Queerty Asks, You Answer

Is Gay Preference Right?

As you all know, gay diver Matthew Mitcham won a gold medal in Beijing this weekend.

While it’s customary to cheer for your home (nation) team, many of you may have found yourselves cheering for Mitcham simply because he’s of the homo persuasion.

This leads us to two questions: One, did you cheer for Mitcham simply because he’s gay? Two, is it fair to prefer someone simply because they’re gay?

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  • Alan down in Florida

    No I did not root for Matthew Mitcham because he was gay. I rooted for him because he is openly gay – even if you could not tell it by NBC’s coverage. What better role model for the world’s gay youth than a happily mated sports star who is not afraid to be who he is while in the world’s eyes.

    I also rooted for him because he was the only diver who could break the Chinese stranglehold on the gold medals.

  • emb

    1. Yes
    2. Yes

    Until we’re treated as something other than scary freaks of nature by the mainstream US media and public, we should do all we can to encourage and support the success of gay, lesbian, and trans folks in all aspects of life. Like it or not, those of us who are out are poster children for homosexuality. Out athletes and celebrities, artists and politicians are defined by their sexuality first, their accomplishment second. And of course, when a gay man or lesbian commits a crime, their sexuality is highlighted in a way it would never be for the vast majority of crimes committed by heterosexuals.

    As long as that’s the case, it’s right and good and just to focus our support on our fellow-travelers. Once we’re no longer defined by who we snuggle with, we can affored to focus on other characteristics, like nationality. Until then, I’ll root for the homo every time!

  • faghag

    I cheered for him because:
    1- I am a faghag
    2- he’s too damn cute for words.

  • msim

    I actually preferred him because he is BRAVE.
    He blew kisses at the screen, didn’t try to “butch it up” in a fake-sporty-macho way.
    The only out-gay man in the Olympics. Doesn’t get any braver than that.

    2. Sure. I prefer lots of things, one of then is gayness.
    I prefer Canada but I have lived in the US.
    I prefer Gala apples but will eat a Mackintosh.

    Preferences are fine. I wouldn’t want to turn my preferences into laws and exclude others.

  • oneway

    1. I rooted for Matt because he’s out — not because he’s gay.

    2. Fair to root for somebody because they’re gay? Of course. It’s no more random a trait to have in common with an athlete than their nationality — and that’s a basis for cheering that’s obviously encouraged.

  • Darrell6tt

    I cheered for him because I know he is openly gay and I hoped he could beat the Chinese, who had already won too many gold medals.

    What could be fair/unfair about that? I don’t see fairness entering into the situation.

  • marc

    Didn’t black people vote for Obama simply because he is black?

  • WickedGayBlog.com

    Yes and YES. It is very common for minority groups to unite and stand behind their own including doing business with their own, supporting their own, and overall wishing good will on their own and being gay is no different.

    I do everything I can to support gay or gay friendly business, support gay rights, support gay celebs, support gay people here in Boston, support gay travel destinations, etc…

    That is not to say I don’t support str8 people but gay people get the majority of my attention.


    David, WickedGayBlog.com

  • rtharper

    1) No. However, as an athlete that never made it to international competition, I find many of them to be role models that I look up to. As a gay man, seeing someone that I further identify with doing what I wish I had done is nice to see. I’m with the others, though, that him being out is what makes it awesome for the gay community.

    2) Depends. I’m against any affirmative action, even for gays ;) In fandom, you can prefer whatever you damn well please.

  • David

    I’m in agreement with many of the posters here, in that I rooted for Matthew because he is openly gay, not because he is gay. I didn’t particularly pull for the American boyfriends (excuse me, roommates and best friends since the age of 10 — I misspoke), though I had heard about them and was interested in seeing how they did.

