Amini Fonua, the gay Olympic Swimmer who took The Daily Beast to task over an article which published potentially identifiable information about closeted athletes using Grindr during this year’s Games in Rio has opened up about why he decided to speak out.
The 26-year-old blasted the online magazine, saying: “Imagine the one space you can feel safe, the one space you’re able to be yourself, ruined by a straight person who thinks it’s all a joke?
“It’s still illegal to be gay in Tonga, and while I’m strong enough to be me in front of the world, not everybody else is. Respect that.”
He then took to Instagram to post a photo of his rear, and tell the Daily beast to “kiss it then fuck off”.
This week, while collecting an award for speaking out against the article, Fonua opened up about the “wave of sadness” he felt while reading it.
“We no longer had a safe space,” Fonua said. “I felt lonely—almost instantly. I debated about whether to say anything. I was really unsure whether it was my place.
“Then, I decided that—yes—it is my place. I opened my Twitter and out fell my heart—first in a heated rage then in a crushing wave of sadness that brought me to tears.
“Sometimes being part of the community means protecting it, and I protect my family.”
After considerable backlash, the article was taken down, and an apology was issued to the LGBT community and athletes whose identities had been compromised.