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Jocks out, and other frivolity


Matt_Vancouver
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Big bats and nice balls aside, why is there a need to out anyone?

Chances are there are a few pro sports figures that are gay, I know of a few myself.

I've had many clients who are 'in' the closet, and yes some have been public figures, IE sports heroes. There is a reason they choose to stay 'in' and get take away sex (I'll have a Jason Coxx with a side of Rick Monroe for dipping please)

Our society places too much emphasis on things that are really none of our business. Look back at the Tom Cruise scandal of weeks past. Who really cares?

Yes we all wish so and so was on 'our' team, and often times fantasise about the possibilities....(Matts' daydream...... Doug Weight of the Edmonton Oilers......ahhhhh broken leg, lying helpless on a stretcher with only nurse Matt around to take care of him...."can I use this to take your temperature?") but I digress.

Those of us who are 'out' know what it's like on this side of the closet door, and would never wish going back 'in' on anyone.

We made the choice to open that door and accept ourselves....when the time was right for us!

It is not our right to start swinging open said door, to expose whomever may be cowering behind it this week. (ooooohhh he's full of metaphors or sumpthin...is that the correct term? whatever)

One day our world will accept sexuality in in many varied wonderful forms, but until then there will always be closets, and people hiding in them.

Don't open that door, you never know who you'll see........ DAD what the hell are you doing in here......

matt(get this boy to bed, he's losing his mind)

http://go.to/mattsplace

[email protected]

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Guest jizzdepapi

who SHOULD be outed!

 

i agree that coming out is a very personal decision. i didn't come out til i was 28 and needed all that time--too catholic for too long. i get jealous when i hear of 14 y.o. teenagers who come out and think nothing of it. probably has a lot to do with upbringing and their peers. nevertheless, coming out is always a brave act.

 

closeted politicians and people in decision-making positions SHOULD be outed regularly and loudly. i think there's a lot of value in that and it's probably the right thing to do. if they can't stand the heat, they should get out of the fire. in connecticut, we have several politicians on the state and municipal level who have come out with no damage to their standing with their constituencies. their coming out engendered a lot of positive discussion.

 

anyone remember Dave Kopay, a scrumptious football player who came out in the '70s? his lead was not followed, unfortunately, for years and years and sure enough professional sports ridiculously remains, in public view, an unquestionably heterosexual field.

 

and, i know i'm gonna get blasted for this, but for years i've heard that schwarzenegger, athlete and entrepreneur extraordinaire (where's the dictionary?), is a big-time closet case. have also heard that he parlayed his fortune, pre-neanderthal movie days, by dealing steroids in the san diego area, which he then laundered through real estate dealings. can you imagine the elder bush's fitness czar dealing drugs to the youth of america and holding him up as an exemplar?

 

jizz

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Guest JustANametoPlay

Matt you share some of my same thoughts, but I do disagree with some of what you say.

 

I am opposed to outing, with the rare exception of someone that is bashing our community and is actualy gay themselves. Other than that it is completely a private decision. None of us have the right to tell someone they have to be an example, or a hero for our community.

 

Having said that<g>

 

I think there are probably more gays in sports then we know. There was a question in the Muscle Service boards about why gays tend to go more into arts then sports. I disagree with that. I think that those that do go into arts are more easily out. Therefore, athletes learn at a young age to stay in the closet. This makes it seem like gay folks don't like sports (well other than the tight pants of course).

 

I would love to see more public figures, and private folks out. However I know the difficulties of being out. I am fortunate that I have never been beaten, but I have had my share of emotional bashing, including having tires slashed at work, things written about me on bathroom walls, etc. And I am told by friends that I am not easily ID'd as gay (not that it is OK if you are).

 

However I think that the more folks that are out, the more others can see that gays are really just like everyone else. We are often called a community, yet just as in the black community, there is only one shared trait, the fact that we like the same gender. I am not a drag queen, nor am I particularly artistic, nor can I cook gourmet meals, and don't ever ask me to help you decorate your house!

