openly gay and lesbian athletes?


Normally open July 4th only---the one day a year when partisan politics, religion, etc. are acceptable topics on this Board (within reason). The forum is now closed.

openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:42 am

I was just thinking that I don't know of any GLBT role models among the active elite level athletes today. Is the T&F culture homophobic? Are there any out gay and lesbian athletes of note? I think this would be important to bring out so that young gay or questioning people today can feel OK about pursuing T&F and still feel it is ok for them to be who they are. I loved T&F as a kid myself and was a decent sprinter until I hit puberty and started dealing with my sexual orientation issues. At that point I started feeling more of an outsider and was very uncomfortable in the locker room. I started smoking cigarettes and hanging out with the "cool" people instead and abandoned T&F completely. I'm now back strictly as a fan, but there is a part of me that wishes I had made other choices in those difficult years. I'm curious about input from others on the board on this topic.
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby Mennisco » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:11 am

Seeksreal asked, among other things,

"Is the T&F culture homophobic? "

Thanks for having the guts to bring this issue up. Unfortunately I suspect you'll not get much but silence from the powers that be on this issue. They still let Texas' completely dumbass and hateful comments stand on other threads, blissfully or willfully ignorant of the fact that the suicide rate among gay teenagers is 5 times the national average [in Canada, don't know US stats]. Have asked them on here why his comments are allowed. The courtesy of a response is still patiently awaited.
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:18 am

I'm afraid that was what I expected. However, times are changing and whatever organization/sport, etc. that doesn't keep up will run the risk of sliding in popularity and becoming "uncool" and old-fashioned. T&F could certainly use an image boost and being one of the first traditional sports to embrace diversity in sexual orientation would probably do much to enhance public interest in the sport. This we would all benefit from.

I'm still hoping for our brave and knowledgable friends on the board here to add their $0.02 to the topic and perhaps enlighten us a bit on what the situation is really like. :D
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Postby Kevin Richardson » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:33 am

Like most any other deeply personal issue, "coming out" should be a personal decision. I doubt that athletics is anywhere near as "homophobic" as the NFL, NBA, or any of the myriad other sports out there. Failure to speak out on the topic, on this forum, does not imply homophobia on anyone's part. This is, after all, a T&F website.
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:51 am

I agree that silence doesn't necessarily equate homophobia, but I'm curious to know what the attitudes are among those actively involved in the sport today. The only major sports where there seems to be a culture of open-ness that allows for GLB athletes to come out without it being an issue are tennis and figure skating. It is true that coming out is a deeply personal choice, but if there is a culture of silence around the issue, that can become a very daunting situation for any person. This is why it is important that there be at least one or two role models, I think. If we care about the sport, we also have to care about the people in the sport.
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Postby Atanvarno » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:54 am

Steffi Nerius (GER), javelin, had her coming out last year
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Postby Texas » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:04 am

If I were gay I would do my thing regardless of who,what,where and when. What I wouldn't do is talk about it.. That's what bugs people. So you're gay...ok! To go around worried about it and all consumed by it...nay! I don't worry about my heterosexuality. I never talk about it and sure as hell don't march in parades celebrating that fact. Be gay, just a quiet gay.
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Postby Justin Clouder » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:11 am

Texas wrote:Be gay, just a quiet gay.

And to you: be a homophobe, just a quiet homophobe.

Justin
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:15 am

Texas wrote: Be gay, just a quiet gay.


That I never will be! And for anyone who is not gay, it is very difficult to understand or imagine what that experience is actually like. Until we get to a point where everyone is TRULY tolerant, we will need pride parades and openly gay role models along with open discussions around the issue. If heterosexuals were expected to get married secretly and pretend not to be with their spouses in public, they wouldn't be very happy campers and would probably seek to withdraw from situations where that pressure was most strongly felt.
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Postby Texas » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:21 am

Justin Clouder wrote:
Texas wrote:Be gay, just a quiet gay.

