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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday Big Blue Smurf Blogging: What They Said - Special How Did I Miss This Edition
Posted by Jill | 8:13 AM
This morning I was trying to find video of figure skater Johnny Weir's hilarious alter-ego, "Vyacheslav Romanov", a Russian gossip (what else?) journalist who bears an amazing resemblance to Orly Taitz (who is now running for Secretary of State in California so she can investigate Barack Obama's citizenship) to accompany the link to the story. And while clicking around, I came across this amazing article by LZ Granderson about Weir, sports, and homophobia written last month after the Olympics over at ESPN.com, of all places.

Money quote:
After all, "gay" simply means you're attracted to the same gender. It doesn't mean you're graceful on skates. If it did, the NHL should consider some rebranding.

Being gay can't mean you're overly dramatic, because Brett Favre is the biggest drama queen in all of sports, and besides, after nearly 20 years in the NFL, he's probably slapped more man booty than all the gay men in San Francisco combined. Do we question his sexuality?

Am playing devil's advocate? Of course I am. But it's not just for the sake of being a contrarian. I'm suggesting a slight paradigm shift with regard to our views of what it means to be masculine. Society adopts terms like "metrosexual" so men can clip their nose hairs in peace. Talking heads coin phrases like "bromance" so men can have real friendships. There's so much posturing and projection happening on a daily basis that sometimes I wonder if straight men suffer from the effects of homophobia more than gay men do.

Look, I know a lot of guys who love women in the Eros sense of the word but who don't follow sports and couldn't pick Kobe Bryant out of a lineup of dwarfs.

Conversely, I have a friend who once had to be physically restrained from beating the snot out of a ref during a league basketball game, and he's been with his boyfriend for more than 10 years.

These are not examples of anomalies. These are examples within the kaleidoscope of life, and if some of us would take off our black-and-white blinders long enough -- and perhaps stop acting the way we think we're supposed to act -- we might actually begin to see and appreciate the diversity within the lexicon of manhood. This philosophy isn't just about creating an environment in which it's comfortable for gay men to compete in sports. It's also about creating a space in which it's OK for straight men not to.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a great article Jill. Strange that as someone who visits espn.com I had never read it before.


Blogger D. said...

I've linked to this.