    I also rooted for Matthew because I knew he was good — I had in my head that he couldn’t overtake the Chinese divers, but I thought he had a chance for silver. I also thought it was too bad that he wouldn’t win gold, because his dives were the most consistently great. In the semis and finals he had more 10s than anyone, even before the final dive, and I thought it was too bad that he wouldn’t win gold even though he was the best diver. So I was thrilled for him to win.

    As for supporting members of my tribe — absolutely. I’m much more apt to support an openly gay man of any nationality than to support an American. And that goes for any competition or any endeavor. My first loyalty is to my openly gay brothers. And to those of my tribe who are openly lesbian, openly bisexual, and openly transgender.


    He’s a proud young out gay man who’s talented and a refreshing change to see from all the self-loathers, the stereotypical queens, and feeble non-athletic images people outside of our community have about us.

    So yes, I’m more than happy to cheer for him. Who else is gonna do it with that intensity and unabashed pride we feel about him if not us? He is one of our own. Each of us see in him one of his many good qualities that we wish we could have ourselves. As far as I’m concerned we need more Mitchams in this world, certainly in the US.

  • CitizenGeek

    Yes, I cheered for him mainly because he’s openly gay. And no, I don’t see a problem with that.

  • afrolito

    @No. 7

    “Didn’t black people vote for Obama simply because he is black?”

    No, you fucking idiot.

  • Nickadoo

    While nationalism has always been the predominant factor in rooting for athletes in the Olympics, it’s never been the only one.

    We have a history of rooting for the underdog, regardless of where they’re from. We often applaud people who’ve overcome harrowing odds and personal tragedies and often charmed by athletes who simply exude charming grace and personality.

    Had America won the gold in this event, it still would’ve felt like a victory for most gay Americans as Americans.

    The fact that an openly gay Australian man won the gold doesn’t preclude us from symbolically claiming his victory as one for “our team.”

  • dizzyspins

    I always feel weird when I watch the Olympics on TV, because Im supposed to root for certain people just because they come from the same country as me. Even if another athlete is more proficient, or has overcome greater obstacles. As someone posted earlier, rooting for Mitcham because he;s gay is no worse than rooting for Phelps because he’s American. I know people who root for certain football teams because of the color of their uniforms or because they really enjoy the city they represent.

  • Bob R

    I agree with most posters on this subject. Yes I cheered for him because he’s openly and proudly gay. And as for question two, it depends on the person and the situation. If they’re out and provide positive influence for the gay community, then yes by all means. If they’re obnoxious horses asses like Richard Hatch that cause us embarrassment, then no, by any means.

    Mitcham is an all around magnificent young gay athlete who represents us well. I couldn’t be prouder of him for all his accomplishments. Yes, a good role model for gay youth.

  • michael

    I will cheer on anyone who stands up for who they really are, straight, gay, black, white, red or pink. I also cheered him on because he is something to be proud of. The media often times
    likes to focus on the most negative people and things they can find
    in gay culture. We have lots to be proud of and Matthew is one of them. And Afrolito, while I agree with you I don’t agree with the way you resort to name calling, it shows that you are at least as ignorant as those you disagree with because you are incapable of debating intelligently. Get some class, your one of the kind of gay people thats hard to be proud of.

  • jheryn

    1. No I did not cheer for him because he was gay. It isn’t to say that I am not proud of him because he is out and proud, but I wanted my own country to win. When we were not serious contenders I was cheering him on for many reasons. He is out. He had a chance breaking the Chinese grips on the gold. He is genuinely talented.

    2. Absolutely NOT! Just because someone is gay does not mean that they are a nice or even quality person. In my community, there are plenty of gays that I would not associate myself with on a bet! Your sexual orientation does not dictate you character. Come on people! It doesn’t matter who you sleep with gay or straight. Who a person is and how he or she conducts themselves in life is the reason you should like someone. I am proud to be a gay man, but I want people to like me because of who I am not because of the sex of the person that I sleep with. In my opinion, if we prefer someone just because they are gay, we cannot be offended when a straight person snubs us because they prefer people that are straight.