And to you: be a homophobe, just a quiet homophobe.

Justin


Not a "phobe' anything. I don't smoke, does that make me "phobe?" Hate the Dallas Cowboys, what "phobe?"
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Re: openly gay and lesbian athletes?

Postby gh » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:24 am

Mennisco wrote:.... Unfortunately I suspect you'll not get much but silence from the powers that be on this issue. They still let Texas' completely dumbass and hateful comments stand on other threads, ..... Have asked them on here why his comments are allowed. The courtesy of a response is still patiently awaited.


If there have been any homophobic statements anywhere on this Board that have gone unremoved, I apologize. Certainly would not willingly let them stand. But things do creep through, particularly when Texas/Eldrick/Dakota go off on a rant that eats up a couple of pages of the Forum in an afternoon while I'm announcing in Indy! I just tune those out. Not saying that's where the "missed" offensive material was, but that's an example of how things can fall through the cracks.

You say you've asked "here"; if that means in middle of threads, the same crack-fall can occur. If you've got a (serioius) problem, send a direct e-mail. Otherwise you're just rolling the dice.

Texas's chiming in on this thread I would normally strike, will let stand (so long as it doesn't escalate) for the day on this new forum.

As to seeksreal's original question, I know of no U.S. track star who has come out while in their prime. Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell is the prime example of one who did later.

Is there homophobia in the sport? Of course, like all levels of society, but probably worse, like all sports, just because of the machismo that comes with the territory.
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Postby eldrick » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:32 am

if any gay athletes want sponsorship from companies, then it probably is in their best interests to keep their sexuality quiet

i've just been watching wimbledon & yesterday in the rain delays they had a profile of navratilova & had an agent talking about how companies were very reluctant to offer her endorsements due to fear of what he called :

"the conservative element protesting & advising people to boycott the companies' products for associating with a gay person - the conservative element may be small, but unfortunately, they shout with a big voice"


if you are a gay athlete & don't want to shoot yourself in the foot in terms of your earning potential, then you are probably better off keeping quiet
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Postby Texas » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:35 am

Seeksreal wrote:
Texas wrote: Be gay, just a quiet gay.


That I never will be! And for anyone who is not gay, it is very difficult to understand or imagine what that experience is actually like. Until we get to a point where everyone is TRULY tolerant, we will need pride parades and openly gay role models along with open discussions around the issue. If heterosexuals were expected to get married secretly and pretend not to be with their spouses in public, they wouldn't be very happy campers and would probably seek to withdraw from situations where that pressure was most strongly felt.


I have to disagree with that sort of thing. I'm not going to worry about other gays. I don't worry about other heterosexuals. You worry about yourself and your loved ones. Don't pick up the shield and spear and go charging in over homosexuality. Do your thing and chances are it'll work out just fine. To..."see, see we are gay!!!!!!".....nope that does more harm than good!

Ok that's my opinion. See ya!
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Postby Flumpy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:45 am

Texas wrote:Ok that's my opinion. See ya!


Yes but nobody asked your opinion.

If you have nothing to add to the discussion, which clearly you don't, the why not just stick to boring people in sprint topics.
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:48 am

Texas wrote: Don't pick up the shield and spear and go charging in over homosexuality. Do your thing and chances are it'll work out just fine. To..."see, see we are gay!!!!!!".....nope that does more harm than good!


Shield and spear won't be nexessary, but simple frankness is a good thing. What does harm is silence!

To respond to the sponsorship issue--yes, I can see that being a problem, which is why we need a "trail blazer" who will make it ok for others who want to come out. Boycotts by conservative anti-gay groups have proved to be very ineffective in recent years, wheras gay boycotts against homophobic companies have proven effective. I don't personally believe in boycotts and I want to encourage a social climate where an athlete or any other person can be openly gay and still appreciated for their accomplishments. In regards to Navratilova, she is still getting endorsement deals even though she is retired! Her courage made her into an icon. I'm hoping we will get a similar icon soon for the T&F! (My personal wish would be for [name cut by mods; if we don't allow chick hotness, we don't allow the reverse either] to be gay, but that is completely beside the point. :oops: :) )
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Postby Texas » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:57 am

Flumpy wrote:
Texas wrote:Ok that's my opinion. See ya!


