September 7, 2012

Coming Out as a Gay Athlete



So, quite awesomely, my diver story came out last Friday as part of the MLR Press anthology Going for Gold, which is also now available on Amazon and All Romance eBooks. YAY.

Separately, but relatedly on the topic of gay athletes, I wanted to mention that I'm still working on a follow-up for my first story, Man-to-Man Coverage (available as a freebie here).   I'm alllllllllllllllmost done with the follow-up and will post more about it here when it's available. In the first story, M2MC, two NFL players discover that, rather than perfect rivals, they make even better lovers.  Some people scoff at the idea of gay football players, but to me, it feels like a step in the right direction.

In my research on the topic of being gay in the NFL (yes, there is actually stuff to read about this!), I came across a number of interesting articles. M2MC came out this summer, which also happened to be the summer Wade Davis, a former NFL cornerback, came out...in real life. This was headline-making news, as you can see here, here, and here.  Something to note, however, is that many of those stories emphasize that, while there may be a few openly-gay former professional athletes, there has never been one to come out while an active player.



Many people assume that the NFL - or all professional sports or even sports culture generally - is a homophobic culture. I like to think that we are not giving these guys the credit they deserve.

The Bleacher Report article "Is the NFL ready for an openly gay player?" by Andrew Garcia explores players' reactions to having an openly gay teammate.  What I learned from reading the article is that these guys are smart, knowledgeable, aware, and, no matter what we think, they live in our world - a world of black, white, gay, straight, and everywhere and everyone in between. Of course there will be bigots and haters, but...there are also going to be people who are accepting and supportive, as there are with everything else in the world.  The article makes a great point that, in addition to being supremely talented athletes in a testosterone-fueled sport, these football players are also human beings with minds of their own.  They have family and friends who are gay, and they can think for themselves without having us project stereotypes on them of the big brutish jock.

What do you think? Is the NFL - or the MLB, NBA, or NHL, for that matter - ready for a gay athlete to share the field, diamond, court, or ice?

Keep an eye out for Man-to-Man Coverage: The Extra Point to see what happens when Cam and Brad come out to the world and their families. And check out my story, Into the Deep, available now as part of Going for Gold, an Olympics anthology filled with - you guessed it - gay athletes! There's a great lineup of sports and athletes to sink your teeth into. Check out my previous blog post for links to excerpts and blurbs. :D You can find Going for Gold on the MLR Press site here, on Amazon here, or on All Romance eBooks here.

Feeling incredibly charitable about the NFL,
NJ



4 comments:

  1. Great post. All the stories you talked about sound awesome and I swear I'll get around to reading them. There's just something about two gay athletes and their disciplined bodies and minds that is so hot and sexy, right? My story in the anthology is about footballers, too, but European ones who aren't as muscly and have almost no equipment. Lol. There is definitely something to love in both.

    Hope you don't mind but I'l be doing a gay athletes posts this week as well - more focused on the gay athlete books I love. I swear I'm not copying. :)

    <3
    K-lee

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  2. Thanks! Gay athletes...yum. Looking forward to seeing your post! I haven't read very many gay athlete books, so I'll definitely be taking notes and jotting down recs. :)

    For me, I love looking into the emotional and romantic souls of these physically strong manly men. It's just very satisfying to see those hidden depths.

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  3. I befriended a gay former NFL gladiator who shared what it was like and how terrified he was of being found out. I'm writing a psycho-thriller with a gay pro football player and was lucky to have him help me with a few details.

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    1. That's so awesome! I hope he's okay with being out and gay now that he's out of the league.

      That said, I think the NFL and professional sports in general have made such great strides in recent years to show that they're a culture of tolerance and acceptance. I really hope there will soon be someone brave and confident enough to step up and come out. It would be even more amazing if a group did it en masse, which would at least take the extreme spotlight off of only one individual. That was one of the suggestions on this outsports.com article's comments, and it really resonated with me: http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/2012/09/11/pro-sports-are-finally-ready-for-a-gay-athlete/comment-page-1/#comment-80697

      Cheers,
      NJ

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