People like having sex. All kinds of people. Sex is good. Sex is healthy. And as long as it’s consensual, it’s a helluva lot of fun. I can’t imagine this comes as a surprise to anyone who has engaged in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.
That’s apparently not the case for The Daily Beast reporter Nico Hines, who dedicated an entire “journalistic” article to Olympic athletes interested in having sex while in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 summer games. The Daily Beast is an online publication which claims to offer “a smart, speedy take on the news from around the world.” In this instance? Hardly.
On assignment in Rio to cover the Olympics, Hines decided the most newsworthy topic he could write about was his attempt to solicit casual hook-ups from the competing athletes through dating apps such as Bumble, Tinder, and the gay dating app Grindr, to name a few. Why? How is this at all relevant to the monumental achievements taking place by some of the most elite athletes in the world? Quite frankly, it’s not.
Without regard to privacy, anonymity and most importantly, safety, Hines wrote in great detail about having received three potential dates within an hour on Grindr. He provided enough information about each interested party to make it easy to identify exactly who they were by including descriptions of their profile pictures, where they were from, their height, weight, the sport they played and even where they had placed in the competition thus far. He failed to consider many of these people hail from anti-gay countries, where homosexuality is still punishable by law (which, in some cases, includes being put to death.) In the piece he wrote, “No prizes for guessing that Grindr proved more of an instant hookup success than Bumble or Tinder,” insinuating that gay men are somehow more promiscuous than others. This statement added a dash of homophobia and a heaping side of shame to an already pitiful plate of trash. Although it did reveal how preoccupied with gay sex Hines seems to be.
After the article caught fire on social media, with users furious he would purposely out others for the sake of potentially going viral, Hines went on the defensive by claiming he did not “lie to anyone or pretend to be someone I wasn’t – unless you count being on Grindr in the first place – since I’m straight, with a wife and child. I used my own picture (just of my face…) and confessed to being a journalist as soon as anyone asked who I was.” I wonder, Mr. Hines, did you also confess you planned to out these men in public with no regard for their personal safety or mental welfare? I also struggle with why, if he’s so “straight,” he would be on Grindr in the first place, other than to expose some of the competitors as being gay?
While shaming the idea of gay sex, it seems to me he’s simultaneously intrigued, flattered even, that he received responses for a casual, consensual, same-sex hook-up. Personally, I see this as a veiled attempt to explore the goings-on in the gay community without having to acknowledge he may be curious about his own sexuality (hence the need to justify being straight and married, with a kid to prove it!) Why the obsession over what consenting adults are doing behind closed doors?
Here’s a newsflash: there are many gay men and women involved in heterosexual relationships, some of whom even have children; whatever the reason behind such relationships is nobody’s business but theirs.
In an attempt to quash the social media backlash that soon followed the publication of the story, The Daily Beast made “editorial changes” in an effort to remove some of the more identifying details of the athletes stating, “The article was not intended to do harm or degrade members of the LGBT community, but intent doesn’t matter, impact does.” Then what exactly was it intended to do?
Despite this statement, however, they still found the story worth keeping. Their disingenuous non-apology didn’t work and people still expressed their (well-deserved) outrage over the fact this would even be considered newsworthy in the first place. Amid increasing pressure, they finally decided to remove the article from their website. Doing so doesn’t mean the damage hasn’t already been done. They must have forgotten that once something appears on the internet, whether for minutes or days at a time, it’s out there. Forever.
Being gay is not a choice and the LGBTQ community is not something to be “tolerated,” as the word implies there is something wrong with it but you’re willing to let it sit with you in the cafeteria, just not at the same table. Stop perpetuating hate and grow up, already. One ought not belittle the sacredness of another human life.
The bottom of the barrel is empty, Daily Beast. You can’t sink any lower than you already have, and if anyone should feel ashamed in this scenario, it’s you and Mr. Hines.