Athlete ‘so happy’ to be filmed kissing his boyfriend at the Winter Olympics
‘My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV.’
An American freestyle skier said he was “so happy” to have been shown on TV kissing his boyfriend at the Winter Olympics.
Gus Kenworthy, 26, was spotted sharing the smooch with Matthew Wilkas at the bottom of the hill at Sunday morning’s qualifying round and the image was broadcast live on NBC.
Kenworthy said he was unaware they were being filmed but was pleased with the message it sent.
Didn't realize this moment was being filmed yesterday but I'm so happy that it was. My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN! Love is love is love. pic.twitter.com/8t0zHjgDg8— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 19, 2018
“My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN!” Kenworthy wrote in a tweet. “Love is love is love.”
Meanwhile Wilkas told reporters: “I think exposure to that is a great thing for our community. But also part of me thinks, well, big deal.
“It’s the tiniest kiss in the world. I could’ve made out with him if I had known.”
The couple have been bombarded with messages online.
Wow okay i just whimpered to myself “so beautiful” 😭— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 19, 2018
Truly a gold medal 🥇 moment https://t.co/rX1tyGvT9X— Ina Fried (@inafried) February 19, 2018
Many agreed with Kenworthy that it was a powerful image for children watching and for the LGBT community.
Kids all over the world will benefit from this visibility. 💜💛💙❤️💚 https://t.co/VnB7Ba2BDo— Daniel W. Brewster (@wvuDmoney) February 19, 2018
Such a simple capture during, say, the 1992 Olympics would have had huge meaning if I saw it on TV as an 11-year-old. You can't underestimate the simple, slight yet profound impact of such things. https://t.co/rvswJwiu7t— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) February 19, 2018
Others agreed with Wilkas’ view, and were saddened that the sight of a gay kiss on television is not already normalised.
It blows my mind that we live in a world where in 2018 this is such a huge monumental moment. But I’m so happy that this is a moment we are finally having and I hope it will pave the way for many more. One day we will live in a world where this can and will be commonplace. ❤️— Cassi (@ladyeqyss) February 19, 2018
Kenworthy and Wilkas’ kiss is another moment in a games of some significance for the LGBT community.
Figure skater Adam Rippon hit headlines worldwide for his criticism that US Vice President Mike Pence was chosen as the head of the nation’s delegation in Pyeongchang.
“I don’t think he has a real concept of reality,” Rippon told USA TODAY before the games. “To stand by some of the things that Donald Trump has said and for Mike Pence to say he’s a devout Christian man is completely contradictory.”