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.