February 27, 2013

First Out & Active Gay Pro Athlete = Somebody That You [Probably Don't] Know

Or, as I could have titled this post, "Coming Out as a Gay Athlete, Part I-Can't-Even-Count." :)

I've mentioned in my posts in the past that there's been a lot - and I mean a LOT - of press about gay athletes and the professional sports world recently. As you may have guessed by now, I'm very interested in the topic, which seems to bring news every week.

This time, though, I unearthed some news in my Internet wanderings, but it's not really NEW news.

Have you heard of Glenn Burke?



Well, if you haven't, then now you have. He's the first (and only?) known professional athlete who was out to his team. And, if the story's got it straight, he was out to the Bay Area gay community, too.  Basically, it sounds like Glenn was out to almost everyone in his life/community - just not publicly in media outlets. And this was in 1977.

Here are a couple of articles on a recent Glenn Burke documentary, titled "Out: The Glenn Burke Story," which aired in the Bay Area in 2010:

Sports Illustrated
LA Observed

According to the Sports Illustrated article, his teammates were pretty cool with him - indeed, it sounds like, despite some discomfort, there was enough respect and acceptance to go around to include a gay ballplayer.  The reaction of the team (i.e., management), however, left much to be desired.  Rumor has it that the Dodgers offered Glenn Burke $75,000 to marry, to which he replied "I guess you mean to a woman."

I don't know about you, but I would hope things were better for athletes now than they were in the 1970s. However, as the article points out, there still aren't any active gay athletes, and it's like the professional sports world will tolerate any number of "taboos" (their word, not mine) - from dog fighting to domestic violence - but there's still a shroud of negativity surrounding homosexuality.

I haven't watched the documentary, but I was completely fascinated by this discovery of Glenn Burke and his openly gay lifestyle. And now you know about him, too.

Keep him in mind next time you hear about gay athletes - or the lack thereof - or the sports world's intolerance of homosexuality.

Hoping more barriers are broken,
NJ


February 17, 2013

The Moment of Truth

Hey, folks! Just a type-by posting to mention I'll be out in the wilderness of San Francisco for the next 2+ weeks. Yes, the same wilderness of the holidays, when I didn't have internet access. I scheduled a post for next week, though, that I (a) hope works and (b) think you might find verrrrrrrrrrrrry interesting. So keep an eye out for that on Wednesday, 2/27!

Anyway, the moment of truth. *deep breath* Whew! Yeah, it's here. And yeah, I'll be taking the bar exam very very soon. After six years of practicing, you'd think I would be a pro at legal eagle stuff, but oh my stars! There are so many rules and guidelines and practices that I just never touched in my daily professional life.  I've been studying a lot these last couple of weeks, so let's hope that works.

Wish me luck!

Signing off...for a while,
NJ

P.S. I'll be seeing Nico the feline tomorrow, which seems like a pretty fan-damn-tastic birthday present, if I do say so myself. :)

February 8, 2013

Love Actually Is All Around

Besides being a line from one of my favorite holiday/wintertime movies, everyday life really brought new meaning to that phrase recently.


My life right now basically revolves around studying for the bar exam. I've been walking to the library to study, which has really helped when I feel like my focus is flagging. As I was sitting down in Bryant Park for a quick sandwich lunch the other day, I noticed that there were brass placards on some of the seat backs of the cafe chairs scattered around the park.

And this one at my table really made me take a step back and think about how the world is full of love stories that have never been told.


I don't think I need to explain why this simple message got me a little choked up. I finished up my sandwich, and, after a moment, it was with a small smile that I packed up my sandwich wrapper and slowly walked towards the library's entrance. And I couldn't help but think about that message even as I was settling into my spot in the reading room with my massive bar review book opened and waiting for me to dig into it.

So, yeah, even while I spend hours on end sitting at the giant library tables and learning about the Statute of Frauds, apportionment of community property, and fee simples with conditions subsequent, it's actually rather comforting to know that the big wide world is still out there and filled with everyday love stories.

Perspective. It helps.

Wondering about your love story...and his...and theirs...and hers,
NJ