 

When the "straight" world sees us, they think of our pride parades, and events of the like, and of cousre solely focus on the fact that we have sex with the same gender. I love the parades,and love going to them! However, I don't generally see anyone that matches me in the parade. You see what for lack of a better word I call the extremes of our community (and I don't mean that to have any negative meaning). You see the buff muscle boys, the drag queens, the leather folks, etc. The news of course focuses on them, it sells. However our community is so much more diverse than that. You don't see the average gay, the accountant, the doctor, the lawyer, the office manager, or whatever. The folks that straights would consider "normal."

 

The more ther are "average" folks that are out, I think the more quickly the fact that someone is gay won't be an issue one way or the other, and we will simply be judged as a person, not a label. However, currently the label still exists,so the more of us, and especiaaly those that are visible, are out, the more quickly this will happen. Yes being out brings certain dangers, and my parents worry about that every day. They daily fear that they may get the call that says "Your son is at the hospital and has been beaten and won't make it." Yet on the other hand they know how unhappy I was in the closet. They understand my being out is emotionaly the best thing for me, regardless of the potential physical risk.

 

Wow, I rambled enough!

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Guest bottomboykk

RE: who SHOULD be outed!

 

>closeted politicians and people in decision-making

>positions SHOULD be outed regularly

>and loudly.

 

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!! (Is that emphatic enough? :-))

 

Nobody should be outed against their will. There are myriad reasons someone may decide to stay in the closet, and they should be respected. Now I get upset with some of the gay Republicans who vote the party line (anti-homosexual), and I'm a little more inclined to see that they need to be outed to expose their hypocrisy, but I still say that we need to respect a person's wishes to remain closeted. We know nothing about other persons' real reasons for remaining closeted, and therefore we have no right to out them.

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I agree that outing is only appropriate for the hypocrites who bash us from inside the closet. But lets not forget there are plenty of hypocrites on THIS side of that closet door as well. ;-)

 

As for Pride parades & celebrations, sure the news will show the most visually interesting. Last year in Chicago, it was the Altoids float which was a huge flatbed truck featuring a dozen or so incredibly buff dudes in speedos, shaking their well-formed bon bons while flinging out sample packets of Altoids mints to the tune of "It's raining MINTS". :-) (And I've heard they had the same float in NYC, Toronto, and LA.)

 

There were still plenty of other groups in the parade. The ex-military contingent (in uniform, another form of drag) was large. There were professional associations, neighborhood watch groups, and yes, the occasional drag queen. In other words, there were plenty of "normal" looking people. They just don't make the news and probably never will.

 

It's no real secret that sex sells. ;-)

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Guest trekker

RE: who SHOULD be outed!

 

>closeted politicians and people in decision-making positions

>SHOULD be outed regularly and loudly. i think there's a lot

>of value in that and it's probably the right thing to do. if

>they can't stand the heat, they should get out of the fire.

 

Jeez, jizz, No! A thousand times No! I disagree with you most strongly, and I agree with bottomboykk. Outing is wrong, and if someone in the public eye is just doing his job from inside the closet, that's his business. Why should he be outed against his will, and why should we be deprived of talented people ("they should get out of the fire") just because they don't want to make the details or nature of their sex life public? And how do you reconcile this statement with your other one:

>i agree that coming out is

>a very personal decision. i

>didn't come out til i was 28

>and needed all that time--too

>catholic for too long.

When you out someone you are taking away his "personal decision" and you are making it for him.

 

The only possible exception (and I underline "possible") is in the case of a figure who is publicly bashing gays or otherwise engaging in anti-gay behavior, propaganda, activities, or the like, in order to expose his hypocrisy (like the guy that was an aide to Jerry Falwell or somebody). Even in those cases, I don't really want to condone it, but I sure as hell get a kick out of it, and they bring it on themselves. If they would just shut up and not be hypocritical nobody ought to bother them. (Or make the corresponding changes if the hypocrisy involves something other than sexual orientation.)

 

> i get jealous when i hear of 14 y.o. teenagers

>who come out and think nothing of it. probably

>has a lot to do with upbringing and their peers.

>nevertheless, coming out is always a brave act.

 

Yeah, but also times are very different now. Not taking anything away from the courage it still requires, but it's much easier to do now than when you or most of us were 14 (whether we're 28 or 88 now).

 

>in connecticut, we have several politicians on the

>state and municipal level who have come out with no

>damage to their standing with their constituencies.

>their coming out engendered a lot of positive discussion.

