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,