He may have not won a medal, but US skier Gus Kenworthy unwittingly hit an LGBTQ milestone when he kissed his boyfriend during the Winter Olympics and it was aired on primetime television!
The kiss happened before the ski slopestyle qualifying wherein Kenworthy finished twelfth. To him he was only showing affection to his boyfriend, actor Matthew Wilkas who was in the slopes to support him. It is something that a lot of athletes would do, but this may be the first time we are seeing an out gay Olympian do so on live TV. And this landmark moment was not lost on viewers who shared their elation in social media.
Pretty cool that they not only showed Gus Kenworthy kiss his boyfriend, but acknowledge him as such. It shouldn't feel like a big deal and yet it does.— Scotty Ray (@ScottyRayJ) February 18, 2018
Kenworthy had no idea that he and his boyfriend were caught on camera, speaking afterwards he said, “I didn’t even know that that was a televised moment at all, but I think that’s amazing. That’s something that I wanted at the last Olympics was to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom and it was something that I was too scared to do for myself." he then added "And so to be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcasted for the world is incredible,”
He also posted a screengrab of the moment on on twitter, and he wrote "Didn't realize this moment was being filmed yesterday but I'm so happy that it was. My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN! Love is love is love."
Didn't realize this moment was being filmed yesterday but I'm so happy that it was. My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN! Love is love is love. pic.twitter.com/8t0zHjgDg8— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 19, 2018
And as for the other half of the famous couple, Wilkas said of the kiss, “It’s good that it’s televised because it normalizes it more. I would imagine it would be a huge moment for a young gay kid to see an awesome athlete so open and proud of himself and not caring what anyone thinks of his sexuality.”
Gus Kenworthy previously won a silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, he gained international media attention when he rescued a mother dog and her four stray puppies in the area, sadly though only two puppies survived with their mom. In October 2015, he publicly came out as gay in an interview with ESPN.