Simon Dunn became aware of a viral homophobic meme after people began tagging him in it on social media.
The 32-year-old former Australian team bobsledder slammed the meme that unfairly criticizes out and proud gay men.
It lists characteristics of gay men that the meme’s creator ‘respects’, such as ‘Doesn’t force upon you the fact that they’re gay’.
While characteristics they ‘do not respect’ being ‘Sexuality is the focal point of their existence’, ‘Rainbow flag everything and everywhere’, ‘Complains about straight people consistently’ and ‘Dresses like a clown to show the world how gay they are’.
Someone (a gay man, no less) just shared this absolute fucking catastrophe on my Facebook feed and I hit delete so fast and hard I almost smashed my phone screen.
Internalised homophobia is a disease x pic.twitter.com/2jqRfVl7cs
— James (@JamesFl) July 26, 2019
A Twitter user posted a screenshot of the meme after seeing a Facebook ‘friend’ of his share it.
Simon Dunn responds
After Simon Dunn became aware of the meme, he quote-tweeted it and called it out.
‘Don’t use my image for your internalized homophobia,’ he wrote on Twitter on Friday (26 July). ‘Don’t make assumptions on the kind of gay man I am or the kind of gay men I associate with.
He then added: ‘I’ll always support those those who are true to themselves and be who they truly are. I will always be your biggest advocate!’
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 those who are true to themselves and be who they truly are. I will always be your biggest advocate! https://t.co/n6eIf8Cd1h
— Simon Dunn (@BySimonDunn) July 26, 2019
The people in the ‘do not respect’ section of the meme are ‘a fundamental part in our big, diverse community’, he told Gay Star News.
‘[I’m] appalled at both the message behind it and the fact my face had been used,’ he said. ‘The message behind this image couldn’t be further from the truth.’
When asked if he authorized the use of his image for the meme, he responded: ‘Definitely not’.
He then added: ‘Clearly whoever created it doesn’t have any idea of the person I am and what I stand for. I’ve spent the last several years being very public about my sexuality whilst I was an athlete and still continue to do so today.’
‘The gay community is notorious for not being our own allies.
‘We need to learn to be more accepting of others within our community and stop idealizing a certain type whilst acting like anything else is lesser.
‘If you think its ok to “not respect” others, perhaps your respect isn’t something that people want anyway,’ he said.