Paralympian Sir Lee Pearson sent a a moving message to the LGBT+ community after securing the 12th gold dressage medal of his career in Tokyo.
On Thursday (26 August), Pearson, with his horse Breezer, triumphed in the Grade II individual test in dressage, and took home yet another gold medal – his 12th since his first Paralympics in 2000.
Afterwards, the gay athlete, 47, was asked by a Japanese reporter to give a message to the LGBT+ community, and he responded with a moving speech.
Pearson said: “Love has to prevail, really. Whatever shape or form, I think love has to prevail.
“If you’re born with a disability, if you have a child with a disability, if you’re born with same-sex attraction, if your daughter comes out or your son, then just love them.
“Nobody wants to be different but we have to embrace different people because that’s society, that’s the world. Those different people they’re not going anywhere.”
Pearson said that no matter what is thrown at them, queer people and disabled people will always be here.
He continued: “You can say it’s illegal, you can make them feel awful, but somewhere in the world another gay boy or girl will be born.
“Somewhere in the world someone will be born with no limbs. Do you know what I mean?
“Life goes on and it’s silly in this day and age when we have countries that are still in the stone age, as we say, 100 years behind.
“But I’m just a horse rider. Promise.”
Paralympian Lee Pearson hopes he can help others by ‘just being’
Sir Lee Pearson, who has an MBE, OBE, CBE and was knighted in 2017 for his services to disabled sports and equestrianism, has been out for his whole career.
Pearson, was born with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, told The Guardian that also he doesn’t consider himself “very political”, he hopes to help others “just by being”.
He said: “I’ve made change just by being. Obviously me just being has made you realise my disability and my sexuality.
“There are very important people out there who do chain themselves to gates and do fight for rights and I wouldn’t be here if these people hadn’t fought.
“But I think me just being… will help other people just be, too.”
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