Teenage Farmer and Competitive Rodeo Rider in Australia Hits Back at Death Threats

Posted: March 30, 2017 by fourcatspress in Blue News

Reblogged from: http://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/teenage-farmer-and-competitive-rodeo-rider-hits-back-at-death-threats/news-story/b6c8fc4bbaea4b8221cf1654817b9766. See the site for videos of Joshua Goyne.

FEBRUARY 22, 2017
2:55PM

Joshua Goyne competing at a rodeo. Picture: Facebook

Joshua Goyne competing at a rodeo. Picture: Facebook

A TEENAGE farmer from regional NSW has spoken out after he received death threats online including one that stated it would be good if he’d died from AIDS.

Joshua Goyne, who is 18 and lives in the Central Coast, claims online trolls vilified him because of his sexuality in an attempt to discourage him from taking part in the rodeos he regularly competes in.

“Today I was asked if I thought it was good that gays died of AIDS, and then the guy said he wished it was 1850 so he could shoot me for being a fag,” Mr Goyne said in a video he posted to Facebook following the threats.

The bigoted abuse comes as homophobia is back in the spotlight following the unfurling of a banner depicting a sex act at a Sydney soccer match last weekend.

Sydney’s gay football team has told news.com.au that are demanding the sport ban fans found peddling homophobic abuse.

The annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade is due to be held in 10 days’ time.
Openly gay Mr Goyne, a competitive rodeo rider, is a well-known advocate for LGBTI rights in rural Australia and has a Facebook page called ‘The Gay Cowboy’.

In a video posted to the page earlier this week, Mr Goyne said he had received multiple bigoted messages via online forums catering to the rodeo circuit.

“Someone compared Myxomatosis in rabbits with AIDS in gay people” he told news.com.au. “Rural Australia has a terrible problem with homophobia, and it needs to stop.”

He is due to compete on the weekend in the Oberon Rodeo.

He grew up in country Victoria but when he came out at the age of 15 was thrown out of his aunt and uncle’s house. He eventually settled in the Central Coast and farms there and on a property he has purchased in the Hunter Valley.

“The fact I’m getting death threats just for going to a rodeo is disgusting and these people are the scum of the earth. I have zero respect for them,” he said. “They think they are going to stop me from riding in this weekend’s rodeo but there’s no chance in hell.”

Mr Goyne said he would continue to call out homophobia and he was a “proud openly gay cowboy”. He told news.com.au he has informed the police of the threats.

Addressing one of the trolls directly, he said, “kudos to you mate, you’re a real p***k and I hope everything that comes to you is karma.”

Mr Goyne said he had been the victim of a number of homophobic incidents including at a rodeo where he claimed a contractor rigged his riding ropes causing him to snap his ankles.
Since the video was posted, Mr Goyne said people has been “99.9 per cent brilliant”.

“I’ve even had straight cowboys say they will help me out at the rodeo and stand with if I have any trouble.”

Accusations of homophobia continue to rock another corner of the sporting world with football club the Western Sydney Wanderers still reeling from the fallout from a banner hoisted at their home derby with Sydney FC on Saturday.

The homophobic banner unfurled by Wanderers’ supporters.

The banner, unfurled by members of the Red and Black Bloc — the Wanderers’ active supporter group — depicted Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold performing a sex act.

The Wanderers were swift to denounce the incident with CEO John Tsatsimas saying the banner was “completely unacceptable” and they were actively seeking out the culprits.

Today the club said 14 RBB members had been banned by the club. Football Federation Australia — the game’s governing body — has flagged the team [which] will likely cop a five figure fine.

But there are calls for the club to go further particularly as the Red and Black Bloc have shown no sign of backing down.

On the group’s Facebook page people commenting have labelling those calling the banner out as homophobic as being “snowflakes” and claiming it was merely “banter”. They have also displayed mock ups of the banner on merchandise.

Head of gay and inclusive soccer team the Sydney Rangers, Joseph Roppolo, said he was at the match and you couldn’t miss the sign.

Joseph Roppolo, president of gay and inclusive soccer team Sydney Rangers FC. Picture: Facebook.

“It was very confronting as a gay men and as a footy fan seeing those banners sending a message that’s it’s OK to mock people due to their sexuality. “If this had been a racist banner, the FFA would have reacted more decisively.”

The FFA, along with other footy codes, signed up to an anti-homophobia inclusion framework three years ago.

He said homophobic fans should be barred for one to two years from stadiums in the first instance.

While he backed the Wanderers’ condemnation, Mr Roppolo said the league had to be more proactive. He asked the FFA and Wanderers to send representatives to the annual mardi gras football tournament, to be held in Sydney this weekend, to show their support for LGBTI supporters.

“The FFA needs to come out with a really strong message to fans. There seems to be a lot of talk but it’s not enough to keep reacting, at some point the FFA has to address the issues as to why homophobia exists.”

News.com.au has contacted the Wanderers for comment.

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