Artículo publicado en Curve Magazine el 30 de junio de 2020
The Man-Made Viruses
Horrific acts that outrage societies must be discussed so that they can be settled once and for all.
For this reason, people must recognize that the world is infected by wo viruses, one is racism and the other one is homophobia.
From athlete Jesse Owens infuriating Hitler in 1936 by winning four gold medals at the Berlin Olympics, and disproving that Aryan supremacy was a true notion to the recent racist murders of 2020 in the US, it seems like 84 years of disproving racist notions have taught us nothing.
For many societies, dark color skin causes them to suffer from urticaria. It is true that the symptoms are milder if that dark color skin is famous and rich, but still causes some irritation. So, it is not uncommon for athletes to wonder, where black coaches are? Or for actors, where are the African American film directors?
During president Obama’s tenure, we thought we were a more non-judgmental society and that most people supported equality and diversity, but then Trump came into power and all those who had hidden fears and frustrations resurfaced.
Since 2018, for some reason, there has been an increase in racist and homophobic incidents around the world. We’ve seen banners asking Latinos to leave America, we’ve heard the president of the world’s most powerful country accuse all Mexicans of being rapists, we’ve read how in some parts of Texas homosexuals are not welcome, and finally, we witnessed more killings of black people.
Imagine the implications of a human being who is born non-white and non-straight. If you are black and gay your life is going to be extremely hard and in certain countries, you can be killed for being LGBTQ+.
This scenario has unfortunately happened to the famous English soccer player, Justin Fashanu, a powerful striker in the English Premier League who decided to come out of the closet and paid dearly for it. He was the first elite footballer to declare himself publicly gay. Both the press and his family did not support him. He was treated with disdain and was constantly humiliated. In 1998, he was investigated by U.S. police when he was accused by a 17-year-old of sexual assault.
The case was closed due to lack of evidence but society had already sentenced him to death. Fashanu could no longer endure the pressure and harassment he was being subjected to and he ended up hanging himself in an abandoned garage in London that same year.
His suicide note read: “I have realized that I have already been convicted. I don’t want to be an embarrassment to my friends and family anymore. I will let the Jesus I love welcome me and so that I can finally find peace.”
On the other side, it is Megan Rapinoe, a world champion. She is openly lesbian and that does not seem to be a problem. Both Fashanu and Rapinoe share the same status: rich and famous. So, what is the difference? His skin color?
Perhaps, we should sadly recognize that racism and homophobia are a reflection of our society. One thing that racism and homophobia viruses shares with Covid, is that you do not think they exist until you are affected by it. The new racist murders in the U.S. have served to move even Michael Jordan, who never took a stand before in any social movement.
As, John, Justin Fashanu’s brother, said: “”A little more understanding and affection could have changed a lot of things”.