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Openly Gay Athletes Break Stereotypes and Serve as Role Models

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The following quotes go to the heart of why gay athletes have trouble being honest with their teammates and why articles like this are necessary.

San Francisco 49ers running back Garrison Hearst: “Aww, hell no! I don’t want any faggots on my team. I know this might not be what people want to hear, but that’s a punk. I don’t want any faggots in this locker room.”

The Chicago Cubs pitcher Julian Tavarez, after being booed by San Francisco fans, said: “Why should I care about the fans? They’re a bunch of assholes and faggots here.”

After NBA star center John Amaechi disclosed he was gay, NBA player Tim Hardaway said: “First of all I wouldn’t want him on my team. and second of all, if he was on my team I would really distance myself from him because I don’t think that’s right and I don’t think he should be in the locker room when we’re in the locker room. Something has to give. If you have 12 other ballplayers in your locker room that’s upset and can’t concentrate and always worried about him in the locker room or on the court or whatever, it’s going to be hard for your teammates to win and accept him as a teammate.”

Can you picture Hardaway as a helpless defenseless virgin while Amaechi had his way with him right there in the locker room and in front of his fellow team members too “worried” to come to his rescue? Can you imagine network television having to put an extra 30-second delay on a telecast just in case Amaechi decided in the middle of the game that Hardaway was so attractive that he might lose control and play grab-ass with him instead of making that crucial three pointer?

In the spirit of “you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t,” LeBron James expressed a problem with closeted gays on his team saying, “With john amaechi gay prideteammates you have to be trustworthy, and if you’re gay and you’re not admitting that you are, then you are not trustworthy. So that’s like the No. 1 thing as teammates — we all trust each other… It’s a trust factor, honestly. A big trust factor.”

John Amaechi

Englishman John Amaechi didn’t even take up basketball until he was 17 years old. It would be an understatement to say he’d entered the sport a little late in life, so people scoffing at his desire to be an American basketball star would be considered reasonable. Of course if you’d ever met the six-foot-10, 270-pound athlete in person, it’d probably lessen the shock of his latter achievements.

Among his considerable list of accomplishments by the time he’d turned 30, he’d crossed the Atlantic several times to become not only a famous European basketball star but also a well-known American one. The twice First Team Academic All-American for Penn State went on to become an undrafted NBA starter for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1995-96. He also played in France and Italy. Amaechi is the only British player to be inducted into the U.S. Basketball Hall of Fame after incredible seasons in Cleveland, Orlando, and Utah.

Among the four major American sports, John is only the sixth pro athlete to talk openly about being gay and the only one so far within the NBA. Averaging 6.2 points and 2.6 rebounds a game, Amaechi has proven that being a homosexual team player should be about as controversial as being left or right-handed.

Nowadays John is a British TV personality, helps run and fund the Amaechi Basketball Center in Manchester, and is a best-selling author for ESPN Books with his autobiography Man in the Middle.

In a way LeBron had a valid point a few paragraphs back. If you’re a team you should be able to trust each other with anything. A good example of how this actually helps a squad comes in the form of…

Brian Sims

After Sims left Bloomsburg University he became an unusual legend, as much for his athletic accomplishments as for the fact that unless you knew him personally you’d never believe he was gay. Brian Sims gay prideIf any stereotype fit him it’d be a college jock. Conversation leaned toward the coming game, the opponents’ strengths and weaknesses, which cheerleader might get lucky next, what professors he would like to sack in the parking lot, and where and when he wanted to turn pro. Sims was known for a lot of things, not the least of which was that he could bench press 225 pounds, not 10, not 20, but nearly 40 times. He was captain of their Division II football team playing defensive tackle, and at a hulking six feet tall and 260 pounds, he wasn’t exactly what you’d call your clichéd “faggot” by a long shot.

Brian began feeling his attraction to other men back in junior high, but with two Army colonels for parents, it went without saying that he suppressed it as much as possible. Once he entered college and was out on his own, he gradually not only faced his sexual preferences, but accepted them.

As Bloomsburg University began realizing that they could very likely clinch the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championship, one of Sims’ ex-clandestine boyfriends decided on his revenge for being dumped — he convincingly informed quarterback Eric Miller that Bloomsburg’s team captain and all-conference defensive tackle was a homosexual. Miller kept the news to himself about his good friend, but whispers in the locker room became rumors in the halls as more and more students were told.

