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Being a gay athlete doesn't make be a novelty or a freak!


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I don't think being a gay athlete makes you a freak.  Being out may make you something of a novelty.  Not being effeminate certainly doesn't make you a freak.  Having straight and gay guys both give you a wide berth sounds odd on the surface,  but I guess they all consider you "different".  Their loss.

 

I am sorry to hear you are changing schools because of it.  I hope the situation may change to the point you can stay where you are.

 

Reporters tend to be obnoxious to everyone.  They are the real freaks.  They would prefer not writing anything positive.

 

As for Facebook, I think you should ditch it.  "Friends" there are generally superficial.

 

My best wishes to you Hayden.  Don't give up.

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I know the feeling, sort of. I played football from fifth grade all the way through high school. Granted, I was never out and lived in constant fear of being outed. As you know, the last place anyone wants a gay guy in is the locker room. They all think that you want to fuck and suck every one of them, and are petrified that you may be looking at them. Their homophobia is just over-the-top, and they can't fathom how a fag (who's supposed to be a limp-risted effeminate pussy) could possibly be a tough football player who likes competition just as much as the next guy. It challenges everything they thought they knew about gay guys, and they just can't handle it so they revert to old habits of queer-bashing. Its why I was never out to anyone but my parents in high school, and I give you props for having the balls to be out on a college football team.  

 

I didn't keep playing football after high school. I loved playing, but I wanted something entirely different out of my college experience. My parents never allowed me to quit a sport I started, even when I wanted to. The rule was that I had to finish the season, and then if I didn't want to play the next season that was up to me. That way it wouldn't be considered quitting. You finished the season right? You if you don't return to play the next year, thats not quitting. Quitting would be if you walked off the practice field in October, at least in my opinion. If you feel that unhappy and uncomfortable in the football environment, don't keep doing it. College is the best time of your life, and don't waste it doing something that makes you miserable and unhappy. I missed playing competitively, so now I play in an intramural league at my school where even though its just a pick up game, all the guys go pretty hard and its fun but also competitive. If I were you, I'd suggest switching out and doing something like that. It takes the pressure off and makes it more fun for you.

 

Also, you don't need gay friends just for the sake of having gay friends. If you find a gay guy that you have a lot in common with and is chill, then by all means make friends with them. Don't just go looking for gay friends just to have gay friends. My one gay friend is my boyfriend. :P The rest of my friends are either straight guys or girls, and I'm perfectly fine with that. I have far more in common with them then any gay guy I know, and to them I'm just another one of the guys, despite being gay. In college most people don't care about gay/straight/whatever, and those that do are either athletes or people other people don't like much. I think once you get out of the football sphere and make 'normal' friends, it will get a lot better. 

 

We all wished at some point we weren't gay. But for better or worse, you are and it's something you have to learn to live with. It makes life harder, but once you figure it out, it turns out to be an asset. Its just a matter of finding the environment where you fit in and don't have to hide who you are either. If that means switching schools, then go for it. But it also doesn't mean you have to hang out with other gay people. Just find a group of straight-like minded people who don't care. Believe it or not they do exist. :P If that means you have to transfer schools then go for it. But just don't waste the best four years of your life being something your not and being miserable. Unfortunately, you're not gonna find happiness as a gay athlete in a football locker room, and thats just the fucked up reality of the sports culture. I had to give it up, but in the end I'm glad I did. The question is, are you willing to give it up to be happier?

 

As a side note, talk to people on GA as an outlet. Its a big help. :)

 

       -Matt

Edited by TetRefine
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<p>    Hey, I really hope you don't give up the sport. If you want to change schools and play ball somewhere else that's one thing, but you should never let people deter you from playing a sport you love.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>    Honestly, I'd just ride it out. Football season is over, and I'm sure your 15 minutes of fame is over in that regard as well.</p>

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<p>    Here's <a href="

">a pretty cool video with Brian Sims</a>. He was a football player who was openly gay with his college football team in Pennsylvania back in the early 2000's.</p>

<p> </p>

<p>    I also think you should consider reading Cross-Currents, by Adam Phillips. It's a semi-autobiographical story about a young soccer player who struggles with his emerging bisexual identity against his identity as an alpha male jock.</p>

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Edited by methodwriter85
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Meh, my boyfriend played a lot of sports in high school, he's also a big redneck and does a lot of mudding, camping, four-wheeling, but the car he drives to work is a Prius, and he has more hair products in the bathroom than his sisters put together. People don't bother him cause he's not bothered by himself at all. 

