Wednesday, December 3, 2008

#9: Sports

Because what young people need as they get older is an identity, and sports provide that, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Goths have the dark arts, drama gheys have theatre, and kids whose parents either recognize that sports are a good start to a healthy life (that these kids will grow to squander by binge drinking and snorting rails) or realize that they are old and that life sucks and must live vicariously/perilously through their sons, have sports.

Sports also foster discipline, which is good for guys who have a strong sense of self, as it will be a way to harness focus when they find something that focus will aid in improving. For people without spines, however, discipline can quickly turn into conformity, which is why sports programs (especially in movies) have the reputation for being full of arrogant pricks who are slaves to (and perpetuate) the idea of popularity as a virtue. Everybody is different unless they are trainted not to be! And building a belief system that can stem from the values of being good at a sport, this is something that happens to one without totally realizing it, so when they are put into a situation that forces them to self-analyze (such as realizing they might like dudes), they can be totally thrown off and angry/confused--a closet will be borne, and a case will cling to this masculine identity for dear life, and who could blame them.
The problem is older people being in the closet, but that could be the problem across the board. No out-N-proud pro athletes means none at the high school level, or college, because gays are the devil broken up into millions of little Degrassi fans. But seriously, the straight teammates think only weirdos are ghey, the ghey ones think if they act tough no one will suspect them (thereby perpetuating the cliches and misinformations that keep their cages locked so tight), and a million little lost connections are made, and youthful years wasted, because of fear.

If one is hell-bent on never coming out while simultaneously making life more difficult for others, athletic heroism is the perfect cover to employ. If you're in love with your friend Daniel, but would rather die than admit that to yourself, why not become awesome at footballing, get a hot girlfriend, and call people fags all the time? IT'S THE PERFECT CRIME, and, also, it's moral, because you are only hurting yourself (and your girlfriend and eventual children, but they don't count!). This isn't Spartan times--athletes aren't allowed to notice how hot each other are, or blow one another to commemorate a job well-done (not yet!), so the closeted athlete won't even partake in the straight baller's antics of ass/ball slapping, playing nudging or hugging, or European man-kissing.

Are you part of a sports club and also straight? After a big win, go around doing ghey stuff to people, the ones that act the most offended and grossed out (the ones who act like they have the most to lose by being okay with this) those are the ones you need to hug closer and say, "No matter what, you're still my teammate and my friend and I love you. And that probably goes for all the guys here, too." Then hold him at arm's length and appraise him, then look him in the eye and say, "Do you know what I mean?" He'll probably call you a homo, but he'll never forget that you did it, and will never be able to say that nobody, ever in his life, tried to be there for him. (Plus, when one comes out after all those years of sports, they are both butch, and have a rockin body, and that will make them POPULAR AS FUCK! Which is their Earthly wont.)

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