As Brian’s roommates will verify, it wasn’t exactly easy confirming that the handsome first-team jock was gay, especially with the steady stream of girls wandering in and out of his room at all hours of the day and night. After all, being gay isn’t whom you have sex with, but whom your hormones react to and whom you fall in love with. After all, many closeted husbands with children and famous athletes of all kinds hide behind relationships with women — most ending in disaster.

As a very successful and long season progressed, the team knew that the last thing they needed was for one of their most crucial players to get sidelined worrying about how they felt about him, so they confronted him, told him they knew, supported him, and made sure he was confident that they were behind him 100 percent. No one avoided him in the locker room or shower; in fact if anything it brought them solidly together as a team, supporting each other as a fighting unit with one true interest and love — football.

As the championship match drew nearer, it even became a point of team pride and humor. Overconfident opponents who’d heard the rumors came and then left the field of battle knowing that they’d have to face their home fans after suffering a galling defeat at the hands of a team with a queer for a starting player who somehow was also a star all-conference tackle and its captain!

Billy Bean gay pride As fate would have it and despite Sims chalking up three sacks in the final game, Delta State took the national championship, racking up a score of 63-34.

Brian Sims is now a successful lawyer connected with the Philadelphia Bar Association and works with the Pennsylvania Legislature in matters of discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Billy Bean

Baseball’s Billy Bean of the Tigers, Dodgers, and Padres tied the record of four hits in his first time out as a major league player. The southpaw outfielder had a .226 batting average in 487 times at bat. As with Glenn Burke before him, Billy didn’t dare acknowledge his homosexuality. His coming out September 6, 1999, after he retired from eight years as a pro, landed him on the front page of the sports section of the New York Times and as a guest on 20/20.

He enjoys life nowadays as an author of Going The Other Way, consultant, and openly gay TV personality. Billy has also spearheaded an effort to downplay “ex-gay” ministers who believe that forcing young boys to play sports will cure them of their homosexuality.

Rudy Galindo

Ice skating has known and been proud of Rudy Galindo since his first championship in 1982. The mention of his name and sport however usually sends rednecks all over the country laughing, “That ain’t no real-man sport! Rudy Galindo gay prideHell, my wife wears less sequins and makeup that them fags do!” To answer them, I’m sure Rudy would challenge them to match his phenomenal physical strength, perseverance, and athletic prowess – to fly like he does, and then to land safely without killing themselves. Nor could they equal his dedication to the sport by stubbornly returning to the ice after a double hip replacement in 2003 mere weeks after the surgery, and competing professionally the following April.

Galindo’s whirlwind career solidified itself when he took the U.S. National Novice Men’s Championship in 1982. He went on to partner with Kristi Yamaguchi to win several U.S. National Pairs Championships. He has also won or placed in several World Junior Men’s and Men’s Championships, and was a fixture on the Champions on Ice tour until it folded in 2007. All this despite being diagnosed a decade earlier as HIV+ in 1996.

Chris Dickerson

“To be a truly great champion you must be so dedicated that the sport becomes woven into the warp and woof of your life.”

Chris was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2000. Since his career began in 1965, he’s been Junior Mr. USA (Most Muscular), Mr. New York State, and Mr. California. In 1970 he became the first African-American AAU Mr. America. He has also been Mr. Universe, Mr. World, and just to make sure everyone was impressed with his 30-year career, at the age of 43 he became the oldest Mr. Olympia in 1982. He earned the 2008 Ben Weider Lifetime Achievement Award, and his method of posing in competition is considered second to none as witnessed by this video.

On top of all that, he’s a respected opera singer.

Matthew Mitcham

Despite coming out publicly just before the Olympics, Australia’s openly homosexual golden boy Matthew Mitcham is living the life that gay American sports heroes can only dream of. Australia even issued a 50-cent postage stamp in his honor the day after his Olympic diving triumph. Johnson and Johnson covered the expenses so that his lover Lachlan Fletcher could attend Matthew Mitcham gay pridethe games as a spectator. Mitcham’s being gay is such a non-issue in his home country, their media was shocked at some of the legal precautions he had to take while competing in other countries (particularly in the Middle East). At one point he was asked to forgo his appearance on the Gay Pride float in Australia’s Mardi Gras parade in order to appear on the local morning shows instead!