 

Fine. The time was right for them. But that doesn't mean that it's right for everybody, or that everybody has to do the same thing. And if the discussion has already been engendered, what more will you gain from having yet another city councilman declare that he hungers after boys (over 18, of course), or revealing that bit of personal information "for" him against his will? And also, not every state is Connecticut....

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Guest fedssocr

I think it is a very sad commentary on American society that people believe the "public won't accept" a gay athlete or that his friends and teammates will shun him. When a rugby superstar came out in Australia at the height of his career he suffered no ill effects. If the Australians can deal with it why can't Americans? Of course he hasn't been followed out by anybody else down there either, unfortunately.

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Outing started when Michaelangelo Signoreli revealed in a New York magazine a decade ago that Malcolm Forbes was secretly gay. While many people knew of Forbes' true sexual orientation, he was dating people like Elizabeth Taylor as a cover. Frankly, Forbes' need to keep that part of his life secret (while "dating" people like Taylor) was seen by me as equal to the gay legislator who votes against bills favoring gays to make the closet more comforable. Once Signoreli started to out famous people, there was no stoping him. He admitted a few years later that he went too far. It is annoying if people like Jodie Foster, Tom Cruise et. al. are gay, yet go to the extremes to hide it from the public. I say this because if more famous people came out, it would make it easier for the teenager who is going through hell about his or her sexuality. We still need more role models. Sometimes I get sick of the argument that "it will ruin my movie career because no one will believe the straight love scenes." True, but annoying. I just wanted to give a slightly different view.

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Guest blankman

I went to hear Signorelli speak once and found him to be quite abrasive. On the one hand it's easy to see why outing celebrities may serve the cause of gay rights; but it's equally simple to see that becoming the world's number #1 "outer" could serve Signorelli's own search for greater fame and attention.

 

Personally I take the view already expressed in this thread that outing is only appropriate for those who are actively engaging in anti-gay causes, e.g. legislators or nasty personalities.

 

The only argument against such a view comes from the idea that inaction and passivity are themselves a form of political "action"; on this view, doing nothing (like not coming out) is a way of perpetuating the (bad) status quo. But, on that view, I'm sure everyone is guilty of perpetuating some of the world's miseries.

 

I am as out as can be; but I've had the privilege of being in a social and professional context where the results of my decision have not been particularly problematic. Not everyone shares that privilege.

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When outing first became an issue, it was fairly uniformly denounced. Now, I think most of us (as well as the press) would not denounce the outing of someone who is actively working against the class of people of which he or she is a closted member; e.g. Pete Williams (the closeted spokesman of the pentagon) or the Congressman who was a member of the moral majority. I also think that most of us would condemn the outing of a private person (or even a public person) who completely maintains his or her privacy. However, what about the public figure (in sports, politics, or arts) who maintains a public personae of hetersexuality, but in actuality is homosexual or bisexual. Arguably, doing this for career advancement is hypocritical. Is outing appropriate in these situations?

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Guest trekker

alanm, you make some good points:

 

>if more famous people came out, it would make it

>easier for the teenager who is going through hell about

>his or her sexuality. We still need more role models.

--and--

>Sometimes I get sick of the argument that "it will ruin

>my movie career because no one will believe the straight

>love scenes." True, but annoying.

 

As you say, annoying. But also, as you say, true.

And, as you say, IF "people like Jodie Foster, Tom Cruise et. al. are gay, yet go to the extremes to hide it from the public" it's unfortunate. But that is a big "if", and even if they are gay, it's still their choice whether to go public. Nobody has the right to make that decision for them. Consider another kind of situation. Suppose several people are standing on a river bank and someone is drowning in the raging river. If someone jumps in to save the drowning man, that's an example of courage, like deciding to come out, and the rescuer is aware of what he is doing and has chosen to risk his life. Now suppose that nobody voluntarily jumps in to save the man, and instead after a few moments someone comes up behind someone else and pushes him into the river, saying "Go rescue that guy." Surely saving a drowning man's life is a good thing. But should someone be pushed into the river to do it? There are all kinds of reasons why not. Maybe he can't swim. Maybe he doesn't know how to perform a water rescue. Maybe he just doesn't want to. It's his choice to make for himself, not that of some other guy standing on the bank to make for him.