Yes but nobody asked your opinion.

If you have nothing to add to the discussion, which clearly you don't, the why not just stick to boring people in sprint topics.


In other words ya better bubble over with "you go boy!"....right? That's why ya don't bring that topic to public forums. There are always those like yourself that just have to be gently stroked. By the way, who in the hell are you? Try ..nobody!!!!!
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Postby eldrick » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:05 pm

Seeksreal wrote:To respond to the sponsorship issue--yes, I can see that being a problem, which is why we need a "trail blazer" who will make it ok for others who want to come out. Boycotts by conservative anti-gay groups have proved to be very ineffective in recent years, wheras gay boycotts against homophobic companies have proven effective. I don't personally believe in boycotts and I want to encourage a social climate where an athlete or any other person can be openly gay and still appreciated for their accomplishments. In regards to Navratilova, she is still getting endorsement deals even though she is retired!


the navratilova documentary was from early '90s, so they were referring to the climate 15+y ago - she make money now, but no way at the level she wouda 15y ago when she was regularly in public spotlight

Boycotts by conservative anti-gay groups have proved to be very ineffective in recent years, wheras gay boycotts against homophobic companies have proven effective


whether that's true or not, i have no idea, but unfortunately, it still doesn't appear companies are willing to take the risk ( they have shareholders to answer to & any adverse publicity or significant dip in profits can't be contemplated if the executives want to keep their jobs )

wheras gay boycotts against homophobic companies have proven effective


you'll have to remind me of those, but a company woud be more concerned about a heterosexual boycott rather than a gay one, simply because of relative numbers involved ( significantly more heterosexuals in populace than gays )

yes, I can see that being a problem, which is why we need a "trail blazer" who will make it ok for others who want to come out


the problem is, who's going to be naive enough to do so ( & against their agent's likely advice ) : 20y from now, they coud be staring at their gold medal & wondering why they aren't living in a big mansion with a ferrari in the driveway rather than a pokey, rundown council flat & a buspass ?
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Postby Dutra » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:06 pm

Texas wrote:If I were gay I would do my thing regardless of who,what,where and when. What I wouldn't do is talk about it.. That's what bugs people. So you're gay...ok! To go around worried about it and all consumed by it...nay! I don't worry about my heterosexuality.


When was the last time anyone ridiculed your heterosexuality?
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:12 pm

Texas' opinions are not unique, which is why we need this discussion. Oftentimes that stance stems from uncertainty, ignorance, being closeted or lacking in personal experience of interaction with gay people. This is what I hope will change, but silence certainly won't accomplish that. I don't think Texas and others like him are bad people--just uncomfortable around sexual orientation issues. The more exposure they get to it, the less threatining it is likely to become and they will gradully become more tolerant and accepting of diversity. Everybody wins!

I'm sorry the moderator moved this to a one-day forum, because I believe this discussion has merit on an on-going basis.
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Postby mcgato » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:22 pm

I thought US 800 runner Derrick Peterson came out a few years ago. But then he got married a couple years later. I'm not sure about the whole story.

OK here is the original article claiming he is not heterosexual:
http://www.outsports.com/wire/20020720deric.htm

And here is a clarification to the original article:
http://www.outsports.com/wire/20020825derrick.htm
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:27 pm

eldrick wrote:
whether that's true or not, i have no idea, but unfortunately, it still doesn't appear companies are willing to take the risk ( they have shareholders to answer to & any adverse publicity or significant dip in profits can't be contemplated if the executives want to keep their jobs )

wheras gay boycotts against homophobic companies have proven effective


you'll have to remind me of those, but a company woud be more concerned about a heterosexual boycott rather than a gay one, simply because of relative numbers involved ( significantly more heterosexuals in populace than gays )

20y from now, they coud be staring at their gold medal & wondering why they aren't living in a big mansion with a ferrari in the driveway rather than a pokey, rundown council flat & a buspass ?

