Out gay and lesbian Olympians took seven medals during the Beijing Games, the highest profile of which was Matthew Mitcham. WIth his cover boy looks, compelling (and very public) coming out and thrilling come-from-nowhere win for the gold, he took center stage in both gay and non-gay media outlets.
“Mitcham won a high profile event, he won it in prime time and he won it by beating the people who were supposed to be unbeatable,” said Jim Buzinski, co-founder of Outsports.com, whose Olympics blog received so much traffic during Mitcham’s performance Saturday that it crashed the site’s computer servers for two hours. “This is the most significant win ever by an openly gay male athlete.”
But what’s the impact of the gay medals? I explored that question with Buzinski, author Patricia Nell Warren and two local folks — Sean Fitzgerald, president of the Atlanta Rainbow Trout, and Mike Horton, chair of the Atlanta Gay Sports Alliance — in my recent Southern Voice sports column. Read it here.