  • John


    Some blacks did vote for O cause he was black…so what? That’s life. Like some for McCain cause he’s white. Bah,life.


    Regardless of whether he is black, white, gay or straight-this guy is a guy who’s is so normal but extra-ordinary purely because he is honest. And that is an ‘extra-ordinary’ feat in this culture that we live in.

  • marc


    Don’t take everything so personally. I was just trying to stir up the pot. Thanks for the back up John.

  • Tom

    Yes, my partner and I cheered him on because we knew he was openly gay, but also because he’s outstandingly gifted. How cool, and how historic, to have the first-ever Olympic gold medal, and the highest-scored dive in Olympic history, both scored by an openly gay athlete. It’s every bit as revolutionary in its way as having a woman and an African-American as the last two Democrats standing in this year’s bid for the party’s presidential nomination.

    And I wonder how long it will be before we have an openly gay American diver. Thomas Finchum has a lot of stereotypically gay mannerisms, and is only a year younger than Mitchum, but even if he IS gay, I can’t imagine his being allowed to be open about it. An openly gay U.S. athlete, even a champion, would still spark outrage and protests from Focus on the Family, the AFA, etc., not to mention the Westboro Baptist wingnuts. And shame on NBC for finessing his sexuality in their coverage.

  • gpet

    One, I watched the diving finals and cheered Matthew on, like many others here, not because he is gay, but because he is openly gay. (and again, the only openly gay male at the games – unlike the american boyfrieds). We all know what kind of courage it takes to not only be out in life, but on the world stage as an an athlete to be out and proud – while still competing – how many of those are there?

    I will always do all I can to support the out and proud – because that’s who they are and that’s who I am.

  • afrolito

    @No. 19

    “Some blacks did vote for O cause he was black…so what? That’s life.”

    That’s BULLSHIT, seeing as you don’t speak for me or any other black person. FACT

  • boytroy


    How do you know that no black person votes for Obama because he is black? What an arrogant, stupid statement. You have a lot of
    anger issues and you come off like trash. I agree, get some class,
    an education and calm down.

  • Timothy

    I think that it is natural to support people that we think are “like us” or share our cultural values. It’s probably instintual.

    As Americans we want confirmation that our culture and our society yeilds strong and powerful leaders so we happily cheer on American atheletes – as, indeed do citizens of all nations (Fortunately, we also recognize that these games are not a REAL indicator of much so if China gets more golds we don’t go into a national depression).

    I think that as gay people we share a commonality with Micham. He is “like us” in a way similar to how Phelps is “like us” and his win reflects on our gay values and culture. And to be real, there’s probably a higher likelihood that a reader here would know Mitcham than that one would know Phelps.

    So, to me, it makes perfect sense that gay people would support gay atheletes. And it’s normal, natural, and probably healthy.

  • James

    I did root for him because he was openly gay. Other than a few questionable American divers in the sexuality dept, who else was I going to root for?

  • itsal

    yes and yes.

  • Chris

    I cheered for USA athletes these past two weeks because…well…that’s my team. Two exceptions, though. One was sprinter Usain Bolt from Jamaica (because he’s just an amazing runner), the other was Matthew Mitcham because…well…that’s my team!

  • GoodBuddy

    RE: “Some blacks did vote for O cause he was black…so what? That’s life.”

    People in this blog go apesht over the fact that approx. 10% of gay people support McCain. I was struck the other day reading the breakdown of poll results that 10% of black people support McCain as well.

    I would say gay people overwhelminly vote for the Democratic Party candidate because they see it in their best interests. I submit to you that black people do the same, as do almost all minority groups in the US.

  • Chris

    “He blew kisses at the screen, didn’t try to “butch it up” in a fake-sporty-macho way.”

    MSIM, very good point.

    It’s just so heartening to see a 20 year old kid so comfortable in his gay skin.