This would have been true in the past, but I don't belive so anymore. The new generation is generally not homophobic. Once one more generation dies off we will have a dramatically different picture.

When Ford stopped advertising in gay publications a couple of years ago due to pressure from anti-gay groups, they switched their position fast after pressure from gay groups and actually INCREASED their commitment to gay-oriented marketing. Most heterosexuals actually favor equality for gay people, which is why most companies would rather align themselves with gay rights issues these days than with bigotry. There is no question which direction we are headed in and history will not be kind ot homophobes.
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Postby eldrick » Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:46 pm

you woud think the newer generations are less homophopic, but i'm not so sure - in britain there are still reports of significant homophobic bullying in schools, so i'm not sure if the younger generation is any less homophobic & unfortunately, reports of the death of the homophobe is premature

as for advertising, it's pretty laughable that anyone took offence to a car company advertsing in a gay magazine - i wonder if hierarchy at ford even knew that they were specifically advertising in such - i believe the big companies have a magazine advertising budget & just tell the relevant dept to go advertise in top 20 circulating magazines in the country ( not even bothering to note whether that involved a gay publication or not ) - probably when some of these anti-gay groups started protesting, there was some back-tracking/head-scratching at ford
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Postby SQUACKEE » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:05 pm

Im a straight, god i hate that word, ok hetero..god i hate that word ..ok i happen to dig women. Actually i like men as friends but the plumbing is the same as mine and thats a problem for me.

Im a JFK democrate which means today i would be considered a conservative. My point is most "conservatives" are for gay rights. They may be for civil unions instead of marriage but they are not filled with hate towards gay people. I just wanted to make that clear. Yes there are jerks on the far right of course.

I am surprised track doesnt have a star who's come out yet. I think it will happen soon.

I totally see the need for marches and parades. Just as african americans had to march. Texas seems to want gay people to go back into the closet. There is "straight love" everywhere you look but gays are supposed to hide?! Thats un-american.

Having said this i believe it would be in gay peoples best interest if they toned down the parades. A guy dancing in a purple jock strap and makeup doesnt help his cause IMHO.
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Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:36 pm

edit
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Postby mump boy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:38 pm

mump boy wrote:the only openly gay athlete i know is UK 110 hurdler rob newton, he was the only openly gay athlete he knew as well.

http://uk.gay.com/article/2975

Just talking about you coming out. What made you want to go public with your sexuality recently?

I don’t know. At the start it was just a bit of fun really, to get the pictures done and everything. I don’t really know what's going to happen when I get back from the Games. I'm not really sure, but I'm level headed about the whole thing.

It was quite a full on photo shoot. How have the other athletes responded to it? Or do they not know?

Yeah they do know - I showed a lot of them the pictures and they all said 'yeah they look really good'. I'm not too sure what the some of the guys think, I mean I don’t really speak to a lot of them. But I'm not really bothered. It's my life.

Were you not out to them before, or is that athletes don’t spend much time together?

I don’t really spend much time with them. There's a few people I do know and they knew before, so they're, you know, fine about it.

There's always lots of talk about homophobia in sport, but it's usually restricted to team sports like football and rugby. Do you see any of that in athletics at all?

Well there is. There are a few athletes who I think are a bit homophobic. They don’t really express their feelings to me, I think they chat behind my back. But I'm not really bothered to be honest with you.

Is it bitchiness from competitors?

