Wasn't sure what photo to use for this post so I just kept it safe.
In my travels cross the mighty internet, I ran across this Q&A on Reddit with an anonymous “closeted” (kinda hate that term) gay college football player. The player opened the threat himself under the name “youdneverknow” and took questions from anyone who posted. You can read the entire thread here, but I picked out my favorite ones. The reason that these are my favorites are because they’re the type of “concerns” people express most often when they are against gay dudes participating in sports.
Whoever this guys is, assuming he’s really who he says he is, did a really good job answering the questions. Everything made sense to me. And a lot of it made me feel kinda sad. What a lonely feeling to hide who you are every day? From the thread, it looks as though he hasn’t slept with a man yet.
Q. What position do you play? Do any of your team mates, coaches, family members know at all? How do you deal with going to parties after big games?
A. I’m an offensive lineman.
The only people that know I’m gay are my best friend (non-teammate) and my therapist
I go to all the parties and mostly have a great time. The only time I have to “deal” with the parties is when I feel pressured by my teammates to pursue certain girls. I can only use the same excuses so much as to why I don’t want to hook up with so-and-so. In order to stay in the closet, I sometimes have casual hookups with girls just to enforce the “fact” that I’m straight. That’s when parties suck.
I’ve heard of this happening!
Q. I’m really sorry. That would really suck, I can’t imagine having to do that. Do you ever get a chance to be with guys?
A. I don’t ever get the chance to be with guys. This year I think I’m going to try and change that though – I’m not sure. I’m not even sure what to do/where to meet people.
Q. As an offensive lineman in Australia. I’ve always wondered, do the OL in college get much action?
A.Actually more than you’d think. It’s not like we’re getting as much as the WRs or QBs but there are plenty of girls (and guys I think…) that like bigger, stronger men. They like to feel safe and secure.
**Raises hand** o/ I know I do!
Q. As a gay guy, I know how difficult this sort of thing can be and I think its great that you’ve started coming to terms with it for yourself. I will say, though, that the only way ignorant people are going to realize that gay folks are normal, everyday people like them is if more people like you are willing to take a risk and come out. Right now they see pride marches on TV and sitcom portrayals and gays are this anonymous “other,” but if they could see that their friendly neighbor, or the guy at the grocery store, or, better yet, their favorite football player is both masculine and gay it could start to have a real impact on public acceptance and the disintegration of the gay = feminine stereotype. I remember when the TV show Ellen had a parental advisory in front of it after she came out. Now gay people are all over TV, but they still aren’t real. Someone like you is real.
I hope you don’t take offense to my post; I know its a complicated, intensely personal situation and I would never be arrogant enough to suggest that I know what path you should follow. I guess I just wonder if you agree that having someone in your position come out would be a positive step for homosexual rights and if you have any opinion on that subject?
A. This is a great comment! I think about this a lot actually. One part of me feels like I should take advantage of the opportunity I have and come out publicly. The other part of me feels like an ass because I don’t want to just yet.
If I were to come out publicly, there would be so much good that can come out of it. I think one of the biggest things that it can do (which is the reason I feel like a dick for not coming out publicly) is help others out that are in a similar situation. I could use the platform of college football to make the voice of the LGBT community heard as well as help take down gay stereotypes.
But then again, I do not feel mentally ready for all this. I’ve just learned in the past few months how to accept and love myself. Which is why I feel like a dick. If I heard a story about a gay college football player coming out to his team and community, etc. It would make my struggles so much easier seeing that there is someone I can identify with.
I figured someone would ask this question. It probably would be helpful to someone for this guy to be openly gay, but I couldn’t see myself risking it if I were him. I don’t wanna be the guinea pig!
Q. Why are you closeted/What keeps you from coming out?
A. When I was younger I noticed how kids in school would treat others that were gay, perceived gay, or just different. I didn’t want to be treated like that. As I grew up, I denied the fact that I was gay. I never felt comfortable bringing up the subject with friends or family due to the fear that I wouldn’t be loved/accepted.
Right now, I’m finally starting to accept that I am gay and it’s part of who I am. I’m not exactly sure what would happen if I were to come out in the environment I’m currently in (college athletics), so I plan on coming out to my friends/family after this stage of my life is over and I’m in a “safer” environment. I’m scared of losing all my “friends” and my social life.
Also, I probably should have said this in my original post, but I am out to my best friend. He’s the only person that knows (besides by therapist).
He’s in therapy? Well he’s already head of the game then.
Q. If someone asks if you are gay, that you answer yes?
A. I actually wish this would happen with a few of my friends. I want to come out to some of them so badly because I think they would be truly accepting. The only problem is if I can trust them with that big of a secret. I’m sure I could trust my closest team mates – but at this point it’s just too big of a risk for me.
Q. Serious question (sorry in advance). How do you contain yourself from popping a stiffy in the locker room?
As a straight male, if I was in a locker room with a bunch of naked women, I would certainly have a boner. Do you hide it or ignore the issue?
A. I knew someone would ask this haha! It’s funny because before I got to college I always wondered the same thing and thought it would be a really big deal. I have yet to pop a boner in the locker room because I think I’m just able to ignore the issue. Also, it’s kind of different than your example because the naked women wouldn’t be surprised/disgusted. In a shower with 90 straight dudes – people would have questions as to why I’m hard lol.
Qs and As
Big CFB fan here, hope your season is going well.
Do you fantasize about certain teammates?
Yes, and I’m kind of embarrassed to say so haha.
What type of offense do you guys run?
Does your team have “groupies”?
Yes, there are actually quite a few jersey chasers, jock sniffers, etc.
How much do you bench/squat?
Bench ~ 450, Squat ~ 580
How hard is it to hear adjustments at the line during an away game?
Extremely hard! Each week we have to be prepared to go on silent. It also depends on how the stadium is built and where the student section is. You have to know what you’re listening for in order to “zone out” all the crowd noise. That’s why adjustments are tougher to hear than the cadence and the QB frantically runs in between the tackles to make sure we all get the audibles.
As you can see, once the straight men got comfortable posting the conversation went every wicha way.
Final comment from “youdneverknow” that made me sad:
Thanks for your words of advice! I decided to do the AMA because I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. A lot = like every minute of the day. At times it stresses me out and at other times I laugh at my situation. But lately, I’ve been feeling kind of lonely. Not physically – just emotionally (if that makes any sense). I didn’t come here looking for a pity party, just looking to see what others have to say in this sort of situation.
Well whoever this guy is, I am totally in love. If I ever find out who he is and can meet him I have hugs and kisses with his name on it. I mean…regardless of his orientation, he IS 6’4. LOL