Mitcham fever hit its peak during the Beijing Olympic Games’ 10m platform event. There, Matthew knocked down what was then considered the undefeatable Chinese diving team and in the process earned the highest-scoring dive in Olympic history with a perfectly executed 112.10-point back two and a half somersault with two and a half twists. Up until the last dive of the competition, China’s Zhou Luxin had a 30 point lead, but Matthew smashed it spectacularly, beating his impressive 533.15 score with his own 537.95… all at the age of 20. A few months later he won the 2008 Diving Grand Prix, and was voted Australia Sportsman of the year for 2008 by his peers and fellow countrymen.

Because of the treatment that they get in their own countries, of the 11,028 athletes competing in the Beijing Olympics, only 11 were out and proud gays. The odds are that that left approximately 1,091 just as deserving gay athletes out in their cold closets.

Mark Tewksbury

“When you compete, you need to focus on your strength, but when you’re in the closet, what you focus on is fear and vulnerability.”

“The fear of rejection is the ultimate overriding factor that makes it really difficult to make yourself stand out in any way, and certainly in a way that might not be seen so positively by your teammates.”

Mark Tewksbury gay prideAmongst other things, Mark is known for doing something not many other athletes can do — breaking his own world records. In fact at the Canadian Winter Nationals in Winnipeg he did it twice in two days… and without a high-tech body suit. By the time Tewksbury retired in 1992 he owned the 100m short-course backstroke and had earned six world records in the event plus one short-course world record in the 200m backstroke. Aside from medaling for Canada in the 1988 Seoul and 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Mark also achieved good showings in the Pan Pacific Games from 1987 through 1991.

Mark has earned several Canadian Athlete of the Year awards, including the prestigious Lou March Trophy, the Lionel Conacher Award, and the Norton H. Crow Award. He has also been inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Olympic Hall of Fame, was named Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year, and is in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

In 1996, Mark was an integral part of the International Olympic Committee that selected the site of the 2004 Summer Olympics, but became embroiled in a conflict over the treatment of Olympic Athletes and perceived corruption in the organization. In 1998 Mark disclosed his homosexuality and several months later resigned his position at the IOC, deciding instead to concentrate on his role in bringing the celebrated Gay Games/Out Games to Montreal, an event that he hosted in 2006.

Though his coming out did little to damage his athletic reputation, it cost him a very lucrative job as a motivational speaker because he was suddenly “too gay,” despite his talent in the field that landed him the position in the first place. CBC Sports apparently didn’t agree and hired him as a play-by-play announcer and commentator at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Today Mark is involved with his own motivational speaking, has recently published his autobiography entitled Inside Out: Straight Talk from a Gay Jock, is involved in Canadian politics, and sits on the boards of several important gay organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Athletics Foundation.

With so many asking me to do a sequel to my 2006 article “How Many Famous Athletes are Gay,” I began pondering why I’d written the original article in the first place. I believe that I was trying to get the general public to consider people like American pro football’s Esera Tuaolo, Dave Kopay, and Australian Rules’ Ian Roberts, in order to illustrate that all gay men aren’t sex-crazed, little-boy-chasing, limp-wristed fairy queens. Nor are all lesbians like tennis greats Billie Jean King or Martina Navratilova, all chopped-haired “bulls” that ride motorcycles and become ranking officers in the military.

According to Navratilova, fighting such destructive negative stereotypes is important where gay high school athletes are concerned, especially when they’re forming their own self-images. Many teenage gay athletes have committed and/or attempted suicide through the years because of the treatment they’ve received at the hands of their own teammates and coaches. When pro basketball player John Amaechi came out, Martina is quoted as saying of him and gay sports figures in general, “It’s hugely important for the kids so they don’t feel alone in the world. We’re role models. We’re adults, and we know we’re not alone but kids don’t know that.” Referring to small-town gay athletes feeling alone, Martina said, “He will definitely help a lot of kids growing up to feel better about themselves.”

Referring to John Amaechi’s coming out, ex-pro defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo spoke of his similar public experiences before and after the disclosure of his own homosexuality. “What John did is amazing. He does not know how many lives he’s saved by speaking the truth. Living with all that stress and that depression, all you deal with as a closeted person, when you come out you really truly free yourself,” he said. “When I came out, it felt like I was getting out of prison.”

Most American gays take offense at the local media making a point of only filming the stereotypical over-painted and glittered drag queens and “dykes on bikes” during annual gay pride parades. Why? Because more often than not, and like it or not, American gays and lesbians look and act like your typical next door neighbor, the popular high school linebacker, your office mate, or even your best friend.

