Gay athlete Simon Dunn slams homophobic meme for using his image

The Australian athlete rejected the use of his image in a homophobic meme that portrayed comedian Julian Clary in a negative light.

Simon Dunn posing shirtless

Simon Dunn has slammed the use of his image in a meme that compares the differences between “Gay people I respect” and “Gay people I do not respect.”

Dunn is a former bobsledder and rugby player and was the first openly gay male to represent Australia in the sport of bobsled. He retired in 2016 and is currently based in London.

The meme in question has been circulating on Twitter and other social media. It compares Australian athlete Dunn to comedian Julian Clary who is known for his camp style.

Twitter user @JamesFI originally shared the image after seeing it on his Facebook feed: 

“I had qualms about reposting it because it doesn’t deserve sharing frankly, but I think it’s important to call this ignorance out, especially when it comes from inside our own community.”

“ […] the fact that someone has used his image [Dunne’s], without permission, to spread this message is even more repugnant.”

The meme describes “Gay People I Respect” as acting “like a normal human being,” “doesn’t force upon you the fact that they’re gay” and reiterates “is a normal human being that you can be friends with.”

Some Twitter users also noted people in the community sharing the meme because they agreed with its message, labelling their actions as internalised homophobia in that people’s insecurity is making them criticise others who challenge heteronormativity.

Simon Dunn then responded: “Don’t use my image for your internalised homophobia, don’t make assumptions on the kind of gay man I am or the kind of gay men I associate myself with.

“I’ll always support those who are true to themselves and be who they truly are. I will always be your biggest advocate!”

Simon’s tweet was soon shared by other community members who reacted positively to its message, with one user posting, “Gay people we don’t respect – those ignorant enough to make this graphic.”

 

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