  • fuck off

    ugh! matthew mitcham is just another stereotypical queen who will further promote the notion that all fags are lisping mincing queens. did you see the way he smiled like a little girl when he got his gold medal? FUCK YOU MATTHEW

  • Dan

    I cheered because he endures the world’s barbed tongue against homosexuality like you or I do, and managed to beat all the odds.

  • K


    This just show the fact that you can root for anyone who has talent (look at Jamaica’s views on homos). I rooted for Mitchum because he was gay and talented. The twink synchro divers not so much.

    There is a lot to be said for what he did and it is just one more thing that can’t justify homophobes who would say we are weak. It proves them wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Let hope he stands strong and doesn’t bow to the public pressure that would have him be any other way

  • K

    I forgot to add. Why is it different for Lance Bass? Is he any less braver? (I’m not a fan of his BTW)

  • Al

    When someone is openly gay and competing in something like the Olympics, you tend to root for them. They’re on you’re team, they’re one of you and you have a connection and understand each other. Him winning at the Olympics will hopefully encourage more gay men to participate in the hetero-male dominated world of sports.

  • M Shane

    I cheered Matthew both because he is exceptionallyt talented and because he’s gay.
    I wouldn’t want him to win if he was a lousy diver just because he’s gay.
    Because I believe that it is imperative that we encourage our own most often oppressed kind and that we stay united in the knowldge of our difference (fuck you A Sullivan and B. Bawer)
    I am more inclined to prefer him in terms of wanting more that he win, than anm equally talented guy. Also he’s beautiful enough to make me do back flips. And I would certainly take the dive if it came to going down on mat.

  • emb

    Not to be shallow or anything, but that photo is Extremely Hot, thankyouverymuch.

  • Jack Scribe

    I agree with Alan down in Florida. BTW, “orientation” is a more correct word to use in the headline. I’m queer and proud of it…but I’m not sure I’d choose homsexuality, if I had the opportunity.

  • John


    Zzzz…you’ve proved my point.

    I AM black and I couldn’t help wanting O to win cause it would’ve just been nice to see a black person get some well deserved recognition because it’s pretty exhausting that race/color has to shield EVERYTHING….but if he was a murderer or complete incompetence, I wouldn’t want it.

    It’s no biggie, call a spade a spade. We are geared towards empathizing with our own ‘kind’-whatever that may be; be it a gay guy or an obscure creative outcast.

    No 29 has a point!

    Again do I agree with this..? No…but people will always be people, however angry and frustrated I get.

  • damien

    No, I (a Black guy) voted for Clinton… and so did every single person on my father’s side of the family. (Not that there’s anything wrong with O.)

    And I didn’t cheer for Mitcham. I definitely applaud him for being openly gay. We need more role models like that. But, being openly gay doesn’t automatically make you the best athlete.

  • BobP

    Of course!
    It’s called being supportive. Remember that? If we don’t cheer him on, who will? Certainly not #31 above, a homo self hater, and certainly not NBC who omitted showing his family and partner. It’s up to us. Geez, do you even have to ask?

  • L

    I cheered for Matt Mitcham because our “tribe” transcends nationality. And I think that is really great. Nationalism is scary stuff and has caused so much death, destruction, and evil in the world. Also, as long as gay men are viewed as weak, undisciplined, and cowardly, we need to show the world how untrue this is. (Typically, straight people do not see these positive characteristics in dancers – they certainly are brave and athletic and disciplined – but I digress.) And if you need a butch example of out, gay, athletic Australians (gotta luv’em!). How about rugby player Ian Roberts (look it up). Woof!!

  • marcus

    If Matthew was an asshole or something of course I would not cheer him on. But he is not. And he does show us just how adorable we gay people can be. He has a great personality, he is full of light and seems to have a good relationship with himself.
    I hope there are a lot of young gays out their that look at him and see that it is possible to be gay, to achieve your dreams, have lots of love in your life and be happy. Hell yeah I’m gonna cheer him on!

