Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stonewall Fitness: I’m Gay and I Support the Sochi Olympics

By David Smith

If you are pro-choice does that mean you are pro-abortion? Of course not, it just means you are respecting another person enough to make the best decision for themselves, even if you don't agree with that decision.
 

I'm gay and I support the Sochi Olympics although some in the LGBT community have called for boycott.
"WHEN YOU PULL ON THAT JERSEY, YOU REPRESENT YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAMMATES. AND THE NAME ON THE FRONT IS A HELL OF ALOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ONE ON THE BACK! GET THAT THROUGH YOUR HEAD!" HERB BROOKES- MIRACLE
I have chosen this quote from "Miracle" because it I find it helps to reflect well on our current debate. The athletes that are going to compete in Sochi, from all over the world are representing their countries and their cultures, in essence they are representing you on the world stage. The Olympics in Sochi are especially important for the LGBT community because there are many LGBT athletes who are going to compete in Sochi. Not just from the United States but from all over the world, each country with various laws pertaining to homosexuality.

As a world wide LGBT community, especially now it is important that we don't turn our backs on our brothers and sisters, many whom have trained hard and sacrificed so much, even their coming out for the chance to participate in such an event. It is important that despite an individual country's efforts to restrict LGBT people that we are there to remind everybody in our world and every single individual, no matter how small or big that we are a loving, caring, supportive community open to all. No matter what a person chooses to pursue, whether it's coming out to parents or competing at the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. We must stand together as a community and support each and everybody person who is representing the best of us in their unique aspect.

For an athlete, being LGBT or straight truly doesn't matter, all the athletes are there for the same reason, it's a place where the politics, race, sexual orientation, religion or anything else all disappears because each person represents all the best aspects of their country, many of which are the same regardless of where they come from. During the closing ceremonies, the athletes always enter the stadium not restricted by their own contingents but with the friendships they've been in only two weeks, with their teammates, competitors and even rivals come together because in the end, that's what counts. As athletes return home all those differences return, but for even just a short time it's a place where those differences don't exist.

Our community has long been a place where people who are different can feel welcome, we can't alienate those athletes who represent our community because what it means to feel bullied, ostracized and left behind by your peers is not one anybody should contend with, no matter the circumstances. Events like the Gay Games are so important because they celebrate inclusion, participation and community, thats what the LGBT community has always stood for. No matter the athlete competing for the US in Sochi, I will be cheering them on because they are succeeding at representing the best of us in their own unique aspects. 


For more of my perspective on this issue, please read two of my previous MileHighGayGuy
posts,  "Why I Support the Sochi Olympics" and "2013 Sports Retrospective.

David Smith is the owner of Stonewall Fitness, holds a degree in exercise science from Metropolitan State University of Denver and holds several fitness certifications including ACSM Personal Trainer and Group Fitness.

Visit me: www.stonewallfitness.com
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