Saturday, 3 September 2011

This doesn't help

In the Scottish Sun this week, Scottish cycling champion Graeme Obree, encouraged other gay athletes to stay closeted. Obree, who is now retired, came out in January 2011.  The article said:

I don’t think being gay and an active sportsman is a good thing. While I was competing and in a changing room environment there was no way I would come out. You’d always be worrying if other people were thinking, ‘Is he checking me out?’ There are SPL footballers who are gay, I know that for a fact. But if I was in their position there is no way I would come out. It would be too awkward in the dressing room. You need to be retired first.

I have to say that I don't quite agree that staying closeted and lying to everyone and yourself is ideal for anyone. If a few sportsmen were out, the gay "stigma" would be reduced and after a while, the press would even move on. Being in the closet is stressful enough and doing it in public must be even worse.

I appreciate that Graeme was in a great position to judge whether to have come out, but I am convinced that nothing will change until a few brave guys say: "I am gay, I am a professional sportsman, get over it".  Views???

I've spoken about the ever cute Anton Hysen before who is a bit crazy on his own blog. He is a professional footballer, gay and out.  He seems to be enjoying the whole coming out experience, appearing in magazines and on TV and radio. He says that his team mates have no problem and doesn't care when rival fans shout those oh-so-funny chants from the stands.  Let's end with a picture from Anton's blog from a couple of days ago - he reckons after shaving that he looks 10 years old!


  1. You title says it all. You are right.

    And Anton is tres sexy!!!

  2. Yes, he's not only doing no one any favours by saying this, he's contributing to oppression - his own as well as that of others.

  3. I think a more nuanced argument would be that they shouldn't *need* to come out -- they should be out -- and it shouldn't be a big deal.

  4. I agree too - comments like these are not helpful to those in positions where they are considering whether to be "Out" or not.

    The ideal, of course, is to allow people to get on with things and not worry about being "in" or "out" - if people don't want to shout about their sexuality, then why should they?

  5. Gauss Jordan - that is how it should be, but we are nowhere near.

    Oneexwidow - I agree that few want to shout about their sexuality, but who really wants to be in the closet with all of the problems and personal issues that come from trying to hide your true self.

  6. Raybeard is right - this guys is contributing to oppression of gay guys and gals.

    I am only recently out and my life is so much better for it.

  7. Hey Stephen,
    my 5 on the fifth are online on:
    thanks T

  8. I understand your view and agree with it, Stephen but he also has a point in that paragraph. It's not that they should stay in the closet because of discrimination but because of the awkwardness that could arise from other guys being naked around a known gay guy.

    Of course this could easily be fixed by saying that you're not interested in the slightest but I guess people have to decide how to live their lives.

  9. I'm with you. Painful as it may be, until more sportsmen take the brave step, nothing will change. It depends upon the sport of course with football being the most challenging. I was refreshed to read about young Davies in cricket last year... a brave lad.