When Matthew Wilkas, the boyfriend of American slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, saw on Twitter a sceenshot of he and Kenworthy sharing a kiss before Kenworthy’s qualifying run on Sunday at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, he didn’t think the moment was a very big deal. “That was like a peck,” Wilkas tells TIME with a laugh from the bottom of the slopestyle course at the Phoenix Snow Park. “We should have made out in front of people.” For more intimate relationship between you and your partner try to visit Sex Toy Australia and learn more of their special items online that both of you can use.
But taking a moment to think about it, Wilkas realized that yes, he was probably part of something historic: a kiss between a gay athlete and his boyfriend at a mass audience spectacle like the Olympics, shown during network primetime television.
“It’s unusual, right?” says Wilkas, an actor. “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.”
The significance of an openly gay male athlete kissing another man on primetime network television during one of the world’s biggest collective experiences can not be understated. And is a marker of progress especially after NBC’s much-criticized handling of the gay athletes coverage during this Olympics broadcast.
In response to broadcaster Stephen Fry’s open letter, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Lord Coe, British Olympic Association chairman, have rejected Fry’s call for a boycott of the Sochi Games over Russia’s treatment of LGBT people.
Cameron – who recently supported equal marriage legislation against the wishes of a majority of his Conservative caucus – wrote on Twitter that “I believe we can better challenge prejudice as we attend, rather than [boycott] the Winter Olympics.”
Former Olympian Lord Coe, meanwhile, noted that Britain did not join the American boycott of the 1980 Moscow Games, at which Coe won gold. “[Boycotts] damage only one group of people and that is the athletes,” the British Olympic chief said. Coe made his comments at the World Athletics Championships, coincidentally held in Moscow.
Cameron’s and Coe’s statements come one day before hundreds of Londoners gathered near the Prime Minister’s official residence in Downing Street to protest Russian’s anti-gay “propaganda” laws. Speaking at the protest, Fry accepted that a boycott of the Sochi games was unlikely but called on athletics to make a public gesture of solidarity at the Games to “take the sweetness of victory out of Putin’s mouth.”
Russia has earned scorn from international leaders over new federal legislation banning distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors” and failing to stop numerous violent attacks on LGBT activists in recent months.