  • mark

    I didn’t cheer for him until I saw this video, I quit watching the Olympics after the Opening Ceremony

  • Charley

    I cheered him on because he overcame depression. Many of us gays and blacks are depressed because we are ostracized by society, told that we are no good. He got back on a very high diving platform in Australia, maybe to commit suicide, but instead his dive was amazing and he won. Victory over depression. Then he went back into his Olympic competition, perhaps met that handsome bf, and won a gold medal. He has an inspiring story that could save the lives of our gay youth.
    I didn’t live to be 74 years old and not have been on a rollercoaster of “to be or not to be”. He is great. Hell yes, I would vote for a gay candidate. Blacks have to speak for themselves.
    And black gays have to speak for themselves. It couldn’t have been easy.

  • hell's kitchen guy

    Back in the day, Jews would go down the voting list and pull the lever for Jewish names; Italians for Italian names; and on. That’s part of the democratic process.

  • afrolito

    @ No. 24 · boytroy

    “How do you know that no black person votes for Obama because he is black? What an arrogant, stupid statement. You have a lot of
    anger issues and you come off like trash. I agree, get some class,
    an education and calm down.”

    If anyone comes across as STUPID,RACIST,and DUMB, it would be you BITCH.

    I stand firmly behind what I said. Saying all black people voted for Obama just because he’s black takes away our intellect and individuality. We are not a monolith contrary to popular opinion. Any black person who does vote for Obama based on his color is only setting themselves (and Obama) up for disapointment.

    As far as this swimmer goes, i’ve never heard of him, and couldn’t care less about his gold medal.

  • chadnnocal

    GLBT people of the world should support one another above all else.

    Our countries, families and political affiliations are puppets to right wing corruption, cloaked in a christian induced trance. Let’s face it we are valued less. My feeling is if I see the face of gay person that I can relate to, I am going to send that person as much support as I can muster, as I know there equal numbers of hate filled people wishing he/she harm.

    I’m really not bitter, I just get a little excited.

  • JP

    Mondays Are A Bitch!!!!

  • Lucky Pierre

    Fair, schmair. Is it fair that LOTS of people would not root for him because he’s gay. I don’t necessarily champion someone because he or she is a fellow countryman/woman, but I often cheer on someone with an interesting (re: underdog) story. And, being out at the Olympics qualifies you as an underdog, I think.

  • Charley

    Dang. What are you doing on a gay blog? Are you a lesbian black pastor pushing afro-centric lies similar to Leah Daughtry or that crazy black pastor Irene Moore?
    You bitches are not the next MLK no matter how you tryas women .

  • Mark

    Afrolito, I don’t think anybody said that ALL black people voted for Obama because he was black. The comment was that SOME blacks voted for Obama simply because he was black. You can’t deny that.

  • Liam

    Yes, and yes.

    People gravitate to what they know and to what is familiar to them.

  • mds

    Afrolito, this is not junior high and nobody cares if you carry eyeliner in your purse, so stop being so defensive. Try being a lady for once and stop resorting to calling people names and obscenities. Your not in the ghetto anymore. Here we do things differently.

  • afrolito

    @ No. 54 · mds
    “Afrolito, this is not junior high and nobody cares if you carry eyeliner in your purse, so stop being so defensive. Try being a lady for once and stop resorting to calling people names and obscenities. Your not in the ghetto anymore. Here we do things differently.”

    The racism and stupidity dripping from your post is beyond stunning. I love drawing you morons out to play.

  • afrolito

    @ No. 52 Mark
    “Afrolito, I don’t think anybody said that ALL black people voted for Obama because he was black. The comment was that SOME blacks voted for Obama simply because he was black. You can’t deny that.”

    He said “black people”, not “some black people” in his original post, implying we are some kind of monolithic group brain trust. The word SOME is nowhere in his post.

