come one, come all


“We don’t care who you are, where you’re from or who you love – if you make it to the finish line, you are a Spartan. AROO!!!

Come one, come all.”


After a picture of two women kissing was posted on the Spartan Facebook page, the vast majority of the comments was incredibly supportive. However, some were… less so.

To say that I was taken aback, reading some of the comments would be an understatement.

Somewhere between the incoherent “boo”’s and “WTF”s, the kiss was called disgusting, and women themselves were labelled whores. Some wondered if they were drunk, some promised to never do another Spartan Race again, and some brought up children’s safety. All before lunch.

Few supporters accused these racers of bigotry. Let’s see..

Bigotry. Intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

No, not quite. Sexual orientation is hardly an opinion.

Insert correct term here.

Discrimination. Prejudicial and/or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group.

And apparently, discrimination is alive and well in our beloved sport of obstacle racing.

As if it wasn’t enough that my dear motherland has recently passed an anti-gay law. I don’t even know what the hell that means, but it sounds heart warming as usual.

On June 30, 2013, Vladimir Putin signed an anti-gay law, banning the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” toward minors. No pride parades, no discussion of homosexuality among teenagers. God forbid. Ha!

Better throw out anything with a rainbow. Just in case.

If you think “Who cares?”, think again.

Only last week Forbes called Putin the most powerful person in the world, ahead of Obama, bunch of CEOs, bankers and even a king or two. The same Putin who now claims that the new law in no way violates the rights of homosexual individuals, but rather is geared towards protecting the children.

Protecting the children seems to be a common sentiment. You’d almost suspect that poor kiddos would literally burst into flames upon witnessing the two women kissing. Fortunately, many lesbian couples happily raising children demonstrate otherwise. Whew.

Despite the controversy, Sochi claims to be ready to welcome athletes of all backgrounds, gay or not. Riiiight. Just remember, no rainbows.

But enough about mother Russia, and back to the issue at hand.

Here are the highlights from both sides (with my commentary):

This has absolutely nothing to do with obstacle racing!
Kissing? You are right. Let’s also make sure we never include photos of people sitting, standing or eating, as that has very little to do with obstacle racing too.

I like pink, and some people don’t. You shouldn’t judge someone if they like something that you do not.
Right, because someone’s sexual orientation is just like someone’s favorite color – fairly inconsequential, and can change often.

I thought Spartan is a race, not a sex tool. This photo is done to promote a sexual choice that is not normal.
Oh, you poor naive thing. Of course, it’s a sex tool. Why do you think so many people are doing it? And… I hate to break it to you, but if you are after “normal”, you are in the wrong damn sport.

It’s ok for chicks to do it. Men – not so much.
Challenge. Accepted.
Dear gay and bi men of the obstacle racing community. Would you please (PLEASE!) send me a kissing picture from a finish line?

Since when did Spartan Race become a political platform?
Let’s see. Well, they REALLY got on the political activism train a while ago with all those posts of amputees and veterans completing their races. Stick to the obstacles, people. Am I right?

I know Spartans have sex, but I don’t want to know with who.
Oh my. In that case, you might really want to get off Facebook. And internet in general. Also, I suggest we ban wearing wedding bands at races. Those people are practically shoving their sex life down everybody’s throats with public displays of partnership.

Why not post a pic of heterosexual white male?
A picture of a heterosexual white male??? Doing an obstacle race? Where ON EARTH would we find one of those? Sheesh. Be realistic.

I don’t have any more problem with a homosexual individual than I have with an alcoholic.
Well, then.. L’Chaim! Bottoms up!

What does this picture prove?
Let me think about this one. I feel like I have to resort to epistemology. You know… a branch of philosophy concerned with what we know, and how we know it. At a first glance, this picture seems to prove that a kiss between two women has occurred. However, Descartes would tell you that since the only method by which we perceive anything is through our senses, and our senses are far from infallible, we should not consider our concept of knowledge to be infallible. In other words, it is, indeed, possible that the kiss has not occurred. I guess, there is always Photoshop.

Spartan Race won’t get any more of my money. Count me out.
You got it!

And finally…

We are all equal. We are all Spartans.

If the internet goes apeshit about one photo of a girl-on-girl smooch, after hundreds of photos of heterosexual kisses went unnoticed, then we are clearly not all equal.

Get off the unicorn.

Riding the rainbow,

You should be able to see the original thread here.

Posted November 5, 2013

10 responses to “come one, come all”

  1. Adina says:

    Solo – I LOVE this post! So well done. From l’chaim to Descartes to Putin to sex tools – you’ve covered it all with grace and wit. Let’s hope this helps some people open their eyes and see things with new perspective.

  2. tom says:

    self admitted pig, initial reaction is WOW, but before reading any of the article the next reaction is WTF. A persons private affairs do not effect how you or they race. I used to be a homophob in my early 20s, I grew out of that(once i found that it does not really matter and my preseption was the real problem). Gay or strait does not make you a good or bad person, your behavior does, and bigotry will show. If your offended please leave Sparta and make the lines shorter for the rest of us. When I stand next to a Soldier, I dont care if they are gay/straight/female/white/black/male/hispanic or green with 6 arms, all I want to know is do they have my back. Same with Spartans on the 8′ wall, do you have my back, cause I got yours!

  3. Selena says:

    Thank you for writing this.

  4. Douglas says:

    Great blog, Solo! it’s the many colours of the rainbow that make this world such a beautiful place. You are right on, as always and I enjoy your perspectives. Keep up the great writing!

  5. Joe D says:

    Love it. The photo AND your rebuttals. Makes me wonder how is that some peeps aren’t yet living in the present, and are still stuck in the judgemental past. The world came out of the closet, including the Spartan closest, years ago people. And if an innocent kiss between two friends and/or lovers – straight, gay, transgender, whatever – is upsetting to them, maybe Spartan just isn’t for them. Nor work, education, other forms of recreation, and any other aspect of daily life in our communities, where tolerance and recognition of personal choice and diversity is the order of the day. My advice to them? Place head firmly back into sand. There’s a good homophobic.
    Look forward to Spartan in Halifax! JD

  6. Rebecca Wiens says:

    Love this post! I really don’t get what the big deal is, but I’m also pretty loving and accepting of everyone. I hope that we do see more pictures, perhaps two more people kissing that perhaps fall outside of the gender binary, or perhaps two homosexual cis-males. It’s about time that we stopped pretending that only heterosexual cis-gender persons participated in these events, and furthermore, exist. In the end, we all want to get to the finish line and I think that counts for something.

  7. Martin Perrier says:

    Ahahah! I remember hitting facebook and seeing that picture on my news feed. I first thought “how cute” before I started reading a couple of the comments you mentioned, and I just couldn’t believe my eyes! I honestly thought those people were joking around… The dude with the political platform made me think WTF and the one informing the whole world that he would not sign up for any other Spartan Race just CRACKED ME UP! How incredibly stupid and self-centered must one be to post something like that…

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