Please read Volume 1 and Volume 3 in this series.

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About Jet Gardner

I like collecting books, music, movies, chess sets and friends
  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    In the next volume, I plan to cover more College athletes and women… stay tuned

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Great article Jet. I read a sports related article about gender bias today.

    Caster Semenya ‘treated like a leper’ claims head of South African athletics

    Caster Semenya and the Idiocy of Sex Testing

    “The idea that an 18-year-old who has just experienced the greatest athletic victory of her life is being subjecting [sic] to this very public humiliation is shameful to say the least.

    Her own coach Michael Seme contributed to the disgrace when he said, ‘We understand that people will ask questions because she looks like a man. It’s a natural reaction and it’s only human to be curious. People probably have the right to ask such questions if they are in doubt. But I can give you the telephone numbers of her roommates in Berlin. They have already seen her naked in the showers and she has nothing to hide.’ “

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Thanks Cindy, I appreciate your comment. I was expecting a lot of “What’s the big deal” comments, but you’ve brought up an important aspect of the subject.

    thanks

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    The true test of when these kinds of articles become unecessary will come when a straight man can summon the courage to convincingly tell his best friend that he’s gay, just to see what’ll happen and be as unafraid of the consequences as if he’d just said he was left-handed.

    You know, not so long ago in our culture it was considered evil by religious nuts in this very country to BE left-handed.

    Parents would actually train left-handed kids to use their right hand or be punished for it causing all kinds of psychological problems.

    Being right-handed, I’ve sometimes experimented trying to write with my left hand and found it insanely difficult… but not impossible. I’m sure with a lot of practice I could master left-handed writing, but my right hand will still automatically reach for that pencil when I need to jot something down no matter how practiced I become.

    Many gay men have mastered having sex with women, and many have been declared “cured” by the fundamentalist nuts… but I promise you, he has to stop reaching for a man with that other hand every day.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Good analogy. Isn’t it amazing that the nuts (religious, but there are enough other types) always think they know what’s right for other people. Things haven’t changed. The nuts* are still here. They’re in the majority. They just focus on different things than left-handedness.

    *It comes from being raised in a lunatic asylum, designed and implemented by others raised in the same asylum.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Indeed…

  • http://www.whalertly.com/wordpress Robert M. Barga

    Jet, my generation is caring less and less about articles like this, which means that we are finally accepting people for, well, people

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Oh, then you’ve passed the test in #4?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    My generation? I better go get some sassparelly for my lumbego!

  • http://www.whalertly.com/wordpress Robert M. Barga

    LOL, if one of my friends told me that he was gay, then he is gay. That is it

    One of my good friends actually did that recently, granted, i expected it, but it didn’t phase me for a second

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Great news about Dumbledore, Jet. I didn’t know about that.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    You just never know Cindy, you just never know… :)

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Cindi, did you notice the r-rated photo of Billy Bean on my own blogs version of this article?

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    No Jet. But, I figured out what you meant by ‘actors’. (you know, the guys with the unusual….ahem…)

    I didn’t think a person with my experience could be naive about such a thing. (and I recall asking you if they were a club! lol)

    But, I was just sitting here thinking that I now have a new admiration for J.K. Rowling. I was thinking, she has enough money now to be secure (unlike before she wrote the books)…and with all the howling about witchcraft from the religious fundies, she goes and announces that Dumbledore is gay. When I think about that, I have to imagine her laughing over the PR nightmare she’s just created. She has some power and she just used it, not for money, but for good. I just like that so much. It’s very uplifting.

    lol, I just realized you must have asked me that, about Billy Bean, for a reason. So, what was it?

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Because BB is a HUNK and I probably couldn’t publish that photo here

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    You are aware that I published the Dumbledore article here nearly two years ago right?
    Click here

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Jet,

    You know, I can’t find this article on your blog. But I did find that skating picture of BB. I am certain he is adorable. Even more so because you like him. :-)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    LOL, 2 years ago? Nope, I am afraid I am a dunce (not for the last time, I’m sure.)

    What a crazy world. I am amazed that people waste all their precious time on this crap. Then they’ll all be dust, having spent their life fighting Tinky Wink.