  • princedeligne

    I cheered for matt because, he is an amazing diver, because he is already a champion just by being there, proving that he is among the worlds very best, because he is a role model and does not need a medal to validate his orientation. How sad that others who posted comments here felt less of the American divers who decided not to “declare themselves boyfriends” and the other gentleman who simply referred to them as twinks. Well, those “twinks” are dam excellent which is why they qualified to be represent our country @ the olympics. Not everyone, certainly not atheletes in America at that level can afford to acknowledge their sexuality openly. Oh yes, matt is attractive young gay man, why wouldn’t I cheer for him?

  • crazylove

    I cheered him on because he kicked the ass of his opponents while respecting their abilities. The gay part helped, but it didn’t define the respect. The out part helped even more but also didn’t define. He ws just really good.

  • Jon

    I liked him before I knew he was gay. That’s just a little bonus.

    I thought he was cute and talented. Why not root for him?

  • JohnnyC

    here in Australia he is a national hero, our first mens gold medal in Diving since 1924, his sexuallity hasn’t been much of an issue here. What a good role model for young gays world wide

  • robe

    It’s no different to supporting someone just because they happen to be from the same country as you.
    Michael Phelps personal achievments are no reflection of the other American’s sitting at home watching him (with a beer and pizza).

  • Jon

    I hate this crap.

    It is wrong to show preference for someone simply because of what his sexuality is, just as it is equally wrong to go against someone for what their sexuality is, or the colour of their skin is or what religion they choose or not to practice.

    We need to support or not support people based on what they achieve in life not because they suk dick or not. Until we get that through our ‘teenage activist mindsets’ then we are no better than those who discriminate against us homos.

    It’s about human rights people, human rights are about all people being afforded the same opportunites and equality. If we support someone merely based on who they take to bed than we are no better than those who condemn us. The “gay community”, if such actually exists, needs to grow up and treat all as equals and applaud achievements and not sexuality. If we don’t then we have no ethical legs to stand on when we condemn those people we call bigots. Let’s try taking the high road.

  • Andy Peters

    Well said, Jon.

  • jheryn

    That is exactly how I feel Jon, and said so in my post above. When will we finally realize that people are made up of more than their sexual orientation? I am a person who happens to be gay, but it is only a small part of what I am. Gay is not WHO I am.

  • K

    Uh Jon

    Get real. Though you have great ideals the reality is we always look for someone we can relate to. This is why a whole lot of homos weren’t sports inclined. There was no one there to “root for us”, so why bother. I guess I come from an older generation when we had to put up with being picked last for the team because we didn’t know how to throw a ball. Not to say I was all that interested. Now everyone gets a trophy. Because he is one of the worlds best, he represents what someone from our “community” (I use the word loosely) can do. When the day comes when sexuality is not an issue (it’s pretty close in Australia, but the still have a few problems) we won’t be rooting for someone just because he or she is gay.

  • Slider

    I rooted for Matthew Mitcham after I read about him in the Advocate Magazine. He came out and his story was compelling in that he had given up diving, dealt with his demons and then went back to diving. Plus, since he came out (as compared to what is rumored about American divers and swimmers in the closet), I believe that made me want to root for him more and he spoke about his partner but wanted to insure his partner’s privacy, which was endearing, since his partner is not a public figure.

    So yes, I rooted for him because he came out and is out and rooted for him because he is also an excellent diver and was subjected to what appears to be the Chinese methods of taking children from their homes and families and training them relentlessly. So, Matthew’s story, to me was one to be proud of and his superior skills made me thrilled for him that he achieved the highest score on a dive and won as an OUT proud Gay man.

    Shouldn’t we celebrate instead of scream at each other and make nasty comments toward each other and about Matthew?

  • gayinsf

    to No. 31 or as I prefer to call him/her scumbag: and “you will further promote the notion that…” not all gays are intelligent or thoughtful…

  • Slider

    oops…edit as to my comment…what I meant to say is that Matthew Mitcham’s training was such that he wasn’t subjected to what the Chinese do to their trainers…..Matthew did train full time but not in the brutal methods you read about the Chinese.