 

I think 98% of my friends outside the internet are straight. If I like to hang out with someone, it's not because of their sexual preference unless I'm looking to get lucky. 

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Some people know my story. Some don't. I'll tell it again because I think it'll be useful to Hayden.

 

When I was 12 I was 100% BOY. Muddy, fishing, camping, hiking, hunting redneck kid from Mississippi. I was a also a boy scout.

 

I started fooling around with my best friend. We were quiet about it. No one else knew. We had a tight assed Mormon scoutmaster who had a anti-gay witch hunt and threw five of us out.

 

He wasn't satisfied with just mind-f**king us. He went to our parents and told them. He told other parents so their kids wouldn't "catch" gay from any of us. He basically set us all up for several years of hell.

 

We were "out". It was 1976 and the rural south. I won't go into detail but needless to say it was really messed up.

 

I was in a fight my first day of jr high before the first bell. I still had bruises from when my dad kicked my ass. One of the football coaches took care of me.

 

I was a pretty good defensive player. I played defensive end/linebacker and I did really well. Our 7th grade team finished 9-2. The best record that any of the schools teams had had for years. I earned a spot on the "red" team- THE schools main JV team.

 

The coach that had helped me out went on to a job at a college.

 

My next coach was a real asshole. He didn't want me and wouldn't play me. That pissed me off and so I took it out on his favorites in practice. I was a bully. I was a nasty bastard and I beat on those kids like ugly red-headed stepchildren. He finally started playing me after I'd run off several of his players.

 

Ninth grade year we had a different coach. He wanted to win so he played me. We went 8-3.

 

I changed schools as a sophomore and things went to crap. I got suspended (school and football) for fighting with five guys who had no consequences. I didn't play and took a lot of abuse and cheap shots. When I finally did get to play on special teams, I was a head hunter. I was high on speed and was out to knock people out. It was how I let my anger out.

 

The better I played, the better my standing on the team. We weren't really friends but when they found out I could play, they got off my back.

 

I had drug problems too and cultivated the image of a crazy, messed up hood. Most people didn't mess with me because I was moody and unpredictable. Some days I'd fight at the drop of a hat and had learned how to fight really well (out of necessity).

 

At first I was playing football for fun. Later on it was more about I'm going to play and if you don't like it, I'll take your head off.

 

That's me: Abrasive, combative and belligerent because that how I could make them back off.

 

I wasn't a nice guy. As the Brits say- I was a right bastard. In a way I became worse than the bullies. If they went so far, I'd go further. I wouldn't hold back. If I knew I was going to lose, at least I'd make it hurt. 

 

It's been 30+ years and I am the last of the five. I'm still a right bastard.

Edited by jamessavik
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Well, it's focused on hockey, but the message comes through ...

 

 

Also, worth noting how rapidly attitudes can change within a sport.  When I started as a season-ticket-holder, the idea of the NHL doing something like that video was a joke.  Now, there's not a word of complaint about it (within NHL circles, anyways - obviously plenty of idiots leave trolling Youtube comments).  And the only joke is a group of owners that want to put teams in unprofitable markets so they can cover enough of the U.S. to justify selling national broadcast rights, then turn around and whine about how unprofitable those markets are.

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Well, it's focused on hockey, but the message comes

Also, worth noting how rapidly attitudes can change within a sport.  When I started as a season-ticket-holder, the idea of the NHL doing something like that video was a joke.  Now, there's not a word of complaint about it (within NHL circles, anyways - obviously plenty of idiots leave trolling Youtube comments).  And the only joke is a group of owners that want to put teams in unprofitable markets so they can cover enough of the U.S. to justify selling national broadcast rights, then turn around and whine about how unprofitable those markets are.

Thanks for sharing that link. That's all I was trying to say in this thread, I just want to be judged by my athletic ability and nothing else.

 

Some people, even on here, totally misunderstood this.

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As long as Joey (My Second husband) Votto isn't gay... I like gay athletes. I believe they do a lot for Homosexuality in general, because it is still a bit taboo to be gay and an athlete - well - an out gay athlete anyway.  Usually they happen well after retirement.. but lately active players/athletes have been coming out of the closet.  They have also tried to address the Locker Room general vocabulary to not include the ugly words.

