Be a man and come out

December 22, 2009 at 11:44 am Leave a comment

Almost missed the news that Gareth Thomas, most capped Welsh rugby player, came out recently. For those who don’t know about rugby, it’s a real testosterone sport – all sweat and blood and muscle and dirt. I’m sure I’ve watched Gareth play, rugby being a big sport in Australia, and I’m happy for him that he’s done something he had to do. The response has been great, he’s happier and his mates  have shown support and maturity that is not normally associated with macho sport.

Of course the sports world is shocked, and of course he and rugby will downplay his sexuality because sport is not about anything other than performance and being a good public role model. And yet straight players will almost always have their families mentioned at events, and gay players will conveniently be lauded as high achievers with nothing more to them.  Coming out is not a one step process but many levels of adjustment. I don’t envy GT what he has to go through, such as not reacting to homophobic comments, and being a stellar player who will now be under even more intense scrutiny less he grabs an opponent just a tad too long. Athletes don’t come out partly because they know their sexuality could overshadow the other love of their life, sport. They would rather sacrifice personal happiness than the pursuit of victory, till the day they retire or feel they have a mountain of achievement that can’t be rocked, to stand on. What’s one more sacrifice in a career of sporting excellence?

Closer to home,  I myself carry frustration that in my chosen sport, being gay is an irritant for the greater sporting bodies.  Therefore, it is with great pride and glee that we participate in events such at the Gay Games and the OutGames, where sport and pride and fun come together. And if you think gay players are frou frou on the field, you really need to come down and watch your local gay league. We are just as fiercely competitive as any straight team – only more stylish.

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Entry filed under: Champions, Competitions, Queer. Tags: .

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Evecho’s newsy bits

News, updates and links from the lesbian and publishing ‘verse that interest me, my current projects, keeping up with authors and sharing musings on middle-class life, gourmet adventures and comparisons between East/West perspectives. My opinions will likely be linearly logical and gayly bent, as they tend to be.