an otherwise everyday comment about Brees’ team, the New Orleans Saints.
“Which of these 5 ‘overreactions’ isn’t actually an overreaction?” he asked.
“That you’re a fag”, the official WWL Radio account replied in a since-deleted tweet.
Sports journalists and fans were quick to condemn WWL Radio.
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) September 10, 2019
— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) September 10, 2019
2019, and this is how we treat people? Disgusting.
— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) September 10, 2019
Dunlap gave a veiled response. He later thanked followers for their kind words and support.
I’m just going to really enjoy knowing somebody is exceptionally upset I get to talk sports every night for a living pic.twitter.com/z5zlvfZRH0
— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 10, 2019
Almost 12 hours after the initial tweet, WWL issued a statement distancing itself from the slur.
We are aware of a tweet that went out today from the WWL account. The content of the tweet is categorically offensive and abhorrent to the station. We are actively investigating this incident and will take swift and appropriate action once we determine how this occurred.
— WWL Radio (@WWLAMFM) September 11, 2019
WWL Radio host wrote about gay shame.
In his letter to Brees, Dunlap wrote about the shame he had been made to feel throughout his life.
“I grew up in one of the most rural, remote places in our country,” he wrote.
“I felt shame every minute of every day trying to hide who I really was, attempting to conform to the world views of a very closed and unwelcoming community.”
Dunlap recalled several times he had been discriminated against on account of his sexuality: while at college, a place he found “unwelcoming to young gay men and lesbian women”, and during time spent working for a local radio station where he “listened to my bosses talk openly in the office about how they believed gay people should be ‘rounded up and given a quick and easy death'”, until he was fired for being gay himself.
“Fast forward a decade and I’m working as an out-and-open gay man in sports media in the heart of the deep south,” he continued.
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“I’m sure you can imagine the kind of daily hate I receive for simply living my life while doing what I love do to – cover sports.”
Dunlap explained that he had considered quitting the industry after being told that his sexuality could make NFL players such as those on Brees’ team “uncomfortable”, but was talked down by friends.
“I’m no different than every gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer person in the world. When you say ‘shame on them’ when referencing the men and women with a platform who have written or discussed your video the past few days, those words are incredibly hurtful.”