I read today that that Thomas Hitzlsperger has outed himself. Thomas is a retired soccer star who once played for Everton, West Ham and Germany and had a mean left goal kick. I admire any celebrity who outs themselves because mostly it paves the way for other celebrities to come out, and break the barriers between what is PERCEIVED to be normal and what is not perceived to be normal.
But, I do have concerns. Sport is not the domain of baby makers. Sport belongs to everyone. Heterosexuals are under the impression that sport belongs to them alone. They should get over it. Get a life. Make more gay babies. I understand the reason behind a celebrity who comes out, as I am sure we all do. Michael Johnson who once sat on the Football Association's Advisory Board, has stated that homosexuality is detestable. He fails to recognise that one infallible rule: Sport is Not Exclusive to Heterosexuals.
Celebrities fear the backlash. The media prey on stories like this. It is BIG news.
Tom Daley (Olympic diver)
Anton Hysen (Swedish footballer)
Jason Collins (US basketballer)
Nicola Adams (British boxer)
Orlando Cruz (Puerto Rica boxer)
Robbie Rogers (US footballer)
Billie Jean King
And others et al.,
They are not only stars in their own right, but are standing examples for the gay community. And make no bones about it, the gay community needs stars. And why not? The heterosexual world has its stars. However, in order for us to have our stars, they must twinkle, in other words, come out.
But why? Thomas states:
‘I’m coming out about my homosexuality because I want to move the discussion about homosexuality among professional sportspeople forwards.’ He also states that '...coming out is taboo in the dressing room...'
We are living in the 21st Century. Heterosexuals force us to come out because they regard homosexuality as an evil. Taboo. Etc. Disregarding the fact that we are more than able to play sport, or sing, or act and win. They regard themselves as holier than thou when they themselves are prone to more crime, more evil, more perversion than homosexuals. They would be, they are in the majority.
Here is a comment by a reader of Thomas's outing:
A person's sexuality is immaterial to any sport and, quite frankly, nobodies business but their own. You make an effort when you play and give your all to the supporters then you'll do for me. It's 2014 and it's far past the time when people should have moved on and grown up about it. There's no bravery in coming out, there's a warped ideology in the World that makes an issue where none belongs but bravery? No. It's nothing more than being "allowed" by society to actually just be yourself. I don't think society should be empowered with the perceived "right" to make somebody feel they have to explain themselves in their choice of partner, whatever their preference, any more so than "allowing" somebody to fall in love with a blonde, brunette, blue eyes or brown etc etc. So long as it's consenting adults then, frankly, the World in general should keep their nose firmly out of it. It's time we all collectively said in one voice. "Move on. Nothing to see here."
And another reader states:
We live in a largely ignorant and judgemental world where any difference is perceived as a weakness and attacked. That is why there are probably still many more athletes who would perhaps like to be openly gay but are too sacred about the potential consequences and stigma. Hopefully those that have recently made the decision to come out will make it easier for anyone else who is considering doing so.
By moving on, does it mean that we all will EVENTUALLY have the right to be what we want to be? So then parents will not disown us, the army will not send us for aversion shock therapy, we will not be jailed, we will not be put to death, we will not be bullied at school or university, our parents will accept us and we won't commit suicide.
When that day comes, please wake me up.
I admire David Cameron's tweet to Thomas:
As an #AVFC fan, I've always admired what Thomas Hitzlsperger did on the pitch - but I admire him even more today. A brave & important move.
I say that homophobia is an illness. It should be treated as such. Maybe a few years in a mental health institution. Maybe straight aversion therapy for homophobics.
I say our sexuality is just as important as a heterosexual's sexuality and we should offer no apology for being homosexual. Straights don't go around saying, " Listen mate, I am sorry but I'm straight.' Straights don't go around saying, 'hi, my name is so and so and I am straight.' So, why should we? But we do. Not all of us. But we do.
I remember the day when a customer brought her son with her to buy books in my store. We got to chatting and she wanted to know if I was married. I told her yes. She said she would like to meet my wife. I told her I'm married to a man, not a woman. Her son, about 15 years old retorted: 'Wow! Mom, a real gay person, that's amazing, mom.' His mom smiled and said, 'Yes, it is amazing.'
That made my day.
Thomas Hitzlsperger, thank you.