Bears and bears. Tight ends and tight ends. Double entendres abound in sports, with terms and situations that can be viewed through a homoerotic lens. Cartoonist Dylan Edwards explores these issues in a book of cartoons called “The Outfield.”
For eight years, “The Outfield” ran as a series on Outsports and was consistently among our most popular pages. One of my all-time favorites — “Is Barry Zito gay?” — was published in 2002 and I said at the time that “I thought the cartoon perfectly captured the stereotypes gays and straights have about sexual orientation.”
Edwards has compiled his Outsports cartoons, along with some others, in “The Outfield,” which is available for purchase. Edwards, who identifies as a “queer trans guy,” explains the idea behind the cartoon series.
“I would often riff on the homoerotic subtext that’s already present in sports, or otherwise look for a queer point of view by injecting drag, bear culture, leather culture, etc. Various team rivalries also came up a lot, often in a relationship context (mixed Red Sox/Yankees marriages, for example). There are a few current (for the time) events comics around gay marriage and various sports stars either coming out or saying something homophobic and I’d comment on it.
“If there’s a unifying theme, it’s about poking holes in the myth that queer men don’t or shouldn’t like sports, while at the same time subverting some of the hypermasculine framing of a lot of sports culture.”
Edwards is a talented artist who won the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association’s Award for Excellence in Transgender Coverage in 2016 for his comic “How I Told My Grandma I’m Transgender.”
I always found his cartoons fresh and funny and I think LGBT sports fans would agree.
Dylan Edwards can be reached via his website.