 

Accepting that people won't accept you - works better than venting frustrations. There will always be those people in your life, in everybody's life, so you just have to roll with the punches and work on finding people that do accept things. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Be glad that you were born when you were. It hasn't always been that way. In some places in the past, I don't care if you had Lawrence Taylor or Ray Lewis' talent, if you were gay, you didn't play.

 

In fact when I played in the seventies, a lot of people told me that it was a stupid idea to play sports.

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing that link. That's all I was trying to say in this thread, I just want to be judged by my athletic ability and nothing else. Some people, even on here, totally misunderstood this.
Edited by jamessavik
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  I'm just kind of surprised that it's still considered so newsworthy for you to be an openly gay college football player that you're getting harrassed by reporters. Back in the 1990's or the 2000's I could see it being a big deal, but it's 2012. (Or was, anyway.) Then again, I'm coming from the perspective of someone who grew up in the Philly metro area.

Edited by methodwriter85
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  I'm just kind of surprised that it's still considered so newsworthy for you to be an openly gay college football player that you're getting harrassed by reporters. Back in the 1990's or the 2000's I could see it being a big deal, but it's 2012. (Or was, anyway.) Then again, I'm coming from the perspective of someone who grew up in the Philly metro area.

 

 

MW-

 

What make it "news" is the contrast between the perceived stereotype and reality. To many people, the stereotypical gay male is small, effeminate and not very physical. This is completely at odds with the stereotypical football player. 

 

It is both a wake up call to reality and a personification of the fact that that the stereotype is invalid.

 

As gay people we know that we are a diverse bunch: athletic, couch potato, short, tall, big, small, and every variation in between. 

 

To some people who have swallowed stereotypes whole, this comes as a big surprise.

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As gay people we know that we are a diverse bunch: athletic, couch potato, short, tall, big, small, and every variation in between. 

 

I only wish the media actually portrayed us as a group that is just as diverse as straight people. But even they are stuck on selling the effeminate, limp-wristed weakling as the only gay character on TV. Its really god damn annoying. 

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I only wish the media actually portrayed us as a group that is just as diverse as straight people. But even they are stuck on selling the effeminate, limp-wristed weakling as the only gay character on TV. Its really god damn annoying. 

 

There would be no point.

 

The media is set out to highlight and entertain. People aren't entertained by the real reality.

Edited by Y_B
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I only wish the media actually portrayed us as a group that is just as diverse as straight people. But even they are stuck on selling the effeminate, limp-wristed weakling as the only gay character on TV. Its really god damn annoying. 

 

There would be no point.

 

The media is set out to highlight and entertain. People aren't entertained by the real reality.

 

 

I'll pitch a TV show to MTV called the "Everyone is gay"

 

Banger can pretend to be the slow texan, Matt can be the fast talking college kid, and I can be the moody guy. :D

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   I should be the short wacky best friend of the lead who comes up with all these crazy schemes that make life difficult for the protagonst, but all is forgiven when I shrug my shoulders, smile, and say my catchphrase.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Haden, you might like to watch this TV doc shown last week on Channel 5 about the Welsh International rugby player Gareth Thomas who came out in 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asQcPQVin00&has_verified=1


http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3DasQcPQVin00



Let's get one thing clear - rugby is a seriously tough, physical contact sport. Unlike you namby pamby Americans suited up with armour plated padding to look like enormous behemoths, rugby players wear minimal body protection and just rely on their skills and body muscles to absorb the impacts with other players *hides to avoid the flack from outraged Haden and US "football" fans :D*.

So anyway, Gareth came out to his team mates and the press and .... nothing happened.

His story is one of regret. Regret that he kept his sexuality a secret for so long. And like you, James, he compensated during his early years by being the meanest bastard on the rugby field. But he's now committed to schools education and the Child Helpline providing support to young people and gay youth at a difficult time in their lives.

By any measure he is an impressive guy. So next time you hear some rednecked ignorant bigot mouthing off negative stereotypical crap about "gays" - if you can be bothered - just show them the Wiki page page on Gareth and his outstanding achievements in probably the roughest toughest most macho of all sports.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gareth_Thomas_(rugby)

Anyway, Haden, good luck to you in whatever you decide to do with your life and sport. And remember the important thing is to be true to yourself and to be happy!
 
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