Talk about living in a straight world…
Being a gay athlete is probably one of the strongest reasons that I got into writing this blog.
The reason I came up with the whole concept of writing about being gay in a straight world is very strongly influenced by the fact that I was a gay guy hanging out with very, VERY straight guys…
All throughout my life, up until college, I was into sports.
Whether it was soccer, baseball, hockey, football, basketball… it didn’t matter.
No matter what the sport was, chances are, that I played it growing up.
And when I went to high school, I made my entire high school experience essentially revolve around me playing football.
You see, in high school, I don’t know that I would say that I was your typical jock but sports (football especially) basically defined my entire high school experience.
From the summer before my freshman year until the end of football season my senior year, football basically ruled my life.
And I was pretty damn good.
Always a starter and I eventually earned first team all city, first team all league and was inducted into the National Football Foundation by the end of my senior year.
Needless to say, football and athletics were and always will be a very big part of my life.
And of course, there was the whole being gay thing.
At the time, I certainly wasn’t out to anyone.
That was definitely a part of my life where I was in denial of who I was.
While I knew for certain that I was interested in guys (uh, white under armour compression shorts still drive me wild) I still held out hope that I was bi and would eventually find some girl that I would fall in love with.
Yeah, that didn’t happen…
Anyway, while I was going through high school, changing in the locker room, having the quarterback’s hands literally on my nuts (I was a center. You know, the guy that snaps the ball to the quarterback) there certainly were a ton of thoughts and fears that went through my head.
To this day, there has only been one person that’s ever given me crap for thinking that I was gay.
He would continuously give me crap, call me gay, a faggot, and everything in between. And that one person just happened to be on the football team during those first few years.
I don’t know if that had any influence on me figuring out who I was or made me want to be someone that I wasn’t but I’d have to imagine that it had some sort of an influence.
Being a gay guy in suc a heterosexual sport, especially during those developmental years in high school certainly made for an emotional roller coaster.
There were so many thoughts and fears that would go through my head…
Fear of getting excited when the quarterback put his hands on my nuts
Fear of getting excited being around all of these guys nearly naked
Fear of getting caught staring at them.
Fear of my teammates simply rejecting me for who I could be.
It’s enough to cause stress for anyone. Especially during those developmental years in high school.
So, with the recent news of a current NFL player potentially coming out publicly, I can certainly understand the fear and the emotions that they could be going through.
Even though our society is progressing at an amazing rate in regards to gay rights and views on gays, it’s still insanely scary.
Especially being the first one.
But that’s what makes this even that much more special if this athlete can find it within himself to come out publicly.
If this athlete were able to find the courage to come out publicly it would have such a tremendous impact on our community.
Not just in having a member of our community in the spotlight for a professional sports team, but it has the potential to open up the eyes of so many people that don’t have someone gay in their community (that they know about).
With football being so prominent in states that tend to swing a bit more to the right when it comes to their stance on gay rights, it would finally highlight, in their circle, that gays are there and well, normal.
They just happen to like cock.
But seriously… I was reading an article recently talking about progress on the nation’s views of gays and gay rights and one of the main factors was that so many gays have come out and are proud.
It gives people a face to put to this group of people that’s being talked about.
No longer is it just about gay rights, it’s about the rights of Scott, Jamie, Daniel… you get the idea.
It’s about supporting someone they know.
It’s no longer just a faceless group.
Now, they want to support someone very personal.
So, if this NFL player can find the courage within him to come out publicly, I think that will create a snowball effect.
You’ll see more and more athletes coming out in the spotlight.
While they may get some resistance, I can guarantee that there will be an overwhelmingly positive response to their decision.
There will be such a sense of pride not just within the gay community, but with people in general that are just proud of them taking that step.
I would never suggest to someone that they should come out. That’s a very personal decision and I think we all know that.
I certainly hope that whoever this person is can find it within themselves to do it.
They would make such a positive impact on the public for our community.
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