A Little Less Homophobia?

There’s a saying in Rio that goes something like this: “Romance is always in the air in Rio, but only until the wind changes, and then…comes more romance.” And while NBC Sports may be homophobic, NBC Nightly News is a bit less so. Last night the final story was about Olympic athletes getting engaged at the Olympic Games. It’s seems everyone wants to get married.

Will Claye did. The American triple jumper claimed a silver medal in his event on Tuesday, but topped the podium in affairs of the heart. Moments after securing his medal, he rushed to the stands and popped the question to his girlfriend, hurdler Queen Harrison. Naturally, she said yes, prompting Claye to pump his fist with delight.

Marjorie Enya did. A volunteer stadium manager at the rugby venue in Deodoro, Enya proposed to her girlfriend, Brazil women’s national team player Isadora Cerullo, on the playing field at the completion of the women’s competition, and got the answer she wanted.

Qin Kai and He Zi do. Qin, a Chinese diver who won bronze earlier in the Games, got down on bended knee with ring in hand as He stepped off the podium after winning silver in the women’s 3-meter springboard final on Sunday.

Charlotte Dujardin and Dean Goulding do too. Dujardin, who won gold for Britain in the team dressage equestrian event on Monday, was cheered on by her partner Goulding from the stands. After clinching the title, she spotted Goulding holding up a sign: “Can we get married now?”

Romance returned to Rio on Monday with the engagement of Team GB walker Tom Bosworth and partner Harry Dineley. The three-time British record holder, who set a new national mark as he finished sixth in the 20 kilometers, popped the question on Copacabana beach.

Of the four couples featured on NBC Nightly News, two were heterosexual and two were homosexual. NBC Sports doesn’t seem to want to cover gay athletes or even acknowledge them, but NBC News featured the two gay couples like it was another romantic gesture, like any other engagement, just as it should have been.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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