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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Sports OUT loud!

Well, well.

Apparently, the gay and lesbian community now need to have their own sports niche carved out for them: a new magazine devoted to homosexuality in sports called Sports Out Loud:

Each issue of Sports Out Loud will include a slew of sports and sports-related articles: insights into the world of professional sports, news on local gay sporting events, profiles of athletes, health and nutrition news, information on the latest training and athletic gear. Plus, we’ll have on-going columns that will touch on the humorous side of sports, allow readers to gain information on the best way to train for specific sports and how best to treat injuries.

Look, I don't have anything wrong with anyone who is gay, or a lesbian, or bisexual, or whatever it is they choose to be. But does it need to be celebrated? I mean, good Lord... we have Gay Pride parades, Gay Days, a gay presidential debate (dems only, obviously), and now even gay sports magazines.

What happened to equality?

Do I need to run around celebrating my straightness? Should I organize the first-ever Straight Pride Parade? How about straight day? And I could publish a magazine called "Straight Sports Monthly" on top of all that, too.

How long before GLAAD would sue me?

I don't care if a sports star is gay or straight. Does it matter? I don't see how it does, or how the gay and lesbian community needs a whole separate magazine. Do homosexuals have different weight routines and ways of best treating injuries? Or would they be just as well served reading Sports Illustrated for that information?

Columns that touch on the humorous side of sports for homosexuals? What does that mean, a funny column about how to avoid hitting on your straight teammate when you're naked in the locker rooms together? I mean, come on.

What makes a gay athlete any different than a straight one?

I just don't understand why it needs to be celebrated so much. Once upon a time, minorities -- from racial minorities to those with different sexual preferences -- were fighting to be equal, but it's gone way over that line now. It's like we must make sure that minorities are separate, distinguished, honored.

Look, when I'm watching football, all I care about is that my Gators in college and Jaguars in the NFL win. I could care less if the person who just scored that amazing touchdown or made an awesome tackle is gay, straight, whatever. All I care about is that they play well. Why do we need to make such a big deal over an athlete being gay? OK, cool, you're gay. Good for you -- now can you win? Because that's all that should really matter in sports.

You know, then again, maybe I should publish "Straight Sports Monthly". You know, just to even the playing field.


Huck said...

Cassy, with all due respect, I don't understand the reason for your outrage. Why does it bother you so much that gay people have their own sports magazine? You are no more obligated to buy or even look at this magazine, any more than I am obligated to look at "W Magazine" with its cheezy soft-porn pictures of Posh and "Becks." If gay people were receiving special treatment under the law, or if other people were being denied the opportunity to buy their own sports magazine of choice because of this new gay sports magazine, I think you would have a point. But not now. On this particular issue, i.e. the mere existence of a sports magazine marketed for gay people, I don't get your outrage nor do I get the whole inequality argument you're making. If you want to start up a sports magazine for straight folks, more power to you! I'd probably subscribe to it myself!

Huck said...

Sorry. Just for consistency's sake, I should have used my other identifier in my previous comment: huckupchuck.

For the record, "huck" and "huckupchuck" are one and the same.

Cas said...

I wouldn't use the word "outraged" to describe my attitude towards the magazine, but more exasperated. It's not the magazine itself, but how there is SO MUCH stuff for the gay/lesbian community -- a separate gay debate, gay pride parades, gay TV networks, gay magazine... and now gay sports? Come on. It's an oversaturation, which is why I'm annoyed. As I said, why does it matter if an athlete is gay or not if they are good at their respective sport? It's like, the straw that broke the camel's back, I guess.

Huck said...

Cassy, yes, I understand your frustration and annoyance, but I think it's an overreaction. Does it really matter all that much if gay folks (or any folks, for that matter) want something that their group can share? If you wanted to set yourself as a woman apart from men in any way which didn't infringe upon the rights of others, I'd support you all the way. As a middle-class white male, I can't say that I don't sometimes feel the same way as you do. Mostly, though, I get that feeling when the ghettoization is being done to encourage female bonding at the exclusion of men. But then I realize that it's kinda silly and counterproductive because I always have my own little "clubbish" things anyway, like belonging to an all male Mardi Gras crew, so what's the harm in letting black people organize the NAACP or gay people to have their own Sports magazine or gun enthusiasts to have the NRA or the US Armed Forces to have their own special supply stores that are off limits to civilians. I'm not really losing out on anything, or being harmed by their existence. And that's all that really matters.

It may seem like oversaturation, but its purely market driven. These things exits because people buy them. When gay folks feel less separated from the mainstream, I bet all these things will fade away of their own accord. In fact, Andrew Sullivan often speaks of the end of gay culture, and this is what he means. The more gay folks feel welcomed in the mainstream, the less they will need these separate things to provide their lives as gay people with meaning.

Don_cos said...

local gay sporting events,

What are they going to highlight? “Drag” racing?

Huck said...

What are they going to highlight? “Drag” racing?

Heh! Now that gave me a hearty laugh! Nice one, don_cos!

Keith said...

Does this mean we can have a magazine devoted to Heterosexual sports? I bet that would NOT fly with the gay "community"

Huck said...

keith - Why don't you try it? I bet the gay community wouldn't care an iota. And if they did, I'd give them the same response: too bad! But I would make one clarification: this magazine is not for "gay" sports, it's for gay people who are into sports. I can't think of one type of sport that gay people might engage in that heterosexuals also don't engage in.

Anonymous said...

I can think of a few sports that gay people might 'engage' in that straight people won't.

Sarcasm off.

MadKalnod said...

I can't speak for Ms. Fiano, but I know that it irritates me for a couple of reasons.