  • http://www.whalertly.com/wordpress barga

    I actually think that she made a mistake in talking about Dumbies preference. He was a character beyond humanity, in that regard, and so it kinda took away from him

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Sorry Cindi, It’s listed as “Famous Gay Athletes to be proud of Vol. II” in the table of contents.

    A lot of athletes when they first come out are offered tons of money to pose nude. I understand that in France there’s a calendar put out every year where straight and gay athletes compete to get into it as a prestige thing, and Australia (as in the case of Ian Roberts) in Vol. I it was no big deal.

    If the U.S. keeps getting more and more puritanical we’ll all being wearing burkas soon.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    You’re right, Dumbledore’s sex preference should be as important as if he’s left or right handed.

    How many people can be convinced of that?

    As for “your” generation being more liberal concerning gays, I don’t see a whole lot of gay rights legislation going through.

    Black civil rights took a century to go from slaves to equal rights and probably twice that long for a lot of southerners who fly rebel flags on their porches to accept it. Gays probably will have to wait twice that long.

    You can tell a person’s black by looking at them, not so with gays, so we’re evil.

    “You fear what you don’t understand…
    …you kill what you fear.”

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s ignorance for you.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Excuse my ignorance…. what is?

  • http://www.whalertly.com/wordpress barga

    Jet,
    I don’t support gay rights legislation as I think it violates the 14th – targets an arbtrary group. Granted, I think that you are already covered under the 14th as well, so it is all good

    You know, your logic is exactly why blacks don’t support gay rights. This girl in class argued once that the 14th shouldn’t cover gays cause you guys haven’t struggled enough. I followed up with “it shouldn’t cover blacks, because, as a Jew, I don’t think you have struggled enough”. She didn’t get it

    My generation supports gay rights, for the most part, but the same way we accept all rights, inherent, and with no need for laws

  • Jordan Richardson

    blacks don’t support gay rights.

    WTF?

    My generation supports gay rights

    Except the “blacks,” right?

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Robert, I don’t know what Utopian part of the country you grew up in, but it sure’s hell wan’t here.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    …any you’ve obviously never tried to use the 14th to sue from “right” you thought it covered.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    “Your” generation must be well represented in the military, right Barga…

    SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following was released today by The Palm Center:

    Youth Radio reported today that former Petty Officer Third Class Joseph Rocha was brutalized for more than two years at his base in Bahrain after unit mates first suspected that he is gay. The Navy promoted the Chief most responsible for the violence, even though Naval officials were aware of his role in creating the climate of abuse.

    Official Navy documents confirm that after Rocha’s unit mates first suspected that he is gay, they engaged in a two-year pattern of abuse including hog-tying him to a chair and pushing him, still bound, into a dog kennel full of feces. Rocha says that they forced him to simulate oral sex with a man more than thirty times, on video tape, as part of a training exercise to teach sailors how to respond to a hypothetical complaint about homosexual sex. And they hit him as hard as they could repeatedly while forcing him to bend over a desk. The documents are available at http://www.youthradio.org.

    Rocha was a military police officer with anti-terrorism training who graduated at the top of his military class, and who received favorable performance evaluations throughout his career. His unit mates first suspected that he is gay in 2004 when he refused to sleep with female prostitutes, a practice that was widespread at his base. Rocha did not report the abuse, which continued until 2006, because he feared retaliation as well as discharge under “don’t ask, don’t tell.” According to Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, “It is very hard for an organization to get rid of abuse as long as discrimination remains official policy.”

    After a colleague complained, the Navy launched an investigation, which concluded in 2007. Official documents from the investigation were obtained recently via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by one of Rocha’s unit mates.

    While Rocha was singled out and forced to endure the longest period of abuse, others were victimized as well. An official military summary of the investigation lists 93 incidents and types of abuse including throwing hard rubber balls at the groin, allowing a dog to attack a sex worker, and handcuffing two female sailors to a bed and forcing them to simulate lesbian sex while being videotaped.

    Since the launch of the investigation, the Navy has promoted Chief Michael Toussaint to the rank of Senior Chief. Toussaint was the petty officer in charge of Rocha’s unit, and perpetrated or presided over most of the abuse.

    Following his return from the Middle East, Rocha developed symptoms of PTSD. After acknowledging to his superiors that he is gay, he was discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell”

    Nah, gays don’t need any “special” protection do they?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I’m still trying to figure out what generation he’s in that he’s so proud of Jordan…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Robert is a college student.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Oh… that explains it

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You guys are giving college education a bad name. You should say Robert is a sophomore.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    When I was a Senior, we used to “pants” sophomores and leave their garments hanging from the hall clock 30ft from the bathroom door where they were hiding.