Well its not people I compete against, it’s the people in the team. I think a few of the sprinters are bothered by it, but I'm not really that bothered to be honest because I don’t spend much time with them. I see them, what, 4 or 5 times a year? And I don’t really spend that much time with them.

Do you think there are lots of closeted people in sport?

I think there are, but they're just too scared to come out, you know. What with the homophobia and they're too scared what the press might say about them, or they're not out to their families.

It is strange, because the press has been relaxed to you coming out. What advice would you give people to coming out?

I guess a lot of straight people aren’t going to read a gay magazine, so I'm not sure what the reaction has been to my article [in the Gay Times]. But I think a lot of people should just come out, because obviously I'm not getting attention in a bad way. It's just that [your sexuality] is ok now; it's not really a bad thing.

Are you comfortable with being seen as a role model for gay men?

Yeah I think its cool. I'm all right with it, yeah.

But it must freak you out a bit - is it strange to have this interest in you from non-sport specific media.

Yeah it is quite strange, but one of those things. That's what happens - if you get good enough, you get press attention anyway. It's just I'm gay so I'll probably get some publicity coming at it from that respect. It's just one of those things.

What would you say to the new breed of athletes who might be gay and worried about going into sport because of homophobia?

Well you know, I guess when I was at school I did get picked last for sport. And it does put a lot of people off and they just get scared.

I was picked last in team sports and, you know, at playtime playing football and things. I didn’t really know about my sexuality then, but you know how kids can be in the playground.
A lot of gay people are into sport but they're frightened by what people might say. I think it just takes a few people to step forward, take the bull by the horns and just get on with it.



last time i spoke to rob he had retires so that makes no-one now

i completely understand why people would be reluctant to come out becuase there is a macho environment around all sport but i don't think it's as bad as some.

everyone know's i'm gay and i've had some really offensive comments from some athletes but most of them (including the most macho sprinters) are really cool with me but then i couldn;t care less. i'm a fan and after a meet i go home, maybe it would be different f you had to deal with these people all the time
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Postby prongs » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:07 pm

john amechi and billy bene came out after retirement.

i think sheryl swoopes came out.

i mean, does it really matter?
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Postby SQUACKEE » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:27 pm

I have a good friend who happens to like women, i hate labels!, and the people at her new job found out and you know what? nobody cares! Wait thats wrong, lesbians are in right now, she is soooooo cool. Im a man and men are mostly a bunch of ill kept morons. :lol:
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Postby Flumpy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:27 pm

I'm always surprised by the amount of gay supporters around. There are loads on this board and even more who used to regularly post in IAAF. It goes to say that there must be plenty of gay athletes competing but I certainly don't know of any. Rob was the only one in the British team certainly.

Everyone seems to know we're gay and as Mump says above it's very rare for anyone to make any kind of negative comment. A couple of British athletes have made negative reference to it in the past and I was once called a 'faggot' or something like that by Michael Blackwood at the World Cup in Madrid. I found itkinda funny as it was the middle of the day and I wasn't even speaking to him at the time. He just said it straight at me as he walked past. Weirdo!!!
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Postby SQUACKEE » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:30 pm

Flumpy wrote:I'm always surprised by the amount of gay supporters around. There are loads on this board and even more who used to regularly post in IAAF. It goes to say that there must be plenty of gay athletes competing but I certainly don't know of any. Rob was the only one in the British team certainly.

Everyone seems to know we're gay and as Mump says above it's very rare for anyone to make any kind of negative comment. A couple of British athletes have made negative reference to it in the past and I was once called a 'faggot' or something like that by Michael Blackwood at the World Cup in Madrid. I found itkinda funny as it was the middle of the day and I wasn't even speaking to him at the time. He just said it straight at me as he walked past. Weirdo!!!


Flumpy, we have a mutual friend who i cherish, Mojo, and im sorry we still live in a world where a few idiots dwell.
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Postby Flumpy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:42 pm

I LOVE MOJO!!!!