1: I fail to understand this seemingly obsessive need for some homosexuals to define themselves totally by their sexual preferences and insist upon discussing all subjects only so far as they relate to their homosexuality. There's a lot of aspects to my identity that I might choose to single out as defining me, as how I choose to identify myself to everyone I meet; say as an artist or a conservative or even as a Doctor Who fan, but my sexual preferences are near the bottom of the list. If your sexuality takes up such a huge portion of your life that it becomes the primary characteristic of your self-image, whether you call yourself a heterosexual, homosexual, or foot fetishist, I don't believe that it's healthy. (For the record, I happen to have a foot fetish, but I am not a foot-fetishist, if you follow me.) It isn't so much that I begrudge them recognition as much as I don't understand why some homosexuals feel the need to be identified as gays or lesbians first and as athletes, actors, parking attendants or whatever a distant second. If they want to be accepted as being just the same as heterosexuals, why do they feel a need to remind us at nearly every opportunity that they're different? If there's more to you than just the sex, then why don't you promote that first?

2: On some level I resent homosexuality and its attendant media attention due to being on the fuzzy end of the lollipop. As I said above, I have a foot fetish, and really grinds my gears to see celebrity status given to the gay "lifestyle". Gays have Gay days, Pride Parades, opinion magazines, hit shows like Will & Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, movies, and celebrity icons. What do we foot fetishists have? Quentin Tarantino and Quagmeyer from Family Guy. Gays have armies of ACLU attack lawyers ready to sue any network into oblivion that dares portray a gay character as anything less that the most good and noble person around, let alone as actually possessing negative qualities. The only time a character appearing in popular media is shown to have a foot fetish, he is invariably portrayed as a pathetic loser (at best) or a dangerous obsessed freak. They're a fully-accredited stripe on the diversity rainbow, and we're the one sexual subculture that everybody's still allowed to point and laugh at. The fact that homosexuality and foot-fetishism occur in roughly equal numbers makes the inequality all the more galling. What the frell makes homosexuality so special?

And so, this reinforces my earlier point. I don't *want* foot-fetish pride parades and all the rest, because I understand that if I get them, then I have to give them to the Furries and the necrophiles and the bestiality people too, and where does it end?

I seem to have meandered a bit, but I hope that I haven't strayed outside the bounds of decorum too far. Besides, the new Doctor Who is on now...

Huck said...

anonymous - If I'm reading you correctly, I wouldn't exactly call what you're thinking of "sports." It was a funny comeback though. I should have seen it coming!

gay rugby player said...


I can appreciate your opinions and thoughts, however, I think that you are totally missing the point of this magazine.

Sports Out Loud is not a publication to throw homosexuality in anybody's face. It is simply a magazine that profiles athletes, sports teams, and sporting events in the gay community. In regards to your straight sports magazine comment, you already have it... its called Sports Illustrated.

I don't understand your frustrations with gay pride, gay days, gay tv channels, gay magazines, etc... Do you get this frustrated when February rolls around and we celebrate Black History Month?? (do we have a gay history month??) Do you get upset when you are changing channels and come across the BET channel or the Univision channel? Or what about in the grocery store when you are at the check out counter and you see a copy of Ebony magazine, or People magazine en Espanol? Does it give you the urge to run home and write a blog about how frustrating it is to see those publications?

Your idea of everybody being equal is a good one to have.. You are right, who should care about the color of an athlete's skin or who they love and share their lives with? As long as they are good at what they do, it really shouldn't matter.

Now let me paint this picture for you... it is a cool, sunny February day in Austin, TX. A gay man who has never played sports of any kind a day in his life has recently joined a predominantly gay rugby team (one of only two gay teams out of 68 rugby teams in the Texas Rugby Union) . This particular day is the first tournament he will ever play in and he is excited! After a 4 hour car ride and a quick stop at the hotel for the team to check in, he shows up at the pitch and is ready to play!

Matches are already in progress and so the rugby player and his team mates have some time to go watch some of the other teams play. Of course, being one of the two gay teams in Texas, EVERYBODY knows who you are. Now imagine this- sitting on the sidelines watching a game and then all of the sudden having a player from the field come to the sidlines to throw the ball back in to resume play and hear him shout 'GAY IS THE DISEASE AND AIDS IS THE CURE!!!'

Another rugby scenario for you, this time from Phoenix, AZ.. A gay team goes up against a straight team. Rugby is a rough sport to begin with, but on this particular day, a group of guys on the straight team tackled a guy from the gay team and began beating the shit out of him- one of the guys even raked his cleat across the gay player's back... and then imagine that after the game you overhear a couple of the straight guys chuckling to eachother and saying "today was a good day for a gay bashing" as they high five eachother...

We don't want to be separate, we do want to be equal; and as many strides as we have made over the past couple of decades- we aren't quite 'there' yet, if you know what I mean.

Sometimes groups of people, whether they be divided by race, religion, orientation, etc., need to have some things separate. Gay days at Disney World, or gay cruises for example- those are days when we can actually go out in public with our loved ones and not be afraid of getting our asses kicked just because we are holding hands in line at Epcot Center or being silly and having a Leo DiCaprio/Kate Winslet moment at the front of a cruise ship.

This magazine portrays us as athletes... who just happen to be gay. It doesn't potray us as stylish confidants to love lorn women, it doesn't portray us as common street hustlers, drug addicts or nymphomaniacs who are humping everything in sight. You underestimate the power of the media, and for some people, this magazine can make a difference in their lives. It can offer a positive perspective on gay athletes and may encourage others to get involved in sports. And it may change the way that some straight people view gay people in the world of sports. Who knows...

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. Especially considering the fact that you're "celebrating" (I use quotation mark to quote you) you're right-wingedness with this very blog.