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Thu Aug 11, 2016, 09:56 AM

Daily Beast "journalist" joins Grindr in Rio and is Shocked! Shocked I tell you! UPDATE

I won't link to the original journalist's article, because it's the worst sort of tripe, but Nico Hines, a straight, married journalist in Rio for the Olympics, joined various gay hook-up apps and had a pearls-clutching moment about how to-the-point these men were about hooking up:

I expect you’ve heard the legend of the athletes’ village; tales abound that the Olympic Games is a hotbed of partying athletes, hookups, and sex, sex, sex.

Perhaps the question most people have is: How do the rest of us get an invite? Can an Average Joe join the bacchanalia?
After 60 minutes in the Olympic Village on Tuesday evening, I’m surprised to say that the answer is “yes.”

Armed with a range of dating and hookup apps—Bumble, Grindr, Jack’d, and Tinder—your distinctly non-Olympian correspondent had scored three dates in the first hour.

No prizes for guessing that Grindr proved more of an instant hookup success than Bumble or Tinder, which is owned by IAC, the parent company of The Daily Beast.

For the record, I didn’t 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.

And he then proceeded to name sports, finish places, and rough descriptions of the athletes that pinged him back on Grindr, including indicating that some of them are from "a notoriously homophobic country."

They've since scrubbed the article of some of the more damning personal stats, but you know how the internet loves to forget things, right?

So, he may have outed athletes as gay from homophobic countries? Good job Mr. "Journalist." The article is basically content free, but there have been some incredible take-downs from around Twitter and the web. The Guyliner has a great blog about it here:

Nico, like every good journalist, wanted to put himself at the heart of the story, so he uploaded his avi to a series of different apps, put out a few ‘stats’ and sat and waited. Whether it was a slow day at the Olympic village, or the Brazilian humidity had short-circuited everyone’s wires, I couldn’t possibly say, but soon our intrepid reporter was inundated with replies on Grindr, the most popular hookup app for gay men.

The story – its news angle so toothless it can barely manage soup and liquidised veg as it lies dying on its hospital bed of irrelevance – goes that gay men short on time are usually pretty direct when it comes to asking for sex. They ask for photos, share their stats and locations and cut straight to the chase. Nico claims that he was only ever honest with these guys in his replies – that he was not only a journalist but straight and married – but the act of putting your photo on an app like this is an understanding you are available. It is an invitation to be wooed, propositioned or demanded of; it is an acceptance of an invisible, unspoken code. “I am here for the same reason as you. I understand you. I want this too.”

Among the most malevolent aspects of this noxious, patronising horror show is Nico’s disrespect for these guys’ anonymity. He reels off guys’ stats, their countries of origin and even the sports they compete in, under the guise of showing the variety of guys available and looking for sex. This is not only cruel, it’s irresponsible. As I said, a lot of these sportsmen come from countries where any revelation of their sexuality could result in their lives being made difficult or, in some cases, snuffed altogether. Whether we like it or not, a great number of people – increasing if the current political climate is anything to go by – think homosexuality is wrong, or shameful, or disgusting. These guys aren’t just hiding their sexuality because they’re worried about product endorsements – they’re trying to stay safe. Nico shows no regard for this, however, he’s got 1,500 prurient words to file. And, pardon my hyperbole, but this could get someone killed. Sexuality isn’t a game; it is not content. It is our life.

The sad thing is it’s a missed opportunity for the Daily Beast, if not for Nico. While the author may like to tell himself his was a human interest story and not a patronising smirk, there was a genuine tale to be told here. The story of how the Olympics, and the availability of hookup apps, is allowing gay athletes from homophobic countries to express themselves and have sex could’ve been genuinely informative and enlightening. It could have held these countries to account, asked what “inclusive” events like the Olympics can do to reinforce themes of freedom from oppression, maybe even talked to these athletes about what it was like to hide who they really were – and it could’ve provided work to a gay journalist to tell it.

And Attitude Magazine UK went straight to the danger it placed the potentially closeted athletes in:

Many were quick to point out the unjustifiably salacious – and potentially dangerous – nature of the article.

“These hookup apps exist to protect us from YOU,” wrote one user. “We have to hide, in plain sight, because you still don’t get it, or us.”

Another added: “Unless queer outing is now an Olympic sport, can we just all agree that @NicoHines piece is outright homophobia? Needs to be withdrawn.”

And this fellow's Twitter thread pulls no punches, and hits all of its targets:

Once again, the LGBT space is being defined by straight people who are looking in from the outside. From the end of the Guyliner article above:

LGBT people don’t need straight people dipping their toe in to our sexuality and dutifully reporting back how weird and wonderful we are. We need them to make room – LOTS of fucking room – for us to tell our stories under our terms. We’re not here to entertain you, or amuse you; our life is not a cabaret act and you are not the peanut gallery. We’re here to tell you: you don’t get to speak for us anymore. You don’t get to expose us for your own pleasure, to out us before we’re ready, to control the conversation. You don’t get to show us off like an artefact, to be brought down from the top of the cupboard and dusted off whenever you remember we exist.

Move over. You’re getting it all wrong. We can drive from here.

*** Update: Daily Beast has taken the whole story down:


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Reply Daily Beast "journalist" joins Grindr in Rio and is Shocked! Shocked I tell you! UPDATE (Original post)
Saviolo Aug 2016 OP
MattP Aug 2016 #1
shenmue Aug 2016 #2
Saviolo Aug 2016 #3

Response to Saviolo (Original post)

Thu Aug 11, 2016, 10:03 AM

1. What a stupid article, this kind of homophobic article should be history

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Response to Saviolo (Original post)

Thu Aug 11, 2016, 11:01 AM

2. People have sex?

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Response to shenmue (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 11, 2016, 11:09 AM

3. Amazing, right?

Get a whole bunch of excited, top-physical-condition young men and women from around the world, put them all in an enclosed space, and, crazy I know!!, they're going to want to have sex with each other.

And straight journos still scratch their heads all the time and think, "Wow... gay people. That's, like, still a thing! I really don't get it!"

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