Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva has declared his support for the LGBT community.
The US athlete, who won two silver medals at the Rio Olympics this week, shared a video where he spoke about the safety of LGBT people following the Orlando nightclub shooting, where 49 people lost their lives.
He said: “I’m sorry this might seem late, but I wanted to say something that would do the victims of the Orlando shooting justice. Something that can honour their memory.
“I am not part of the LGBT community but it is imperative that those of us not in the community do our best to show them all the kindness and understanding they need while they grieve the loss they have suffered.
“The love within the LGBT community is so much stronger than the hatred against it, and it is our responsibility as non-LGBT people to help emulate this love and create a world where LGBT people don’t need to create their own safe spaces.”
Wearing a Make America Gay Again top – as previously seen on Miley Cyrus – Danell also addressed the continuing battle for trans rights in the US, specifically the ‘bathroom bills’ that ban trans people using their preferred facilities.
He said: “Recently there has been much said about trans rights and the danger people fear they may pose if they are allowed to use whatever bathroom they wish.”
“These people of course are wrong about any danger, and these attacks remind us that the danger comes from bigotry, not the victims of it.”
Danell ends the video by saying: “I hope you enjoyed this video, and if you didn’t, please unfollow me.”
The medal-winning gymnast is clearly a long-time supporter of LGBT rights, as he last year celebrated the legalisation of same-sex marriage across the US by the Supreme Court.
He wrote on Instagram: “I’m beyond excited about the lifted restriction on marriage equality. We’re taking small steps forward. This is history.”