Less keen on Michael Blackwood.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:16 pm

Flumpy wrote:I LOVE MOJO!!!!

Less keen on Michael Blackwood.


I had the great honor of talking to Mojo on the phone a few hours ago and she told me she ran a 200 in 27 seconds at the age of 11! I wanted to call her a liar but then i realized maybe she was telling the truth! :shock:
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Postby paulthefan » Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:22 pm

I like most citizens of this wonderful wholistic earth am so tired of the good ole boy network stiffling the beautiful and articulate 28% of the population that is gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender from speaking out and telling the rest of the world what they are all about. It really hurts to know that there are so many gifted articulate gay lesbian bisexual and transgender elite athletes out there that are not speaking up. I wish so much that they would come out of the closet and let their real selves shine. I just know that once the real numbers are known there would be so much empowerment for the gay and lesbian bisexual and transgender community and that would lead hollywood, the NYT, the LAtimes, Time/ Newsweek/ People/ Usnewsandworldreport to start presenting the gay lesbian, bisexual and transgender community as they are; proud, and outspoken and here to stay. I really hurt to know that there are highschool kids out there that don't even know that there is a whole spectrum of sexuality out there and they don't even know where they can fit in.
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Postby mojo » Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:25 pm

Aaah, you guys are the best. 8) 8) 8) I like Free Love day!

I cherish my friendships with you too.

You have all been a rather bad influence on me though. :wink: :wink:

(and damn at my age it is about time someone was!)
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Postby mojo » Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:28 pm

Flumpy wrote:I'm always surprised by the amount of gay supporters around. There are loads on this board and even more who used to regularly post in IAAF. It goes to say that there must be plenty of gay athletes competing but I certainly don't know of any. Rob was the only one in the British team certainly.

Everyone seems to know we're gay and as Mump says above it's very rare for anyone to make any kind of negative comment. A couple of British athletes have made negative reference to it in the past and I was once called a 'faggot' or something like that by Michael Blackwood at the World Cup in Madrid. I found itkinda funny as it was the middle of the day and I wasn't even speaking to him at the time. He just said it straight at me as he walked past. Weirdo!!!


Is he still competing cos if he is I will fly to a meet he is in and give him the biggest BOO ever. If not(and I think this is the case) give me his address and a megaphone.

Fricking jerk.
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Postby Brian » Wed Jul 04, 2007 3:46 pm

eldrick wrote:if any gay athletes want sponsorship from companies, then it probably is in their best interests to keep their sexuality quiet

i've just been watching wimbledon & yesterday in the rain delays they had a profile of navratilova & had an agent talking about how companies were very reluctant to offer her endorsements due to fear of what he called :

"the conservative element protesting & advising people to boycott the companies' products for associating with a gay person - the conservative element may be small, but unfortunately, they shout with a big voice"


if you are a gay athlete & don't want to shoot yourself in the foot in terms of your earning potential, then you are probably better off keeping quiet



But ultimately that's true of anyone who stands out. If you want to appeal to everyone, simply stand for nothing. You'll be liked and endorsements will come your way, if you are talented. You won't be respected...but that's a different thing.

The only thing I have against homosexuals or any other segment of society is when they claim or are assigned perfectly good everyday words and the rest of us can't easily use them anymore. I kind of liked my parents referring to tied bundles of wood for our old stove as "faggots"... Like Daley Thompson said, when commenting on his joke T-shirt in '84, "In Britain, 'gay' means happy (wink)."