    …ah the good ol days

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I should think so. The days of The Animal House are over. But even you missed that era.

  • doug m

    When did you guys start settling law by the “informed” opinions of college kids?

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    They’re cheap Doug, and they’re cute… well most of them anyway. What’d you think of the article?

  • doug m

    Good piece, jet. Hopefully more athletes can make enough FU money and come out and show people how normal gays are. I certainly think the trend is in favor of overall acceptance.

    I hope you don’t mind the criticism, but while you mention the media, I think a major component at issue is a large part of the sports-viewing audience is as much a problem as anything. The business and sponsors don’t want to turn off the people who pay the bills. Is it a coincidence an article about the needed acceptance of gays in sports isn’t in sports?

    The world needs more Branch Rickeys who are willing to put principle over profit.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Doug, I want to sincerely explain why this article isn’t in Sports, but I’ve been asked not to by the editors, so please let it rest.

    Suffice to say it wasn’t my idea.

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Jet, great piece. We’ve come a long way in athletics but have so much further to go across the board. What an athlete accomplishes in his/her respective repertoire is the only thing that matters. What they accomplish in their personal life and in the privacy of their bedroom is just that – private.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Well Silas…. sorta private. When the “secret” gets out, suddenly it’s everyone’s business.

    Just because a man isn’t “asked” or doesn’t “tell” doesn’t mean he’s safe. Like the case when one of Brian Sims’ ex lovers informed his team.

    I also refer you back to comment #28

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Problem is Jet that there remains a huge amount of self loathing within the LGBT community. What’s past is passed. We can’t do anything to make it up to those who have gone before us but learn. I’ve got no problem with a religion taking issue with one of their members for being gay. At that point it’s up to the individual to accept or reject dogma. Many theologians and historians believe that St. Paul was a self loathing homersexool. I don’t think that this particular term applies to his times. However, I do believe that Paul was fighting an inner battle which included his love for a particular slave. When one examines history and cultures it becomes quite clear that rampant abuse and oppression of gays really didn’t come significantly into play until the advent of Judaism followed by Christianity.

    But back to athletics. I’m certain you know the theories and whispers that up to 40% of professional footballers are fence hoppers. If they all came out at once it would make for great theatrics.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Silas, if that were true, sports writers all over this great land would faint, and Fred Sanford would stagger out of a door somewhere clutching his chest screaming, “It’s the big one ‘lizbeth… I’m coming for ya honey!”

  • http://delibernation.com/blog/3 Silas Kain

    Jet have your read David Kopay’s autobiography? It’s an eye opener. There are so many people in sports, news media, politics, etc. who are gay. Yet they haven’t the desire to come forward out of fear. That’s immoral. A thousand years from now historians will look upon these times as the end of the “Christian era” and the beginning of the true Age of Enlightenment. So all you die hard Christiopaths, put on your cute little Austrian costumes and start singing “So Long, Farewell”.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    By the way Doug & Silas, this is actually Vol. 2 of a series on my own blog entitled “How Many Famous Athletes are Gay” which can be found in the table of contents links on any page.

    It’s also the link to an article Doug, that is in the sports section here and there’s a link to it on page 7 of this article.

    Stay tuned for Vol 3 & 4 soon.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Yes Silas I have the hardbound edition and his story is covered in Vol I of this series… see above links

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    That and some of the pictures are a little racier than they are here…

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    oops the link is in page 6

  • http://www.davidmendes.com Dave

    Hi, Jet. I enjoyed reading this article. Very informative, without being sensational. I then moved on to reading your journal entries and felt great empathy for your plight and looked for an email address to use to get in touch to offer to help, but couldn’t find one. You’re welcome to get in touch with me through my website. Dave

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    My sincere thanks Dave… Jet

  • Monty O’Hair

    I like this. I grew up not allowing anyone to know about me. I grew up a Cowboys son, in a town of less than 300 ppl. I graduated MR.CHS, Best citizen boy, Whos Who, Englis Student, Was a Teen Leader, Head Photographer for the yearbook and news paper, and participated in Perswasive Speaking events all thru H.S, I am out now however I remember all the names, jokes, beat downs another student in our school had to go through. I know that had I been honest with everyone my life would have been better. I wouldnt have thought about taking my own life every day driving to school “you know this road is really bad, it wouldnt take much to just go over the side.” thats what I thought almost every day. I still face comments during sports. I just like to think of it as motivation. I am a gay man. I dont dress like a woman. I have beers with my brother and hang out with the family. My life is that of a 21 year old guy, however I look for a relationship with guy not a girl. I cant wait to read more about this…. Thank you

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    You’re not alone Monty, I hope you visit my site sometime and see just now not alone your are.

