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Gay swimmer claims antigay Stanford coaches kicked him off team

Adam DeVine, Stanford swimmer, gay, homophobia, Instagram
Adam DeVinePhoto: YouTube screen capture

Abrahm DeVine, a 23-year-old collegiate swimmer, says he was kicked off of the Stanford University swim team due to “systematic homophobia,” but he stops short of explaining what exactly happened.

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DeVine is a member of the U.S. men’s national swim team and was an NCAA champion at Stanford. He came out as gay in a 2018 interview with Swimming World magazine.

In an Instagram post published yesterday (below), DeVine wrote:

“I’m an openly gay swimmer and I am the only one at my level…. While I have many specific examples of micro aggressions and outright aggressions that I’ve experienced, homophobia is ultimately much more than an accumulation of experiences. In fact, it is a denial of experience.

While I feel like I’ve tried to convey this to many people, many of whom deny any possibility that they contribute it, I’ve started to ask myself: Why is it my job to educate coaches and athletes at the most resourceful university in the world?”

He goes on to write that while pointing out his experiences with homophobia to others, he has witnessed “so much fragility to obscure my humanity and character, so much rhetoric to keep me silent,” adding, “Everyone says they support me, and yet, for the millionth time, I am the only one speaking up.”

He then rhetorically asks how his LGBTQ-supportive coaches and teammates cannot “see how Stanford Swim has treated me and used me over the last 4 years.”

He continues, “Plain and simple: there are surface level reasons I was kicked off the Stanford swim team, but I can tell you with certainty that it comes down to the fact that I am gay. This is a pattern. Homophobia is systematic, intelligently and masterfully designed to keep me silent and to push me out.”

We have attempted to reach out to DeVine for further comment and will update this post if he responds.

View this post on Instagram

As many of you know, I’m an openly gay swimmer and I am the only one at my level. I want to use this post to call out some of the homophobia that I’ve experienced being an athlete, and encourage everyone to be thoughtful and intentional about changing some of the homophobic aspects of the athletic culture that exists today. While I have many specific examples of micro aggressions and outright aggressions that I’ve experienced, homophobia is ultimately much more than an accumulation of experiences. In fact, it is a denial of experience. While I feel like I’ve tried to convey this to many people, many of whom deny any possibility that they contribute it, I’ve started to ask myself: Why is it my job to educate coaches and athletes at the most resourceful university in the world? I cannot continue to try to engage people in this conversation when there is so much fragility to obscure my humanity and character, so much rhetoric to keep me silent. Everyone says they support me, and yet, for the millionth time, I am the only one speaking up. To my coaches who sport the pride flag on their desk, to the athletes who liked my pride photo on Instagram, I need you to wake up to what’s happening around you. How can you say you support me and my equality? How can you not see how Stanford Swim has treated me and used me over the last 4 years? Am I invisible? Plain and simple: there are surface level reasons I was kicked off the Stanford swim team, but I can tell you with certainty that it comes down to the fact that I am gay. This is a pattern. Homophobia is systematic, intelligently and masterfully designed to keep me silent and to push me out. I am a talented, successful, educated, proud, gay man: I am a threat to the culture that holds sports teams together. I want something to change, because I can’t take it anymore. My story is not unique. There are queer voices everywhere and all you have to do is listen. I am asking, begging for some sort of action. If you are reading this, this post is for you! Gay or straight, swimmer or not. None of us are exempt from homophobia. It is your civil duty to educate yourself. If you choose not to, it is at my expense.

A post shared by Abrahm DeVine (@abrahmdevine) on

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