 

Also as you say,

 

>Once Signoreli started to out famous people, there

>was no stoping him. He admitted a few years later

>that he went too far.

 

That in itself is significant.

 

And I have to disagree with

 

>Frankly, Forbes' need to keep that part of his life secret

>(while "dating" people like Taylor) was seen by me as equal

>to the gay legislator who votes against bills favoring gays

>to make the closet more comforable.

 

The gay legislator is actively, consciously and knowingly doing something which is harmful to other gays in the effort, misguided or not, to bolster his cover. Forbes dating Taylor was just creating a smokescreen, or at worst was simply failing to do something which would be helpful to other gays. There's a very big difference between those two things.

 

And, besides, speaking of Forbes and Taylor, what ever happened to "for time and for companionship only, and does not imply any sexual activities"? ;-)

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Guest trekker

Maybe a little more than my monosyllabic answer above is in order. Also a few comments on some other parts of the post.

 

> Now, I think most of us (as well as the press) would not

>denounce the outing of someone who is actively working against

>the class of people of which he or she is a closted member; e.g.

>Pete Williams (the closeted spokesman of the pentagon) or the

>Congressman who was a member of the moral majority.

 

I agree. And as this suggests, that applies to a class of people defined by any characteristic, not just sexual orientation. When "out" became a verb it originally applied to sexual orientation, but it very quickly took on a more general meaning, as did the term "closet" after it came into the mainstream.

 

>I also think that most of us would condemn the outing of

>a private person (or even a public person) who completely

>maintains his or her privacy.

 

I agree with this too.

 

> However, what about the public figure (in sports, politics,

>or arts) who maintains a public personae of hetersexuality, but

>in actuality is homosexual or bisexual. Arguably, doing this

>for career advancement is hypocritical. Is outing appropriate in

>these situations?

 

As I said above, here is where I disagree.

Also, lots of people do lots of things that they don't necessarily agree with, or that they might not do otherwise, for career advancement: observing a cerain dress code, agreeing with the boss, volunteering to spend extra time on that important project, and so on. Why should the matter of who you are seen with in public be any different?

And it's not at all clear that bisexuals belong in that statement. Is it hypocritical for a bisexual to be seen in public dating a person of the opposite sex?

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I want to reply to several comments about my posting. I went

to hear Signorelli speak prepared to dislike him. He had outed

several people whom I particularly liked, particularly Mary Martin a few days after her death. To my surprise, I ended up liking Signorelli quite alot. I did not find him arrogant at all.

Yes, he admitted crossing a line. He has done some decent reporting in the last decade. Hey, the guy was young in 1991 and wasn't the only person on the magazine to engage in outing.

Thanks to Trakker for the mostly kind words. You are probably correct about Forbes. Nearly everyone in New York knew about his

true sexuality, but that is not an excuse. Perhaps it is Steve Forbes two presidential campaigns that have made me feel the way I do. I understand the father is not responsible for his son's words. But, Steve Forbes was increasingly homophobic in his comments in his bid to woo the right wing of the Republican party

in 1999 and 2000. My reaction is too emotional and not well reasoned, but that is the way I feel. In my mind, Steve Forbes was also distancing himself from the rumors about his dad. If anyone should have been supportive of Malcolm Forbes' attempts

to come to terms with his sexually, it should have been his son.

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Guest trekker

>Perhaps it is Steve Forbes two presidential campaigns that

>have made me feel the way I do. I understand the father is not

>responsible for his son's words. But, Steve Forbes was increasingly

>homophobic in his comments in his bid to woo the right wing

>of the Republican party in 1999 and 2000. My reaction is too

> emotional and not well reasoned, but that is the way I feel.

>In my mind, Steve Forbes was also distancing himself from the

>rumors about his dad. If anyone should have been supportive

>of Malcolm Forbes' attempts to come to terms with his

>sexually, it should have been his son.

 

I think you've hit paydirt there. I think it's fairly obvious that Forbes the son is embarrassed somewhere deep down (or maybe not so deep down) about the sexuality of Forbes the father, and that pushed him off into a homophobic direction to "prove" that Dad's disease didn't rub off on him. And even without that, it's not the first time that a child has taken a tack opposite to that of a parent or expressed disapproval (direct or implied) of a parent's behavior.

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