A gay radio host who opened up about his negative experiences of homophobia received backlash from a strange source – the very radio station he was working for.
Seth Dunlap presents a sports show called The Last Lap on New Orleans’ WWL Radio station. He recently posted an open letter to Facebook calling out to American football quarterback Drew Brees for his support of the recognisably homophobic group Focus on the Family. Focus not only supports conversion therapy, stating “leaving homosexuality is a possibility”, they actually ran an anti-choice Super Bowl advert and have continually espoused anti-LGBT+ views.
Brees appeared in Focus videos promoting “Bring Your Bible To School Day”.
In his open letter, the openly gay radio host tried to explain to Breed that his partnership with the homophobic group “caused pain to so much of the LGBTQ+ community in Louisiana, and to so many of your ardent supporters and fans.” He also shared his own experiences of shame brought about by bigotry and anti-LGBT+ views.
While any LGBT+ person in the public eye is sadly almost guaranteed some kind of homophobic flack, the shocker was when it came from his own station. Dunlap had tweeted an innocuous conversation starter attached to a story – “which one of these five ‘overreactions’ isn’t actually an overreaction” from his personal Twitter account.
The Twitter account of his employer, WWL Radio, responded, “That you’re a fag”.
The message remained on social media for a short time before it was spotted and eventually deleted, but not before many took screen grabs and shared it further. The story soon spread across sports media.
— Nick Underhill (@nick_underhill) September 10, 2019
The station are adamant they have not managed to find the staff member who posted from their account, with Kevin Cassidy, their senior vice president, telling staff he was “personally disgusted” and that the company was “taking all possible steps” to identify who sent it.
WWL released a Tweet stating the post was “categorically offensive and abhorrent to the station” and said they were investigating the incident.
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
While the culprit still remains at large, Dunlap has decided to rise above the slur. He shared, “I’m just going to really enjoy knowing somebody is exceptionally upset I get to talk sports every night for a living.”
All of the comments and responses tonight mean a lot. Thank you for the kind words, funny memes, and amazingly awful pun attempts. ✌️❤️
— Seth Dunlap (@sethdunlap) September 11, 2019
© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
For 30 years GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBT+ community. We want to go on providing this community hub in print and online, helping countless individuals across the country, but the revenue from advertising across the media is falling.
GCN needs your support. If you value having an independent LGBT+ media in Ireland, you can help from only €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBT+ media.