I am an athlete with pride

What does being a proud gay man truly mean? Does it mean that you have to wear rainbows and act like what is often perceived as a stereotypical gay man? Today I had a friend, a gay friend, ask me if I am going to change once I fully come out of the closet. I told him that I am going to be a proud gay man and not be afraid to show it.

After saying this he then asked if I was going to start acting all “gay” now. I took this as a slap to the face. I am proud to be gay. No, i do not fit the stereotype, but does that really change anything? What does ‘acting gay’ really mean? All of us, gay or staight, need to get past stereotypes and realize that we are all in this together.

I will still stand up for LGBT rights all the time. Luckily, Washington already has a law passed giving all domestic partnerships the same legal rights as married couples but that does not stop me from wanting to fight for the rights of others in every other state. I believe the battle for our rights will not be won until LGBT couples have the same rights as married couples in every single country in this world. So I would like to ask this anonymous person to please rethink this thought because it is wrong.

At first I was not sure if he was wrong or not. The reason for this is because he was older than me, but we received an e-mail today from a gay athlete in California saying thank you for what we have done with the blog. He also wrote that he was a proud openly gay athlete. This one sentence reaffirmed my belief. I can be a proud gay man even though I do not share the same characteristics as a stereotypical one.

I strive to be the very best in my sport to prove to the world that LGBT people can be just as good or even better. I do not show my LGBT pride by what I wear; instead I show the pride I have in my sexuality by proving to everyone that gays are alive in the sporting world.

I know by coming out in the world of varsity high school sports that I put a target on my back every time I race because people do not want to be beaten by the “gay” kid. I accept that challenge. Now, if you are also an athlete on any sporting level will you accept the challenge as well? It has fueled my competitive drive to push myself every single day.

I have those days when I just want to sleep after school or go eat some cake, but I know I am representing the LGBT community and I do not take that lightly. So please be proud of who you are and show the rest of the world who we are and what we are made of.

Brad

Advertisements

About Brad,Robert,Ben

We are three kids from three different time zones, with one common goal. This is our voice:
This entry was posted in Brad. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to I am an athlete with pride

  1. Terence N says:

    Rock that out, Brad!

  2. Jeff says:

    Your last line really says it all. Thank you for yet another thoughtful post.

  3. Anna says:

    You will always be a “spirit freak”, an amazing athelte and a great person and friend. Nothing will ever change that…ever. We R who We R (get the reference :))

  4. Oh, Brad –

    You will always be a little flamboyant boy on the inside – Just playing,

    – R

  5. Steven says:

    What’s really meant when someone says “acting gay” (or conversely “acting straight”) has little to do with actual sexuality and more to do with conforming to acceptably masculine gender expectations. There is as much diversity in appearance, affect, personality, abilities, tastes, etc. in the queer population as there is in the straight–people just don’t recognize it because when they see a masculine-acting guy walk down the street they read “straight” and when they see someone swishier they read “gay,” and then pat themselves on the back for having gaydar even though they could have, in fact, gotten both identifications wrong. It’s simple confirmation bias as well as just never knowing how many “false negatives” you have when you’re categorizing.

    Which is just to say, being a proud gay man has nothing to do with how masculine you act. Being a proud gay man merely means being yourself without being cowed, shamed, or intimidated into acting how others think you should act*, and not being afraid to speak up if someone challenges your or others’ legitimacy in that regard.

    *Some people “act gay” or conform to gay stereotypes just because they think that’s how they should act.. that’s about as genuine as butching it up to fit in with the straight guys. (Though it’s worth noting there is an actual purpose to “acting gay” in that it’s a way to telegraph so others that are gay can identify you as their own since we aren’t a minority with identifying physical traits. Of course, there are varying degrees, and some pick it up and while others are just natural queens–may their flames burn bright.)

    By the way, kudos on the blog to all three of you–it’s a voice and perspective that’s much needed. Much of it doesn’t quite apply to me, but I’ve enjoyed reading it the past few days.

  6. Pingback: Walk the Road Gives a Voice to Gay High-School Athletes — The Good Men Project Magazine

  7. Mark says:

    I, too, hate the “straight-acting” vs “gay-acting” classifications that I see from straight and gay friends alike.

    One very close straight friend of mine said he was glad he could connect with me and that he felt we connected more because he was more comfortable around me because I’m “straight-acting” and will probably date “straight-acting” gay guys.

    I don’t wanna date someone who “acts,” and nor do I “act” when I walk out the front door. People need to drop the stereotypes, because like Steven said, they get it all wrong. I’m going to a (mostly) gay party at college when the semester starts in two weeks and half of those in attendance will be cadets at the Naval and Coast Guard Academies. Screw stereotypes. But I guess I’m preaching to the choir…we’re all following this blog because we know stereotypes are BS.

  8. Kale says:

    Aloha
    First I want give you all props for being braver that I was at your age! I think take a man with a huge set of balls to come out of closet no many what the situation but to be an athlete says alot!

    It is unfortunate that we even need to have blogs like this. I guess that is the price we pay to live in a homophobic society.

    Just so you don’t think I’m some sort of freak yes I am 36 and yes I played on a state and local champion basketball team in high school. I enjoyed playing. It was like a time where ones sexual preference matter nothing it was about winning games as a team.

    Though I only play for the pure enjoyment now it still is fun!

    I want to say what you guy are not only takes a fair amount of courage but is the most awesome thing I’ve seen I just wish I had been able to do this type of thing back then!

    Good luck on the blog and keep up the good work!

  9. thank you so much!

    brad

  10. This is often a extremely very good read for me, Have to admit you are a single from the finest bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

  11. cjdrummon says:

    Brad,
    I love this post. It is so going through my head all day.

  12. Have you ever considered creating an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based on the same subjects you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s