Tuesday, August 18, 2009

gays in sports?

Do gay people like sports? It seems like a silly question, but apparently even some gay people don't know any damn better.

Since I've been out I have not been personally involved in sports at all. I do enjoy watching MMA, and not for the gay, soft core porn aspect that has been pointed out to me often enough. I love soccer as well and played several seasons in a local adult rec league. I've also coached my sons' teams several times.

As mentioned, I've not been personally involved since coming out. When it was all new there was just too much going on, life sort of got in the way, and sadly, Momma and I both allowed life to get in the way for the kids as well. Big Brother is registered for the fall season, having missed a couple of seasons, and has his first practice tomorrow night, but I'm just not ready to be involved as a coach for a couple of reasons. One, I'm just not ready to do that, and two, I think he's getting into an age group that I'm just not going to be able to reasonably coach. Maybe that's my own fear getting in the way, but that's the way it is. I've always told myself that, as his coach and father, I needed to be able to recognize when it was time for me to step back, and I think now is that time.

None of that is quite the point or the motivation for this post, though my point does involve the gay and sports.

Reading at advocate.com I ran across a story that pointed out that there are gays playing college football and many of their teammates know that they are gay. There are no out players at the professional level just now, but there are a couple of players who've decided to come out after retiring.

And finally we get to zero in on my point, the comments to the article, the divide that still exists between gays, at some level, where we have to either be one or the other, flaming or macho. It's all in the comments, gays versus each other.

On the one hand we have the macho man that is soooo tired of the fact that all gays are seen as flaming and not into sports. On the other hand we have the guys who can't imagine that anyone would like such puerile pursuits as sports.

Pulling a couple of quotes from the comments will prove my point about this chasm.
-And, as far as being in the NFL and out, some players would prefer to stay closeted than to have gay fans swarming all over them-from Michael

-this sport has a built in macho factor that, hopefully, most gay men are intelligent enough to reject-from James

-Not all gay men want to play dress up and go shopping or tweek out on drugs-from Jon directed at James

I hate that, even among gays, we have to be one or the other. I'm certainly not the most macho guy, though I don't really feel I fall into a category that one would call flaming, but even if I did, that wouldn't effect the fact that I can appreciate perfect passes that set up a shot on goal or the skill it takes to work a good choke hold from a full mount. I can enjoy watching David Villa shake off a defender to put an impossible shot past the keeper and appreciate that he's one of the hottest guys in soccer. I can also enjoy looking at clothes and hanging out with a group of straight girls and giggle about nonsense.

We get enough stereotypes from outside of the gay community. Why do we force them on each other?