Gay columnist: Athletes, stay in the closet

I've long said that gay athletes and sports fans have two coming out processes. First they have to come out as gay to their friends and family, and then they have to come out as sports fans and athletes to their gay friends. The latest evidence is a column by Brent Ledger (right) who writes he wishes athletes like Brendan Burke would just stay in the closet because it upsets his vision of what it is to be gay.

Personally, I'm perfectly happy with the status quo, which is to say arts equals gayness. I sometimes say that I became gay in order to avoid sports, and I'm only half kidding. I trained with a competitive swim team as a teenager and I've been in and out of gyms for most of my adult life but I certainly don't think of myself as athletic. The very idea makes me giggle.

"Arts equal gayness?" Tee hee hee.

One of his arguments is that it's artists, not athletes, at the forefront of the gay-rights movement and who have created a whole mythology of what it means to be gay. So who needs athletes when artists have been doing the job for so long?

What the fool is obviously too sheltered to understand is that there are millions and millions of gay men and women who don't identify with the artist culture, can't sing along with Gypsy, and identify more with Dave Kopay than Oscar Wilde. Of course, he'd probably claim it's an act or it's internal homophobia: You know, the same old song and dance we hear from theater queens who find out we're athletes. But that really comes from a deeply insecure place in their minds where they need to believe that they didn't have a choice to be a theater queen, because all gays are the same. Newsflash: We're not, and people like us are increasingly outnumbering people like you.

You'd have to think the column was a spoof if it wasn't so clear that it was written with all honesty.

The Toronto Star publishes this guy's trash every other week. You can reach him at bledger@ca.inter.net.

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