And since the shirt was about the biggest loser of endorsements at the LA Olympics, my post has come full circle. Happy 4th, all--and I mean ALL.
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Postby bad hammy » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:17 pm

That this subject exists shows how far we have to go . . .
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Postby paulthefan » Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:02 pm

again I want to stand, along with badhammy and mennisco, tall and proud with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender elite athlete communities whose numbers and size swells every time an elite athlete comes out of the closet to proclaim their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender identity! If we keep up the pressure hot pink spikes will be as natural as a spandex clad athlete traipsing down the runway with that long thick pole into the vault pit. The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities are here and they are here to stay once the real numbers are known the media will have to give this vibrant community the positive coverage that it deserves.
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Postby richxx87 » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:37 pm

Further to the economic side of it that Eldrick accurately pointed out, is the interest/support level among the GLBT community. They may well be interested in Ford vehicles, but are they interested in T&F enough to follow it or care about it?? Far better than a march, would be to demonstrate to advertisers that the "pink dollar" strongly supports track meets on TV and at the stadium.
It's basic economics. If the companies see that they have a substantial number of people in a given community to warrant the expense of adverts directed at them, they will.
In the expat community I dwell amongst in a 3rd world country, there are probably a dozen openly gay and lesbians who are fully accepted and an integral part of our diverse crew of folks. Of those, there is VERY little interest in any sport. One guy likes Moto GP, but aside from him, there is a real disdain for sports and when the subject at the pub turns to sports, there is always moaning and groaning.

To sum up, rather than marching to effectively force companies to sponsor openly GLBT athletes, it would be better to "vote with your feet" -- get to the track meets bring a bunch of friends, build critical mass and demonstrate to the companies/tv networks and athletes that there is money to be made and a keenly interested market to tap. Win-win situation.
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Postby Seeksreal » Wed Jul 04, 2007 7:50 pm

richxx87 wrote:Further to the economic side of it that Eldrick accurately pointed out, is the interest/support level among the GLBT community. They may well be interested in Ford vehicles, but are they interested in T&F enough to follow it or care about it?? Far better than a march, would be to demonstrate to advertisers that the "pink dollar" strongly supports track meets on TV and at the stadium.
It's basic economics. If the companies see that they have a substantial number of people in a given community to warrant the expense of adverts directed at them, they will.
In the expat community I dwell amongst in a 3rd world country, there are probably a dozen openly gay and lesbians who are fully accepted and an integral part of our diverse crew of folks. Of those, there is VERY little interest in any sport. One guy likes Moto GP, but aside from him, there is a real disdain for sports and when the subject at the pub turns to sports, there is always moaning and groaning.

To sum up, rather than marching to effectively force companies to sponsor openly GLBT athletes, it would be better to "vote with your feet" -- get to the track meets bring a bunch of friends, build critical mass and demonstrate to the companies/tv networks and athletes that there is money to be made and a keenly interested market to tap. Win-win situation.


I'm gay and I'm an avid T&F fan. The problem is that I often forget to bring my rainbow flag or pink heels when I go out. You'll probably not realize I'm gay until we're already heading toward the bedroom... I doubt an elite level athlete who chooses to come out will lack sponsors completely. They may miss out on some deals, but if they're top level competitors, they are actually likely to gain some additional endorsements for being gay. This wil be the case for the first handful or so. After that I believe sexual orientation will become more of a non-issue and endorsements will be based on performance and personality in general.
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Postby Dutra » Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:23 pm

Seeksreal wrote:[
I'm gay and I'm an avid T&F fan. The problem is that I often forget to bring my rainbow flag or pink heels when I go out. You'll probably not realize I'm gay until we're already heading toward the bedroom... I doubt an elite level athlete who chooses to come out will lack sponsors completely. They may miss out on some deals, but if they're top level competitors, they are actually likely to gain some additional endorsements for being gay. This wil be the case for the first handful or so. After that I believe sexual orientation will become more of a non-issue and endorsements will be based on performance and personality in general.


There's still enough people who exist who are generally turned off by homosexuality to the point where they are outspoken about it and, in a much bigger sense, there are the organizations which reject homosexuality outright due to morals or religious issues.

My experience is that the religious folks can be amongst the most intolerant of folks.....as odd as that may sound....or at least that is my experience.

So...that may hold back sponsorship.
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