Sport

I was reading a friend of a friend’s story about sports and growing up as a gay man and it got my wheels a spinning. His story was very different than mine and somewhat surprised me. He explained he often felt disconnected from the community because he could find so few gay men into sports. Apparently, it caused some struggles and heartache over the years for him. Growing up loving sports and being gay, naturally he wanted to find others to connect with and share in the experience. You’d think that would be a no-brainer for me. hahaha

I’ll admit, I’d never thought of it that way. I never once connected that someone might feel alienated by the lack of gay men who play sports. Growing up the way I did, it just never occurred to me. All these years I’ve lamented over having sports ruined for me by my father. I never once took into consideration others might have gone a different path. The realization certainly made me appreciate his story more. I’m a little embarrassed to say I never made the connection until now.

I grew up hating sports. My father1 made every effort to make a ‘man out of me‘ by forcing me into sports. Everything in my existence as a boy and potential man became tied to sports. So naturally, I grew up hating sports, especially football. You’d think being such a homo-erotic sport, I’d love it! Nope. To this day, I get annoyed and bored the moment someone flips on the TV and a football game is on. I can’t help it. No matter how hard I try, I cannot find an ounce of enjoyment out of watching football on TV. I’d sooner go dig in the dirt.

On a related tangent, it should come as no surprise that some gay men grow up thinking that being into sports makes them more manly or makes them less stereotypical gay. *yawn* Nothing could be further from the truth. But, if you wanna see a textbook example of how we develop coping-mechanisms to combat insecurities, it’s perfect!  (And hysterical to watch) But again, a tangent and one we should save for another day.

I did eventually find a sport that I enjoy, hockey. One of a few sports my father never hit on so I’m not surprised. I used to go to hockey games a lot back home when it was way more convenient. When I was in Boulder, I also got to indulge in the Denver team. Here, the getting to/from is a struggle as the closest big team is in San Jose. And with my work schedule, it is pretty much impossible. That being said, I still follow the sport and teams. Not avidly but I keep up. The neanderthal in me loves how brutal hockey can be. You have pads but it is a rough ass game. The nerd in me loves how simple it is to play.

*
On a side rant, The Pup is big into softball. He plays in gay leagues in Phoenix pretty often and clearly wants to join the league here. My roomie is also a big softball player. Naturally, The Pup wants me to play.  Truth be told, I find that I actually want to join. Not because of an overriding love of the game but simply because it is a new form of interaction. I think it will be fun to see gay guys playing. My only fear is that they will be overly competitive. If the leagues here focus only on winning, I can assure you I will lose interest and quit. Winning is fun and gives you an incentive to get better, duh. No one wants to lose all the time, but winning shouldn’t be the end-all purpose of the game, at least not to me.

I’m not ashamed to say I have probably zero skill. I haven’t played since high school and even then it was sporadic. They have teams that start out with mostly players at that level so I’m not worried. I doubt I’ll ever be a ‘heavy hitter’ and that is ok. I have size and some agility so I think I’ll be a decent player. I would like to develop the skill, improve, and be able to hold my own while playing with a team. But beyond that, I’m really just in it for the fun.

  1. I think deep down he knew I was gonna be gay []

Russia

I rarely discuss current events here as one, not really what my blog is about and two, successful discourse these days seems to be all but impossible. Having had several discussions with friends and even a few blog readers asking my thoughts on it, I thought I’d weigh in.

First, there is no clean answer. It is a sticky convoluted problem. Every answer put forward so far hurts someone. So if you look at the least amount of harm caused vs potential success then you can sort of see a way forward.

The boycott of companies. I don’t support a boycott. Primarily, because it won’t do any good. Put – head doesn’t care about the fallout or damage he causes, he only cares about furthering an agenda. He doesn’t care if we boycott one company or all of them, he will continue his agenda unabated. This is Russia we’re talking about. It’s history speaks for itself. Frankly, I don’t see that we do all that much business with Russian companies to begin with. I’m sure we have some but as a consumer I just don’t see it. I also don’t believe that they have any influence at all over their government. They don’t have the lobbyists like we do here. They don’t have the buying power like greedy corps here. The vodka company has been a decent supporter of gay rights before and after this incident. Why is it fair to punish them when they have zero influence over their government? Plus, boycotts are becoming so common as to be pointless and ineffective IMO. Even if they make further strides to support us, I still don’t support our methodology. The end does not justify the means if we give up the ethical/moral high ground. I don’t see the extra media attention as justification either. Said attention could have been garnered in other ways.

Boycotting the Olympics. Why, so the Russian athletes can take home all the medals? No thanks. Many of these athletes work their whole lives for this. To deny them that would be just a wrong as what is being done to us. How does wronging others do us any benefit? If anything, I think it would create more animosity towards the LGBT community.

Moving the Olympics. I would support a measure if there were time. From a very pragmatic approach, there isn’t and they wouldn’t even consider it. It takes years to plan and prepare for said event. As much as I’d love it if they were willing to move it, it’s not gonna happen. Too many ripple effects for a cause that is not near and dear to their hearts. If it were an option, this would be the one to go with. It would embarrass Russia and Put – head in a major way. Sadly, I just don’t see it as a real option.

Banning Russia from the Olympics. While still causing harm to their athletes, it would send a very powerful message to the government. While I still don’t like the idea of denying athletes, many of whom are probably gay, it is the least damaging of the previous options. Sadly, I’m not even sure that would work. Put – head has some pretty hard line policies and I can’t honestly believe he’d change his mind.

Pressuring sponsors. This is probably the least likely to cause harm but also least effective. I’d support the effort but I’m having a hard time finding a positive net result.

I would push other countries into a united front against Russia. Then if they didn’t budge the IOC could resort to banning Russia from attending. To me this seems to be the most effective way to make a positive change before the Olympics. Granted, any athletes that get arrested for ‘propaganda’ would set off world wide repercussions. While I’d never wish that on anyone, I’d support any athlete who did it! And sadly, I am worried it is the only really effective way to make a difference over there. *sigh*

Super Platter

If you are a football fan, you might wanna skip this rant. 

It’s no secret I’m not a football fan.  However, if I hear another fag rant about the superbowl today, I think I might start screaming.  I enjoy sports as much as they next guy but we have some fucked up priorities in this country.  Have we forgotten the rampant homophobia in professional football?  Call me weird but I don’t think I’ll follow any sport where most of the players would just as soon spit on me as to look at me.  I’ll skip the laundry list of other issues related to the players.  I find it hilarious that we can’t be bothered to get out and vote but we can gather in massive numbers to support a sport that consistently tells us they hate us. 

No, I won’t be watching the superbowl today.  I’ll stick to my freak-accepting scifi shows.