I just sent this letter to the editors of Daily Beast. Content note: homophobia, homophobic oppression, trivialization of homophobia
Dear Daily Beast:
What the hell were you thinking? What possible journalistic value was going to come of outing gay athletes, some of whom live in repressively homophobic countries? You put people’s actual lives at risk — for what? What was the story here? “Gay people exist, and some of them are Olympic athletes”?
This was grossly irresponsible journalism. I know you took down some of the identifying details about closeted athletes — but why is the piece even still up at all? What purpose is served by it? And in any case, it’s too late. Do you really not understand that there are some countries where being gay is illegal — and where virulent homophobes are actively hunting down gay people for the purpose of exposing them? Do you not understand that even here in the United States, where being gay is legal, it’s still dangerous for many people to be out? Do you not know that gay people can lose families, jobs, homes, and are subject to violence? And do you somehow not know that there is a huge spotlight on Olympic athletes, and that news stories about them can and will be seen around the world?
I notice that the banner on your Twitter page has a rainbow flag on it. Shame on you for trying to score points with LGBT readers while selling us out.
Nico Hines needs to be fired. His editor needs to be fired. And Daily Beast needs to do a major overhaul of its practices, to find out how the hell this shameful display of shoddy journalism happened in the first place, and to make sure nothing like it ever happens again.