Now that he's done competing in PyeongChang, one Olympic athlete has turned his focus to another challenging sport — taking down Twitter trolls. On Feb. 19, Gus Kenworthy responded to a homophobic tweet, and fans of the 26-year-old freestyle skier were pretty pumped about his reply.
After finishing one of his slopestyle qualifying round runs at the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kenworthy snagged a celebratory kiss from his boyfriend, Matthew Wilkas. NBC aired the sweet moment on screen, an act that has since been heralded as historically significant for queer athletes' sports coverage.
On Feb. 18, Kenworthy shared a screenshot of the news clip via his Twitter. "Didn't realize this moment was being filmed yesterday but I'm so happy that it was," he wrote. "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."
In response to Kenworthy's post, Twitter user @ShitGate decided to chime in. "Question is," they wrote, "if men marry men and women marry women who will produce children in this world." So, this guy is tuned in enough to follow Olympic athletes on Twitter, but hasn't heard about any reproductive advances in the last few decades? Interesting.
After the Twitter user included Kenworthy's Twitter handle in his question about procreation — "if men marry men and women marry women who will produce children in this world" — Kenworthy tweeted back with a swift and simple dig: "hopefully not you." The athlete's response has been liked more than 43,000 times so far, and is getting a whole lot of love in the comments.
Some commenters have actually tried to explain reproductive options to the Twitter user — a valiant effort, to be sure, but does this man really not know how things like adoption and surrogacy work? Other users opted to bring up the issue of over-population in their argument against the comment comment. Additional commenters have shared photos and stories of queer families and their children — like @Tbstarling, who shared a sweet pic with the caption, "Married gay dads here! Reproducing just fine!"
Other commenters are pretty much ignoring the tweet entirely, instead choosing to applaud Kenworthy's clapback. More than a few of these supporters have shared gifs featuring Adam Rippon — the openly-gay ice skater who recently became friends with Kenworthy while competing at the Winter Olympics.
The overall intention behind @ShitGate's Twitter account is kind of unclear. He describes himself as "John Dowd Trump an American lawyer, former attorney for the United States Department of Justice, and former Marine," and then writes, "I tweet for @realDonaldTrump (Parody)." John Dowd is, in fact, a very real person — he's President Trump's personal lawyer — but this account is almost certainly not run by the actual John Dowd.
The views expressed on @ShitGate's Twitter feed are mixed, at best, and include a lot of anti-Trump statements. According to The Huffington Post, though, what he says are his views on homosexuality have been relatively consistent — he's tweeted that he's against it and that he thinks it's "a sin" — which is seemingly why he decided to insert himself into Kenworthy's conversation.
It doesn't appear as if the Twitter user has had much to say about the matter since Kenworthy (and his fans) took him to task on Twitter. It's unfortunate that there are still people out there who maintain these kinds of ill-informed beliefs, but the overwhelming support for openly-gay athletes (like Kenworthy and Rippon) at this year's Winter Olympics definitely shows that the world is making some progress.