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Strength athletes and bodybuilders deal with all sorts of hate and social media trolls on Instagram and other platforms, but none quite as much as openly gay Strongman Rob Kearney. Kearney, the American log press record holder and a fierce advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, recently shared “just a fraction” of the hateful comments he receives on a near-daily basis on his Instagram page, @worlds_strongest_gay.
“I’ve seen thousands of straight men stronger than that,” one commenter wrote on a clip of Kearney deadlifting 865 pounds for three reps. “Homosexuality can be cured,” another wrote. “Doesn’t matter if you’re gay, tf. So what, does that make him special now?” one other wrote.
Other hateful comments included “queer weight” and “Jesus saves.”
View this post on Instagram
A glimpse into my life on social media. ——— Homophobia is real, hatred is real and ignorance is (all too) real. These comments are just a fraction of what I deal with on a daily basis. Because I am a PROUD gay man, because I am a STRONGman people feel the need to attack me and try to bring me down. ——— I am the #worldsstrongestgay to show LGBTQ+ representation in professional sports. I am the #worldsstrongestgay to give hope to all the young kids out there who feel left out, alone and not seen. ——— I AM HERE, QUEER, PROUD AND LOUD!!
The Strongman came out publicly in 2014, and later told M&F that being a closeted gay man affected his performances.
“I had the burden of having to pretend to be something I wasn’t, and using that energy was exhausting,” he told us. “When I came out, I was able to put more focus into Strongman and not this facade.” Since then he’s just about dominated the log press in the States, and in 2019 won the Arnold Pro Strongman Australia.
The hateful comments, unfortunately, have not stopped. “Because I am a PROUD gay man, because I am a STRONGman people feel the need to attack me and try to bring me down,” he wrote in his post. “I am the #worldsstrongestgay to show LGBTQ+ representation in professional sports. I am the #worldsstrongestgay to give hope to all the young kids out there who feel left out, alone and not seen.”
“I AM HERE, QUEER, PROUD AND LOUD!!”
Kearney often trains alongside his Strongman opponents, so it’s apparent he’s well liked by people within the sport. Hopefully one day people can appreciate him for the talented athlete he is, instead of hating on him for his sexuality.