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Gay Sport Stars Come out of the Closet


LJH

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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

Navratilova

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.

 

Still, why?

 

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.

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More and more will still come out I know for sure, the society we live in at the moment is becoming more tolerant to gay people and people are less scared about outing themselves your reputation dosent go out of the window, all these celebrity we have that are gay Ellen Degenres came out and you don't get an article in the newspaper everyday giving you the nitty gritty of her life, just because they are famous they think, wow he famous and hes gay lets write an article about it. I don't care if hes gay its nice to now but so what if a famous person came out and said they were straight it wouldn't even make the evening news. so im not really bother if a famous person comes out and says there gay. and LJH you forgot Darren Young the WWE Wrestler he came out being gay late last year.

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I fully agree Scotty. But I wouldn't go so far as to say I don't care. See, I come from a period in history where veing gay was not acceptable. Not even tolerated. Hence, the damage done to us beautiful people thru aversion therapy, murder, incarceration in lunatic asylums, caused us to become closeted. Now, with so many countries accpting gay people as part of the community, it doesn't seem all that bad. But there is still a stigma attached to being gay even in countries that are accepting.

 

I just have a a problem with a teenager or adult stating that he/she is gay. I believe if you wanna have a boyfriend, girlfriend, then simply introduce the person to family as my boyfriend / girlfriend. No explanation needed. But what do we do? We out ourselves. Hey world, I am gay!

 

It is important for our community to have gay stars. Sure. But we don't really need to announce it. We just need to live it. Regardless.

 

So that means parents and friends and family might turn around and say: But you didn't tell me! I say, well, you didn't tell me you are straight. I don't have to explain my actions to anyone. I am not asking for acceptance. I am what I am. Go blow a fish if your ideas are different to mine. Then walk away.

 

Thats just the way I am.

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I fully agree Scotty. But I wouldn't go so far as to say I don't care. See, I come from a period in history where veing gay was not acceptable. Not even tolerated. Hence, the damage done to us beautiful people thru aversion therapy, murder, incarceration in lunatic asylums, caused us to become closeted. Now, with so many countries accpting gay people as part of the community, it doesn't seem all that bad. But there is still a stigma attached to being gay even in countries that are accepting. I just have a a problem with a teenager or adult stating that he/she is gay. I believe if you wanna have a boyfriend, girlfriend, then simply introduce the person to family as my boyfriend / girlfriend. No explanation needed. But what do we do? We out ourselves. Hey world, I am gay! It is important for our community to have gay stars. Sure. But we don't really need to announce it. We just need to live it. Regardless. So that means parents and friends and family might turn around and say: But you didn't tell me! I say, well, you didn't tell me you are straight. I don't have to explain my actions to anyone. I am not asking for acceptance. I am what I am. Go blow a fish if your ideas are different to mine. Then walk away. Thats just the way I am.

Amen!

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It's a shame that he couldn't do this until he'd retired, like every other major team sport player that's come out.

Except one. You should add Gareth Edwards to your list.

He came out in 2009 while he was still a professional international rugby player at a high level. This is from wiki
"He represented Wales in both rugby union and rugby league. He is the third most capped Welsh rugby union player, with 100 test match appearances for Wales and 3 for the British & Irish Lions. He is currently ranked 12th among international try scorers and is the second highest Wales try scorer behind Shane Williams. He also won 4 rugby league caps for Wales, scoring 3 tries."

As far as I am aware there was no negative response from his teammates or within the game. Maybe that's because rugby is a "bigger" game. It's certainly a very family friendly game - in my view the most dynamic, continuous flowing action and masculine sport. Forty minutes action, a ten minute break, then forty minutes action again. All over and done with in under two exhilarating hours. Wimps need not apply :P
 

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Of course living in a society that is tolerant to the core would be great. The fact that we don't makes a statement like Hitzlsperger's still necessary, and when reading the interview or watching his video message (there is one in German and one in English on youtube), it becomes evident that he wanted the issue of homosexual soccer players to be discussed. And at least in Germany soccer/football is seen as very manly, even if the women's national teem is quite successful (I'm not sure to what extent people from other countries know that some of its members have already come out, but with women it's still a different issue, I suppose). I think Hitzlsperger spoke in a very unpretentious and well-balanced way which made him seem like a pretty nice and decent person; it should also be noted that he thought one month before Sotchi was the right time to do this.

 

The interview which is referred to was done exclusively for "Die Zeit" ("The Time"), a German weekly newspaper; if you know a bit German and are interested in the discussion you can read a lot about this on their website (luckily I subscribe to the printed version anyway - it's the only newspaper I read -, so I was quite curious about the interview this morning, even more so because yesterday evening it was the number one topic on the radio news, perhaps on TV as well but I don't watch; well, and of course in the German internet).

 

It's sad that there ist still a problem, and this is something that should be emphasized - of course it would still be highly problematic for an active player to come out. The consensus is just that things are moving into the right direction.

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Of course living in a society [/size]that is tolerant to the core would be great. The fact that we don't makes a statement like Hitzlsperger's still necessary, and when reading the interview or watching his video message (there is one in German and one in English on youtube), it becomes evident that he wanted the issue of homosexual soccer players to be discussed. And at least in Germany soccer/football is seen as very manly, even if the women's national teem is quite successful (I'm not sure to what extent people from other countries know that some of its members have already come out, but with women it's still a different issue, I suppose). I think Hitzlsperger spoke in a very unpretentious and well-balanced way which made him seem like a pretty nice and decent person; it should also be noted that he thought one month before Sotchi was the right time to do this.[/size]

 

The interview which is referred to was done exclusively for "Die Zeit" ("The Time"), a German weekly newspaper; if you know a bit German and are interested in the discussion you can read a lot about this on their website (luckily I subscribe to the printed version anyway - it's the only newspaper I read -, so I was quite curious about the interview this morning, even more so because yesterday evening it was the number one topic on the radio news, perhaps on TV as well but I don't watch; well, and of course in the German internet).[/size]

 

It's sad that there ist still a problem, and this is something that should be emphasized - of course it would still be highly problematic for an active player to come out. The consensus is just that things are moving into the right direction.[/size]

 

Coming out is always big news. I look at people like George Michael, and Ricky Martin, who, for years were believed to be straight, except of course, we Gays new otherwise, didn't we? The press devoured their newfound sexuality. With Sport it's a different thing. The idea that some sport is seen as a man's game, irks me. Are gay men not men? The Premier League fandom is a hard nut to crack. Even racism is rampant amongst premier league fans. It takes guts to come out. Our radio stations today are having a full go at this issue today and everyone has an opinion. Most listeners phoning in are pleased that one of the best league soccer players in the world (ex) is gay. Some are totally against it.

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With Sport it's a different thing. The idea that some sport is seen as a man's game, irks me. Are gay men not men?

 

Which is why Gareth Edwards coming out as an international top flight rugby player was so significant, because rugby is regarded as a very masculine game - so the message was clear: gay men are as masculine as straight men :)

 

That's why, for me, Gareth Edwards is the most significant public person to have come out so far.

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Which is why Gareth Edwards coming out as an international top flight rugby player was so significant, because rugby is regarded as a very masculine game - so the message was clear: gay men are as masculine as straight men :)

 

That's why, for me, Gareth Edwards is the most significant public person to have come out so far.

 

You forgot to mention that he is so yum. lol.  Yup, I remember his coming out and i was blown away.  My hubby was a rugby player (amongst other things).  But he was out even then and accepted by all in his team.  The locker room didn't even come into question.  If anyone said anything in the change room, hubby would simply beat him up.  Problem dealt with.  But that never happened.  lol

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