    My pride banner has over a thousand names of gay actors celebrities, athletes, actors etc. just click my name above.

    Glad you posted here. BC has a large population of gay writers too.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Alfie comes out! (CNN) — A former international rugby star has shocked the sports world by revealing that he is gay.

    Gareth Thomas, Wales’ most-capped player after appearing in 100 Tests, made the surprise announcement in an interview with British newspaper The Daily Mail.

    The 35-year-old retired from internationals after the 2007 World Cup, but still plays for Welsh provincial side Cardiff Blues.

    He is the first openly gay top-level rugby player, although top referee Nigel Owens came out in 2007.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    ‘Alfie comes out’?

    I don’t get it.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Isn’t Garreth Thomas’ nick-name Alfie?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    No idea. Stan would know, probably.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Wales News: Headline-Players rally around Alfie following gay revelation

    Dec 20 2009 by Kathryn Williams, Wales On Sunday

    WALES and British Lions legend Gareth Thomas has praised the “amazing response” he received from friends and fans after revealing he is gay.

    Thomas had said that his secret sexuality was like a “ticking bomb” which he had tried to suppress. He finally confessed all to wife Jemma and close friends in November 2006 after breaking down in the changing rooms of the Millennium Stadium.

    His admission last night prompted calls for other professional sportsmen to be open about their sexuality.

    Fellow Wales and Blues team-mate Martyn Williams was one of the first people to learn of Alfie’s sexuality when the Lions star confided in him.

    “It does not make any difference to me or the other boys,” he said. “We have known about Alfie for a long time and he is a legend of the game.

    “The boys have had a good chuckle about it over the last couple of years. But it changes nothing.

    “Gareth is a great bloke who has achieved so much in the game. He is a rugby player and a really good mate and I think he looked really good in pink yesterday!”

    In an interview with the Daily Mail yesterday Thomas said the first person who he told of his true sexuality was coach Scott Johnson. He said he made the admission after he broke down in the Wales team room.

    The Aussie yesterday praised Thomas for his bravery in making his sexuality public.

  • STM

    I guess it is Alfie, but I’ve always known him as “that bloody Welsh bastard Gareth Thomas”.

    Can play a bit though.

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Oh… Well, that explains it. Thanks Stan

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Anna Paquin, the star of HBO vampire series “True Blood,” announced that she is bisexual as part of a videotaped public service announcement.

    “I’m bisexual, and I give a damn,” the actress says during the PSA, which she taped on January 30 as part of the True Colors Fund’s Give a Damn campaign that features celebrities encouraging people to work for the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

    According to RadarOnline.com, organizers were apparently unaware that Paquin was going to make the bisexuality declaration.

    The Give a Damn campaign is set to kick off on Thursday (April 1) and a series of videos featuring other celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, Elton John, Cynthia Nixon, Clay Aiken, Whoopi Goldberg, Wanda Sykes, Jason Mraz, Mya, Sharon and Kelly Osbourne and True Colors Fund co-founder Cyndi Lauper.

    “One hate crime is committed approximately every hour of every day in this country,” Paquin says in the spot, as other celebs chime in with facts and calls to action.

    “Imagine walking down the street and wondering if this is the day you’ll get beaten up or even killed, simply because of who you are,” Elton John says.

    Adds Mraz, “It is time for things to change!”

    Paquin, 27, got engaged to her “True Blood” co-star Stephen Moyer last August. On the small screen, Paquin plays telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse, who falls for Moyer’s brooding vampire, Bill Compton. The third season of the sexually charged drama is set to debut on June 13.

    To see the ad click here

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Here’s another one for your list, Jet.

    Thought you might not have seen this story yet, as cricket doesn’t exactly get blanket coverage over here!

  • http://jetsgaypride.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Thanks Doc, I’m working on my comeback with Vol. III as we speak.

    Nice of you to give me the link, my friend

    Jet