    Overall, I believe Matthew Mitcham worked hard, appeciated what he achieved and quite simply I was over joyed for him and for our community…I read comments like he cried like a girl….acted girlish etc….I defy any one who put in the training for years that he did NOT to be emotional…If he wasn’t then I would have issues with him and to me he comported himself with dignity and humility and a down to earth attitude that any one of us could learn from.

  • EF

    1) Yes. I rooted for him because he was out, though. I imagine other divers might be gay (Mitcham said so himself in an interview some time ago).

    2) Yes. There is a drought of out gay role models in elite sports. So I would say it is fair to cheer on them just because they are out.

  • Rob Moore

    Yes, I think it is just as valid to root for a gay person as it is to root for a fellow countryman.

    The skill with which he dived was graceful, magnificently done, and modestly accepted. He seems to be a man any father, mother, or husband would be proud of.

    What was just as impressive was the comfort he had with his partner on camera. There was no reticence or hesitation. Where NBC was never hesitant to point out an athlete’s heterosexual spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend, the man sitting next to Matt’s mother in a familiar manner was not mentioned even as an acquaintance. Matt’s comfort level made me smile. More gay people need to see others like themselves being happy. It was fantastic. I remember the first time I took my late ex’s hand in public without thinking. It just seemed quite normal to me, but he almost fainted so I let go.

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    I even root for people who are not mean! Libby Trickett, another Aussie was so sweet to the other swimmers when she won. Mitcham is a hero to Australia, Gays and even to the closeted Gay Athletes at the Beijing Olympics including someone on the USA Men’s Marathon swim-team! NBC Coverage sucked, though!

  • parisinla

    I would certainly agree that i rooted for him because he was gay. I am not aware of any of the American divers.
    But there are nationalistic blocks and racial blocks, why not gay blocks. Lets root for the gays. Wherever they are… As long as they’re good. IF they’re sucky gats then ill go for the next best thing a cute talented one i i wish was gay.

  • Mykel

    I’ll admit that I paid more attention to Matthew because he was gay. I cheered him on because he was an incredible diver as evidenced by the gold medal. His sexual orientation played no part in winning. I didn’t prefer him because he was gay, I preferred him because I thought he showed more personality than somoe of the other divers. C’mon – that cute two handed wave??? Hell, yeah!

    Being the only openly gay athlete at the games was incredible to see. I appreciate tht he didn’t try to hide anything about himself, including his partner. It must have been far easier for him to be open than for the other gay athletes to stay in that closet.

  • wistungsten

    I just cheered for him because I thought he was the hottest one. I didn’t know he was gay until the day after.

  • tristram

    Gay preference? It’s not as if we are the judges, charged with making an unbiased evaluation of the technical merits of the performances. We fans cheer for someone because we identify with some characteristic we have in common with him (or her) and/or because we admire some quality of the person. I applaud the courage and dedication of all the divers in the 10m platform competition, and I suspect that every one of them has a compelling personal story which, if I knew it, would enhance my appreciation of his performance.

    Like a lot of the posters here, I (with my extraordinarily sensitive social intuition) came to some tentative conclusions about the personal inclinations of the American divers. But I’m disheartened by the implicit disparagement of them in many of the posts above. They are high-school kids. They worked incredibly hard over many years to make the Olympic team, and they performed superbly to be among the twelve divers in the world to make it into the finals.

    I watched the finals hoping to see Thomas or David win a medal, and I cheered for them on every dive (even thought Thomas was out of it after this first). But as I watched the finals (and before I read that he was gay and out) I fell for Matthew Mitcham. Just his manner, his smile, his waves to the camera were enough, and his genuine and unselfconscious emotion the winning dive was transcendent. Knowing that he is out and comfortable with it and has a cute partner makes it even better. I get chills every time I watch the video of his winning dive.

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